Years ago, I got a piece of junk mail inviting me to be in Who’s Who.
Apparently, this used to be very exciting news. Pre-web, Who’s Who was the best way to tell if someone was connected. You went to the library and looked someone up. You could see (most important) if they were in the book, and then you could see where they went to school, who they married, what they did, what clubs they belonged to…
Wikipedia, of course, changed all that. Wikipedia knows all and tells all, and it doesn’t even try to sell you something. Wikipedia is my favorite web destination of all.
Lately, though, the folks at Wikipedia are drawing a line about who’s important enough to be inside. A good friend attempted to post her bio and was rejected, "not notable enough."
Are you notable enough? I think so.
It occurs to me that the web is redefining what notable means, and so are we. Famous used to mean Gene Kelly and Mae West, or Sandy Weil and Bill Gates. But with the long tail, notable means: you’re the #1 player on your tennis team; you’re the top of your marketing department; you’re a blogger lots of people read and talk about — you’re the best and most" notable" in your niche, however small. That’s the kind of famous that SquidWho is about…
This being the web and not the real world, we decided to take matters into our own hands and launch SquidWho. The people-powered open who’s who online. If you think someone is notable enough to warrant a bio, then they are. Your call, not ours, not some invisible editor’s.
If you don’t like the bio you see on someone, build a better one. It’s free. Royalties go to charity. Best one wins. (Here’s a good one).
The obvious ones (Bono, Mother Theresa and Jaco) are already taken, but that’s okay. Build a better one. Not to mention the room for six billion more.