Watching Wikipedia


Do you know what Wikipedia is saying about your company?

You should.

As this article about the brands called Hillary and Obama makes clear, the pages of the user-created encyclopedia see plenty of spin-doctoring and outright malice ("There was the day in February when an editor replaced a photo of Hillary on her Wikipedia page with a picture of a walrus") as emotions run high.

And people do get emotional about companies. With Wikipedia entries showing up near the top of Google rankings for many firms, it makes sense to check out your own listing from time to time.

People who think about this kind of stuff suggest announcing one's presence and affiliation in the relevant article's discussion page, and attempting to influence content from that vantage point.

It's pretty easy to figure out who modifies what at the site, and you don't want to look sneaky or defensive -- or, like Microsoft, get bad PR for "doctoring" your Wikipedia page -- so that's probably good advice.

It's also another good reason not to use Wikipedia to trash your competition. Not that you would do anything like that, of course.


4 Comments for "Watching Wikipedia"

  • Ed Cone May 02, 2008 2:22 pm

    Well, it does do something a laborious IP search doesn't do: eliminates the laborious part. It won't identify every contributor, but it will let you know if someone is modifying content from a fixed address of the sort your corporate PR person probably has. Sorry if I seemed to overpromise on its magic -- just meant to say that anonymity is not always what it seems, esp. from the type of locations the people I was writing about typically inhabit.

  • Gregory Kohs May 01, 2008 1:13 pm

    Ed, your response still didn't make it clear. Please use WikiScanner to tell me who SlimVirgin and Jayjg are. (Newyorkbrad has been identified.) News flash: WikiScanner doesn't do anything that a laborious search of Wikipedia by IP contributions wouldn't do. WikiScanner does not produce the name identities of pseudonymous editors.

  • Ed Cone April 02, 2008 7:28 pm

    You don't do it by intuition, you use a free service called WikiScanner. Sorry if I wasn't clear.

  • Gregory Kohs April 01, 2008 9:03 pm

    "It's pretty easy to figure out who modifies what at the site". What?! Could you please figure out who SlimVirgin and Jayjg and Newyorkbrad are?

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