Friday, April 4, 2008

Wikipedia Overtaking MySpace?

It's often tricky tracking down information about college radio stations since their websites vary greatly in terms of the resources and facts that they provide (this is true of commercial stations too!). Details about station history, programming, and music format are often hard to find. Increasingly I've been turning to Wikipedia pages which are often a goldmine of information about radio history, which often isn't provided on station websites. So, it is with great interest that I read this Billboard piece about the growing popularity of Wikipedia entries for musicians. The article states:

"According to data provided to Billboard from Yahoo...those searching for artist information are selecting the Wikipedia entry link over artists' MySpace pages by a factor of more than 2-to-1. The Wikipedia entries are also more popular than artists' Web sites. 'The interest that people had to go to MySpace to find out more about their favorite band is waning in favor of going to Wikipedia,' Yahoo head of programming and label relations John Lenac says. 'In the last six months, it's surpassed it.' Yet when compared with the number of artist profiles on MySpace, Wikipedia entries are noticeably fewer. MySpace claims 3 million artist profiles. Wikipedia does not have an exact count of artist entries, but estimates that it's in the 'tens of thousands,' according to Wikipedia Foundation head of communications Jay Walsh."

Clearly there's an opportunity here for radio stations and musicians to beef up their Wikipedia entries, if that truly becomes the "go-to" location for artist information. As far as I'm concerned, anything that makes it easier for stations to capture and chronicle their history is a great thing.


David Gerard said...

And if there's an article on your band - please submit a good photo if there isn't one!

Note that the photo must be under a proper free content licence. (That's often the sticking point, and why so many band and celeb photos on Wikipedia are snapshots.)

Jon Schleuss said...

good post, i agree, that's why we created a wikipedia page two years ago. it's still a work-in-progress, but what can ya do?

Kyle said...

I agree. Wikipedia also creates a great forum for documenting the oral history of a college station. When I was teaching the training class at my college station, we wanted to compile the station's history. After doing a bunch of research and interviews, we posted everything on wikipedia (link) which allowed previous staff members and DJs to add or edit any and all of the info.

**note: Jennifer, you should take a look at this and add/edit it as well since you too are an ex-WBGU staffer!