Incredible free advertising idea (well, I think so anyway)
Did you know Weird Al Yankovic had a single called eBay? [MP3] It's a reasonably chuckle-worthy effort, but probably only to those of us who grew up with songs such as Eat It and Like A Surgeon.
Tell me why (I need another pet rock)
Tell me why (I got that Alf alarm clock)
Tell me why (I bid on Shatner's old toupee)
They had it on eBay
Gonna buy (a slightly-damaged golf bag)
Gonna buy (some Beanie Babies, new with tag)
(From some guy) I've never met in Norway
Found him on eBay
Harmless stuff, yes and I hadn't even heard of this song until about two days ago, yet here I am telling you all about it. The question is: Where did I hear about it?
On Wikipedia, that's where. I was researching the history of the auction site eBay and this disclaimer appeared at the very top of its article on the company:
This article is about the online auction center. For the "Weird Al" Yankovic song, see eBay (song).
I've seen the disambiguation disclaimer many times in the past but this time a light went off. You see on the one hand, eBay is a multi-billion dollar international behemoth with offices all around the globe and a public profile as big as Barbra Streisand. On the other, Weird Al is just a funny has-been making infantile parody songs (no offence).
But Al gets top billing.
If I release a song and write a Wikipedia page describing it, how many visits will I get? Zero. But if I call my song (for example) The Military History of France then it will appear prominently ABOVE the content of a genuinely useful article about the subject, and no doubt accessed by God knows how many millions of history students throughout the year.
Ok so this is a disgusting marketing idea which might end up ruining Wikipedia. Now I hate myself.