The Wikipedia hive mind does not take kindly to the ad copy. So blatantly self-promotional language and a lack of citations are likely to get a would-be writer nowhere. But if there’s one thing the Internet has taught us, it’s that almost anything can be used as a low-cost publicity tool.
That’s where record producer Erez Safer and film maker Aaron Wertheimer come in. As the New York Daily News reports, if you’re looking for a presence on the site, these two Brooklyn gentlemen will build you a thoroughly footnoted Wikipedia page for a mere $300. So far, they’ve got about a dozen on the site, ten in the works, and a hundred requests in the pipeline. The system: gamed.
If you’ve never received a word of press coverage, it’s going to take more than a few Benjamins to get you into the free encyclopedia. Mr. Safer and Mr. Wertheimer turn down anyone who hasn’t received a certain amount of attention, because that’s their source material. But if you’ve got the clippings, it’s a different story. Says one satisfied customer, who started to create a page for his animation festival and finally turned to the pair out of sheer frustration:
“You have to cite things. Note things. Or these warnings start popping up,” Safron said. “There are all these guidelines and standards that Wikipedia stands by. I have no idea about that.”
My oh my, rules and standards for user-generated content on the Internet. What’ll they think of next?