More and more, I find myself starting at Wikipedia when I want to get a basic understanding of a topic foreign to me. Despite the potential for inaccuracies, I’ve found it useful for at least pointing me in the right direction when it comes to, say, pop culture phenomena that had escaped me (and, in some cases, thankfully so).
Now, thinking a year or two out, I’m wondering whether it might make sense (i.e. be smart marketing) for me to get involved in editing (or, in the case of The Day-Glo Brothers, creating) Wikipedia entries for the topics I’m writing about.
In a thoroughly unscientific study (sample size: one), I found that the entry for Phineas Gage does indeed mention John Fleischman‘s splendid biography for young readers as a source for further information.
I wonder how many books Fleischman has sold as a result of the Wikipedia entry? That would probably make my decision for me — if I could sell more books by having a hand in the most prominent (though not definitive) online source for information on that topic, I’d be inclined to do it. If I couldn’t sell more, would it still be worth my time, for some reason I haven’t considered?