Meme Request: Let's Get WC Identities into Wikipedia
Wikipedia is clearly being used by a bjillion people as their chosen reference site of first resort. But, of course, many people do not end their quest for knowledge at Wikipedia. In some cases, it's the first step in a long road of discovery. A road that can logically lead to libraries.
Some recent data from Hitwise shows that almost 10% of the downstream traffic (where people go when they leave a site) from Wikipedia goes to "educational" pages. 10% might not seem like much... but the top 1,000 Wikipedia pages (from the English site) get more than 35 million hits per day. Which means that more (probably many more, considering the Long Tail) than 3.5 million people per day leave Wikipedia in search of "educational" information.
Segue to WorldCat Identities. In case you haven't heard me singing the praises of the Identities service before, please take a sec and go check it out. It's an amazingly cool way to get lots of information about a person, group or character in a small amount of space/time.
There's a natural connection, I believe, between services like Wikipedia and WorldCat Identities. Both are providing good, solid, reference information on a subject-specific basis. Many of us here think that a link from a Wikipedia page to the appropriate Identities page makes perfect sense. Actually, so does Tim O'Reilly, who said:
I'd really love to see this tied in programmatically to wikipedia. There ought to be an automatic link to this site for every identity in wikipedia!
So would we! Unfortunately, it's currently impossible to do something like that at a programmatic level.
How do links get added from Wikipedia to valuable resources like WorldCat Identities? Well, since Wikipedia is a user-built site, the best way is, well... YOU!
There's an easy way for you to add an Identites link to Wikipedia using a fancy-dancy template. Basically, you find the Identities "number" for a person you're interested in. For example, Samuel Phillips. His number is the last portion of the Identities URL. In this case: lccn-n85-221132
Copy that number for the Identities page you're interested in, then go to Wikipedia and find the page on the related person. Click to "edit" the external links section (usually at the bottom of the page) and add the following:
Substituting the actual number for "IDENTITIES_NUMBER." Leaving, in the case of our example:
That will create the following line in the actual Wikipedia article:
Here's my hope: that those of us interested in both particular subjects and promoting library services will take the time to make this connection. We know that there is a ton of great stuff in libraries that folks coming to Wikipedia would benefit from. And, I belileve, WorldCat Identities is a fun, appropriate way to get folks to take the next step.
So... think of your five favorite authors, characters, groups and singers... anybody with a name. And make the connection to the Identities from Wikipedia. Then pass the idea on to five friends who love libraries and learning.
As far as memes go, it's not funny or silly and doesn't involve exposing your personal feelings or comparing yourself to spices or superheroes. But maybe a meme can be a little fun, and also a little helpful.
Thanks in advance for your participation.
Note: more information on the WorldCat Identities template for Wikipedia is here.