Wikipedia, one of the internet’s most popular sources for information, has around 44,000 editors writing for it. According to Carroll Wilkinson, the Director of Strategic Library Initiatives for West Virginia University, 10 percent of Wikipedia writers are female. With such a vast gender disparity, Wikipedia has been making efforts to bring equality to the encyclopedia.
On the subject, Wilkinson says, “So 90 percent of the writers (on Wikipedia) are men, and around 30 years of age. Naturally, they’re going to have certain interests of their own. With such a tiny percentage of women, the number of articles on Wikipedia about women is not balanced, and it’s true for people of color as well. We’re taking baby steps about what’s available for West Virginia women.”
Kelly Doyle has been appointed by the Wikipedia Foundation to help improve the gender issues at Wikipedia. “Our goal here is really to just, and my position really, is about adding content about women to Wikipedia and making that information as accurate as it can be,” says Doyle. She will be holding a Wikipedia-edit-a-thon on February 12th to highlight female relationships in West Virginia.
People in the past have stressed the importance of having more diverse Wikipedia writers to avoid bias towards gender or race. The online encyclopedia is one that many internet users visit for information, so having fair and balanced content is critical for the site. Wikipedia is often a site for education, but it can also be used in business. Some businesses are able to get their Wikipedia business page creation done through sites like Get Your Wiki.
The site (found at http://www.getyourwiki.com/) allows clients to hire Wikipedia writers from such a service to create articles chronicling the client’s business or enterprise. Wikipedia can be a great way to gain exposure and inform potential customers about a company.