If you’re anything like me, the first place you land having googled something, is Wikipedia. I’m loath to admit this because I like to think of myself as a serious (coughs) researcher, but like everyone else, I too wiki.
Wikipedia is an open encyclopaedia into which anyone with an account can add information. The logic behind it was that because everyone on the planet with access to a computer can alter its contents, eventually the information presented would be correct.
Unfortunately, this is also the reason why the website cannot be relied on as a source. Anybody can write whatever they like on it, including your readers. I use it to get a quick overview of a particular subject, before moving on to sources that I can trust.
However, this is not about research, it is about marketing. I am here to make the case for the site. It is easy to overlook Wikipedia amidst all the hubbub of marketing your work on specialist and other websites. Getting your writing noticed is about visibility on the internet, particularly if you choose to go down the independent publishing route. Wikipedia is yet another way to add to that visibility.
Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, are very useful for interaction with your readers and require active participation on the author’s part. Wikipedia like a personal website, tends to remain static, particularly if the information is correct, and will give an added angle to you and your work.
Still not convinced? I’ll give you examples of my favourite authors’ books who are on it: Penelope Fletcher, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett, One Day by David Nicholls, The God of Small things by Arundhati Roy, A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, All Men are Mortal by Simone de Beauvoir... I could happily go on but I think it is best that I leave you to wiki your favourite authors and see what comes up. There I rest my case.
Addendum to all pedants: I put it to you that google and wiki are also verbs