Wikipedia:Existence does not prove notability
This is an essay on notability.
It contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. This page is not an encyclopedia article, nor is it one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.
"I think, therefore I am," while a powerful philosophical statement, cannot be extended to Wikipedia. In other words, you cannot reword Descartes' famous quote to "I think, therefore I am notable". You do not qualify to have an article on Wikipedia simply because you exist. Your dearly departed relatives do not qualify to have an article simply because they existed. Your bouncing bundle of joy on the way does not qualify to have an article simply because they will exist. Leprechauns and fairies do not qualify to have an article simply because people think they exist – but their place in the world's culture makes them notable. If any of those have articles, then there are other reasons why they are notable.
What is notable?
Being notable basically means people might actually care about who you are and what you do, enough to write an article of decent length in an encyclopedia. If you're pretty sure you wouldn't find yourself in the Encyclopedia Britannica, World Book Encyclopedia, Encarta, or any number of other actual encyclopedias that don't just directly mirror our information, chances are you're not going to find yourself on Wikipedia anytime soon.
But my band's ready to hit the big time!
That's great! I don't care! A zillion other bands across the world are making exactly the same claim, and only a handful of them are notable. Come back when you actually do, and in the meantime don't slap your MySpace link on a Wikipedia page. MySpace and Facebook are Bad Things when trying to establish notability, because all it can say with some degree of reliability is that you exist. And even that has to be taken with a grain of salt unless you have something else to back it up, as just as anyone can edit Wikipedia, anyone can make a MySpace or Facebook page about anything, even something that doesn't exist. Basically, having a MySpace/Facebook does not prove you are notable, and providing it as a source generally means you are not notable.
So how do I become notable?
As a rule of thumb, in order to be notable, you need to have received coverage in more than one independent reliable source, such as two different unsolicited news articles, about something that is going to make you considered noteworthy. For example:
- You're discussed nontrivially in the Local Lowdown and the Tinyville Telegram for winning your middle school's spelling bee. Are you notable? Probably not.
- You're discussed nontrivially in the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Times for winning the Maryland Spelling Bee. Are you notable? Maybe.
- You're discussed nontrivially in the New York Times and on CNN.com for winning the National Spelling Bee. Are you notable? Probably.
One really good way to see if you're notable enough for Wikipedia is if someone you don't even know wrote an article about you. Then you know you're known outside of your local community, and better yet, someone else has written the article, so there's no conflict of interest.
Exceptions to your being notable include your article violating Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons#Subjects notable only for one event or Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not (e.g. WP:NOTNEWS) .