I've long found Wikipedia a fruitful source of accidental entertainment. There's the fact, for example, that the cast and events of certain series of fantasy novels are covered in greater depth than the periodic table, say, or the Second World War. I'm also a fan of a page with the title “Lamest Edit Wars”, detailing the battles that have been fought over such matters as a list of fictional ducks.
My favourite bits of Wikipedia culture, though, are often found in the lists of articles marked for deletion. These are the non-notables: those who just aren't a big enough deal to merit a Wikipedia page. It's not just the fact of someone's insignificance that makes this entertaining: it's when they've obviously written the page themselves. Their biographies are perfect little lessons in the folly of vanity, and the Wikipedia regulars give them short shrift, even if they did once have a speaking part in Casualty. I enjoy them greatly.
Or I did, anyway. Not so much any more. Improbably, I have become the subject of a Wikipedia article myself. When I first heard this, obviously, I thought about what a high roller I am, and how it was weird that it had taken so long, and went to have a look. What I saw instantly made me wish I had something decent to bulk out my CV, like an appearance in a popular hospital drama: the dreaded tag.
"The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia's notability guideline for biographies," it briskly explained. "If notability cannot be established, the article is likely to be merged, redirected, or" – oh, the ignominy! – "deleted". In the notes that accompany the page, someone had made the sound observation that I probably wrote it myself.
It's all very unfair, this. There I was, minding my own non-notability - and now I find myself publicly branded as a no-mark by the sixth-most popular website in the world, and also branded the sort of no-mark who thinks they're a mark. It has provoked all sorts of dilemmas. I know there are a couple of lines in it that aren't quite right, but I'm damned if I'm going to be the sort of person who edits their own Wikipedia page. And so I just glower at my screen, insignificant but egocentric, wishing I were one of those notable ducks, fictional or otherwise.
So, I feel it's important to say it with clarity. Publicly and unprovokedly confirm my inadequacies if you must, Wikipedians. Spell out my stupid middle name, link to online pictures of me that I had hoped would never be seen again. But for God's sake, confirm me as non-notable soon. The whole business is too embarrassing for words. If you don't get on with it, I may be forced to start an edit war of my own.Reuse content