Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bradley Joseph atop Wikipedia

The featured, front-page article on Wikipedia today is about musician Bradley Joseph.

His musical talents include "hired by Yanni", "lead keyboardist for Sheena Easton", and "included in multiple various-artist compilation albums, most recently the 2008 release of The Weather Channel Presents: Smooth Jazz II".

I can't imagine how many iterations of smooth jazz from the Weather Channel will ultimately be necessary to exhaust the genre, but apparently we're already up to Volume II.

There is some debate on the Wikipedia talk page about whether this article is truly encyclopedic, as it seems awfully self-promotional, and it lacks even one mote of negative criticism.
"Taking a look at the references it appears Joseph doesn't seem to register outside of the musical circles in which he is appreciated, a very unique situation which causes the article bias."

I do have to wonder how it is possible an article of this length and detail did not involve a financially-interested party at some point.

We all know that Wikipedia can be, in many cases, a marketing dynamo for the subjects portrayed within. Prior to today, Bradley Joseph's article was getting approximately 70 views a day. Now that it's on the Main Page, it will be opened today by between 30,000 and 100,000 people, and the intro blurb on the Main Page itself will capture the passing attention of at least 10 to 15 million additional people.

Joseph's music is backed by 15 talented musicians, some playing three or more different instruments, that make up a symphony of sounds ranging from quietly pensive mood music to a rich orchestration of classical depth and breadth. "
—Ken Moore, Naples Daily News

Loyal Wikipedians will tell you that they have a strict policy against exploiting Wikipedia for marketing or self-promotion purposes. Uh huh.

That's all I have for today, other than to mention that FCC chairman Kevin Martin was recently outvoted 4-1 by his fellow commissioners. Boo hoo.

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At 3:25 PM, June 24, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judy Garland, Harold Innis, and the band Wilco have also been featured on the main page this month, along with films, and albums. Who do you not call those promotional? You act like it is not okay for an editor to be interested enough in a notable topic to make the article the best it can possibly be. This article went through two full months as a "featured article candidate", highly scrutinized by many peers so that it conformed to policy and featured article criteria, of which it passed, and then was, as all featured articles are, eligible for the main page, this one being no exception.

At 10:26 PM, June 24, 2008, Blogger Gregory Kohs said...

Anonymous, I am delighted you brought up these comparisons, because they only serve to underscore my whole point.

Wilco returns 9.6 million Google hits; Judy Garland returns 4.6 million; Bradley Joseph returns 0.06 million. For heaven's sake, MyWikiBiz (my side-venture) returns 50% of the Google hits as Mr. Joseph.

In February, the Wikipedia article about Wilco had over 43,000 page views; Judy Garland had 104,000; and even dead non-entertainer Harold Innis had nearly 3,000. Bradley Joseph had less than 1,500 page views.

How about Alexa? Wilco's page has an estimated reach of 7,200 unique visitors in the past 3 months. MyWikiBiz.com reaches 2,800. Alexa estimates that Mr. Joseph has about 30 visitors to his site over the past three months.

His site's FAQ indicates that he's sometimes available to play business holiday parties and "even weddings".

As I said... thank you for helping me to prove my point. This person should barely have an article in Wikipedia. That his page content is 30% longer than that of Erik Satie's is practically a crime against music. It makes Wikipedia look more like an issue of The Onion than a reputable encyclopedia.

At 8:30 AM, June 25, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is but one man's opinion. And just that, an opinion, and Wikipedia policies are not based on your opinions. No where is it written in guidelines that a notable person should have a certain amount of google hits or "views", only that they be referred to in multiple reliable sources. If this gentleman didn't "derserve" to have an article on Wikipedia, clearly this article would never have made it to featured article status and thus, eligible for the main page. Maybe you should take your beefs with Wikipedia out on Wikipedia and not on a human being who is fortunate enough to have a Wiki editor interested enough in his career to contribute to his article, unlike Erik Satie -- better yet -- improve Erik Satie's article yourself.

At 8:39 AM, June 25, 2008, Blogger Gregory Kohs said...

Thou doth protest so much, methinks we've found the conflicted editor of the Bradley Joseph marketing piece -- I mean, "article".

Anyway, you say that an article about a person need "only that they be referred to in multiple reliable sources". Hmm... If that is true, I wonder why there is no article in Wikipedia about [[Gregory Kohs]] or about [[MyWikiBiz]]. Each of which have been mentioned (dare I say "featured"?) in many, many reliable sources. Articles about these subjects were created by independent editors of Wikipedia who did not stand to benefit from their creation. But the Wikipedian hive wasted no time in expunging these articles from the collection of 2.5 million other articles. We're not talking Main Page "featured" here, either -- just a plain old stubby article.

I'm convinced that if you're on Jimmy Wales' bad side, you don't get an article. We've certainly seen what happens to articles that are on Jimmy's good side ([[Rachel Marsden]], [[Jeff V. Merkey]], [[BonziBUDDY]], [[Jimmy Wales]], where do I stop?).


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