Now that there's a company out there willing to make you Wikipedia famous, for a price, we get an idea of how much an entry in the Internet's de-facto library cost. Turns out it's $300.
The Daily News reports on thirtysomethings Erez Safer and Aaron Wertheimer of Brooklyn, who in their spare time launched a service called MyWikiPro, which will build a Wikipedia entry for clients that won't be taken down for failing to follow Wikipedia's sometimes byzantine standards and guidelines. Safer and Wertheimer specialize in making sure facts are cited with reputable sources and copy doesn't read as overtly promotional. The Brooklynites' customers so far have been typically Brooklynite, mostly artists and a few artsy small businesses like record labels and music festivals. After perusing some of the MyWikiPro-made pages (here, here, and here), we found them generally comprehensive and well-written enough, as far as Wikipedia pages go, to be indistinguishable from other entries. (One, however, for the Animation Block Party film festival, was flagged for problems.)
Is this service gaming the system? Probably. We'd like to think that truly worthy entities would have articles written about them organically. The Village Voice's Victoria Bekiempis brings up some other concerns: Does this service threaten Wikipedia's objectivity? Should a for-profit profiting off of a non-profit donate back to the non-profit?
But like we said, the most intriguing aspect of this story is that the open market pegs the price of a Wikipedia page at a mere $300, a price disclosed by The Daily News but not by the service itself. However, the Brooklyn duo won't just take anyone on as a client. "A lot of people aren’t Wiki worthy. There are not a lot of articles on them to cite. We turn down a lot of people," founder Erez Safer told the Daily News. Still, the bar isn't terribly high. According to their site, "[a]s long as it’s been covered in a few reputable outlets, we’ll be able to get it onto Wikipedia."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.