steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Self-Googling Can Make You Blind - If Not Disappear Entirely

Okay, I occasionally self-google, I admit it. Don't come over all smarty-pants, please.

Tom Sawyer attended his own funeral; Scrooge read his own epitaph. I have now seen my name weighed in the balance, and found... just about okay. My Wiki page, which grew like a mushrump some years ago, was eventually identified as the work of drachentaube. He had (to be fair) only put down some of the quantifiablest facts about my life. But these were insufficiently eminent for at least one Wiki editor, and it's interesting to see what factors were important in saving my biographical bacon. The most effective Wiki-arguments turned out to be:

* the number of libraries who held my books
* the reviews I'd got

(However, a Mythopoeic Award counts for squat.)

My Wiki page has now been updated on these lines, rendering it (to me at least) more or less unreadable. I'm sure the Wiki editors think this evidence-based approach to writing encyclopaedias is the most professional way to go about things, but I'd rather have someone judge my worth by, say

* knowing who I was
* having read one or more of my books
* understanding something of the fields I participate in

and, in general

* having some basic sense of context.

If they don't have any of the above, it would be better either to keep Wikipedia as an open product that enthusiasts could contribute to as seems good to them, or else to go for a much narrower, more verifiable kind of resource. If my own page is typical, the bean-countng approach to biography is not a halfway house: it's a mess.
Tags: my writing
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