Back for a second to point out this crazy debate over whether I should have a Wikipedia page. I didn’t write this page. But of course I want it to be kept. It strikes me as odd that people (most of whom demonstrate that they are non-experts) are so vehement that I not have a Wikipedia page (Jessica Smith from Laguna Beach is obviously much more important for her contribution to society). But people’s vehement dislike/disapproval of me without knowing me or my work probably shouldn’t come as a surprise anymore. Hey, at least creating controversy where there really shouldn’t be any makes me feel important.

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22 Responses to

  1. Jessica Smith says:

    The best part of the discussion is the invocation of the ignore rule.

  2. DUSIE says:

    hey, Jules had a page appear sometime in the past year too…strange that people are getting SO upset! hahaha

  3. myshkin2 says:

    Dusie: you said this on yr blog:
    “Jessica IS notable as well as lovely…haters bewarned…” Congratulations for doing 2 things to further poetry in America. 1) “lovely” looks are now a criterion, and 2) if you don’t support Jessica’s wiki, you hate her. (Isn’t that Bush-logic?)

    Moreover, Jessica you must have known who submitted it–why play play the ingenue here. And I wonder how much of the debate centers on the word “significant.”

    Finally, I have no problem with you having a wiki page-I even think it could be further developed with links. I’m just a bit uneasy about the way this issue is being talked about on all sides.

  4. DUSIE says:

    mshkin2… fair enough to point out the way in which you read what I said in my blog… but, ‘lovely’ was meaning Jessica’s person, not her looks! (no offense J) Can someone not be a good poet and a lovely individual or would that be defying my Bush logic? oh and a second but, oh, no point in explaining it here, but haters bewarned is a playful poke at what others have posted long ago and previous to this discussion…. but isn’t this long debate what is funny? Remove yr vote Mate! für sure!

  5. Jessica Smith says:

    myshkin2, I’m not “play playing the ingenue,” I actually *don’t* know who submitted it. I don’t think it’s someone that I know personally, because if it were there would be more links/info on the wiki page. Of course I would like to thank whoever it is.

    As for the issue of whoever you are, I think you should make your identity known, especially before accusing other people of being deceptive.

    Thanks Susana–

  6. Waldo says:

    Somebody created an entry for me about six months ago. I clearly fail the notability standard, so I allowed myself one modification to the page (a verboten act on Wikipedia, modifying one’s own entry) to flag it as suspect for my lack of notability. I then posted a comment to the discussion page asking that somebody nominate it for deletion. Nothing happened for a couple of months.

    Then some random dude goes off on me, accusing me of creating a second Wikipedia account solely for the purpose of making an entry for myself, as a form of “self-promotion” (I have nothing to sell, and thus no need to promote myself). I pointed out that it was I who had flagged the entry for insufficient notability, and that would be a pretty insane thing to do if I’d created the page. And I encouraged him to nominate the page for deletion, as I’d asked somebody to do months prior. He did, with some snarky comment about how I’d clearly created it with a sock puppet account. It was deleted, but the guy still refused to admit that it was so much as possible that I didn’t create it.

    Bizarre.

  7. Jessica Smith says:

    I get a lot of web traffic just from the Jessica Smith disambiguation page, so I’d like to retain the bio page; for one thing, as I said in the discussion, to facilitate a relatively objective discussion of me and my work (finding an unbiased definition of who I am would probably be difficult otherwise).

    Personally, I don’t think anyone’s too obscure for a Wiki page. Have ya’ll seen some of the things that are on there? Of course, there are many more important poets than me who need Wiki pages. Maybe we, as a group (of informed poets) should descend upon Wikipedia and create hundreds of new articles about poets, poetry and poetics.

  8. Amish Trivedi says:

    I have to say that you’re in a touch spot here. While I do believe you’re perfectly fine for a spot on Wikipedia, the article itself needs a ton of work by someone who is in no way affiliated with you. That being said, none of us can even edit it to help out as the connection between is obvious in many cases. Like they say though, it’s not a majority vote, and the editors will decide and they’re pretty good at what they do.

  9. Jessica Smith says:

    When I said we should descend upon Wiki, I didn’t mean to edit my page. I just meant that in general there are many poets and poetry movements that need pages, or that need expansion, and that the people who are running the show are non-experts and need our help.

    My page does need editing, but all the information exists, it is just a matter of someone wanting to do the research. So, hopefully it will remain and evolve.

  10. DUSIE says:

    i concur Jessica…there are many many innovative, important post modern poets who are not there…and somehow, many smaller known &younger poets even (no jab intended ) who have really only just begun…it’s all about who is making the references I guess…

  11. Jessica Smith says:

    Yes, it seems very much to be about who behind-the-scenes happens to take an interest in whatever topic.

    But, unfortunately I am not getting paid to sit here and blog or to make webpages for neglectorinos… I have to go finish my papers for school! Perhaps when I am procrastinating about finishing my dissertation I will be a wiki-servant for the avant-garde.

  12. Steven Fama says:

    I agree, nobody’s too obscure for a Wikipedia page, if they want one.

    Yet I also believe that Wiki entires ought to conform to encyclopedia style.

    Based on that precept, the first line of your entry needs to be edited. Compare it to the first line in the wiki entries of other poets. Look for example to Emily Dickinson, or for that matter, Ron Silliman. The first lines of both these — and almost all others of similar subjects — do not include any adjectival characterization of their particular standing or role. The standard format simply states that a person was or is an “American poet.”

    So your entry should get rid of the “significant” in the first sentence. I’d also delete the word “young” from that first sentence too; that term is relative. Better to just put your birthdate in, and let the fact speak for itself.

    Also, I think the term “visual poet” is too narrow. You are a writer, poet, publisher, and student. So, the first line would read:

    Jessica Smith (born: XXXX) is a contemporary American poet, writer, publisher, and student.

    Further, imho, the quotes from Jarnot et al. that come from the back of the book ought to be identified as blurbs. Again, the entry should be objective, and thus just say what the things (quotes) actually are.

    Finally, to be encylcopedic, the entry ought to reference and quote from the entire spectrum of views on your work. By which I mean the reviews that didn’t like OFC.

  13. Jessica Smith says:

    Only Bernstein, Bök and Spahr are on the back of the book.

    Almost all the reviews of OFC, pos and neg, are linked from the OFC blog, except for one from Poesia, which I don’t have access to. Because I am obviously not going to *buy* the magazine only to read a negative review of my baby.

  14. Steven Fama says:

    Sorry about the mistake about the blurbs. I should of turned the dang book over here and looked. Thinking and writing sometimes doesn’t work perfectly for me, maybe especially on Sunday mornings.

    And yes, I know / knew that you link all reviews on your book’s site, and that’s great. I’m just saying the wikipedia entry ought to reference them all too, so as to be complete.

    By the way, I’m not sure I understand why Amish T. suggests above that the work on the entry needs to be done “my someone who is in no way affiliated with you.”

    Does wikipedia have some rule about that? My thought is that so long as the neutral point of view technique is maintained, anyone should be allowed to write.

    I mean, wikipedia permits anyone, even no-nothings, to write and edit. The clueless can be as “biased” by their ignorance as anyone who knows the subject can be “biased” by their personal connection. The genius and idiocy of wikipedia is that an attentive readership working together is supposed to get it right.

  15. myshkin2 says:

    I am not really anonymous. My name links to a profile/website. I came to your blog from Silliman, wanting to find out why, when he mentions you, the postings seem to automatically increase tenfold. My “real” name is Leonard Kress and this is my blog address:

    http://myshkin2.typepad.com/mysh/

  16. Mark says:

    I’m just psyched because now I have something to print out to give to my students to illustrate why Wikipedia is not a reputable source of information.

  17. Jessica Smith says:

    myshkin: thanks for introducing yourself.

    steve and mark: it’s an interesting illustration of the victors writing history. wikipedia seems to have its own internal politics. i’ve edited wikipedia pages before, but never created one, or perhaps i would have seen this earlier– what gets presented as significant seems to be the problem.

    more wiki internal politics here; my favorite part is:

    “Then I had to find random media coverage from an organ that the average wikipedia member would instantly recognize (not sure if I succeeded; Poets and Writers is a large circulation magazine, but you know what — a joke in the community itself!).”

  18. François says:

    I like how the discussion page states you are the only member of the visual poetic movement.

  19. Jessica Smith says:

    François, oh yes, didn’t you know that? What amuses me about that comment is that Wikipedia has pages about visual poetry. Like, it’s on your own damn website! C’mon people!

  20. Steven D. Schroeder says:

    Wikipedia is a mess, the poetry pages on it doubly so. I sure as hell wouldn’t want an entry there.

  21. Gillian says:

    Wow. I am slightly disturbed by the intensity of this discussion. I’m all for you having a wiki entry, although I’d suggest adding “has difficulty completing term papers” to it.

    Have you ever seen this wiki-related gem?

  22. Jessica Smith says:

    Haha Gillian. I’m almost done with them! *Groan*

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