The Problem With Wikipedia

Once while I was talking about researching stuff for my novels, I told one of my author friends, Jon Lewis, that my editor made me find a native Italian speaker to look over the Italian phrases I put in How To Take The Ex Out Of Ex-boyfriend. Jon laughed a lot about that. He said one day he was going to write a book on research called: Wikipedia, It’s Close Enough to the Truth
For Me.

And granted, he may have a point. You can find anything on Wikipedia. I had to learn some stuff about martial arts and–bam–Wikipedia has the history of, origins of and names of dozens of different types.

I was marveling about this to middle daughter. “I don’t know who spends the time to write all of this stuff,” I said. “I haven’t even bothered to write the page about me.”

“There’s a page about you?” she asked.

“Yep,” I said. “I have no idea who wrote it, but it lists all of my books.” To prove the point I typed my name into the search engine. It gave the basic boring information about me and then said, She lives with her husband and five children one of which is named Gaston. In “Just one wish” it is comically and truthfully stated that Gaston is believed to be the coolest.

Hmm, apparently Gaston’s friends know how to edit Wikipedia and are adding their own opinions.

See, that’s the problem with Wikipedia.


  1. Cindy R. Williams
    September 2, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Fun post. I think I will do some Wikipedia checking and updating myself, just for the fun of it you know.

  2. Kami
    September 3, 2009 at 7:44 am

    That’s awesome. I started to wonder if it wasn’t in fact Gaston who wrote it in the first place. I hate using Wikipedia, but it does have a lot of info, darn it!

  3. Sara
    September 3, 2009 at 10:47 am

    That sounds like something my brother and/or his friends would definitely do!

  4. Kaylie
    September 3, 2009 at 10:51 am

    First they make you think, then they make you do research, then you have to write…this author stuff is way too hard for me.

  5. Heather B. Moore
    September 3, 2009 at 11:23 am

    You ARE famous! I’m on there under the Whitney Award page, but I have yet to write me up. Ha. Ha.

  6. Amber Lynae
    September 3, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    That is awesome. You are Wikipedia famous.

    I also just had to say I finished My Fair Godmother on Monday, and I have been enjoying it in my head ever since. I think I might require another read soon. I just love, love, loved it. And I will be reading more of your work.

  7. Janette Rallison
    September 3, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    We at first suspected that Gaston had in fact written that bit about himself, but when we pointed it out to him he was surprised. I wonder if he’ll figure out which friend did it. (Twenty bucks says it was a girl.)

  8. Asenath
    September 3, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    I bet it was some girl who reads your blog all the time and can’t stop looking at “Gaston’s” picture.

    I’m a little offended no one has put my name on there. Guess your guy audience isn’t as big…

  9. Holly
    September 8, 2009 at 6:36 am

    So I was looking at your profile on Wikipedia today, and now it says

    “Rallison . . . lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband and five children one of which is named Luke. In “Just one wish” it is comically and truthfully stated that Luke is believed to be the coolest.”

    So it seems Gaston got ousted and now Luke is the coolest. 🙂

  10. Shannon Messenger
    September 9, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    I love wikipedia (I even have the app on my iphone). But that’s probably because I write fantasy and anytime I need weird ideas I can turn there (there’s no shortage of crazy subject matter). But it would be weird to have a page about me. I think I’d be tempted to edit it all the time with random, embellished facts just to throw my friends off. You show TREMENDOUS restraint for resisting the urge.

  11. LuveitsGrreat
    September 10, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    I checked and it said Luke was the coolest…

  12. Erin Edwards
    September 14, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Very, very funny!

  13. Julie Wright
    September 15, 2009 at 9:55 am

    That is awesome!

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