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Smarterwiki Wikipedia Pitfalls and Solutions 2013
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Smarterwiki Wikipedia Pitfalls and Solutions 2013


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A presentation on the pitfalls and solutions to Wikipedia editing.

A presentation on the pitfalls and solutions to Wikipedia editing.

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  • 1. Wikipedia  
  • 2. Larger  educated  audience  than   Twi3er  or  Facebook   J?$ C?$     I?$ B@$     @?$ B?$     :&;&E#D&0$ A@$   !1&F#4$     H?$ C?$ G09#2++;$     A?$       @$   B?$ A?$   ?$      ?$   6+%,$(40D$    >+))#(#$D#(4##$     K$+L$&',#4'#,$.%#4%$    
  • 3. Wikipedia  has  more  college-­‐educated,   adult  online  readers  than  either  Twi3er   &  Facebook  according  to  data  from  the   Pew  Internet  &  American  Life  Project.  
  • 4. The  most  influenDal  site  on  earth  
  • 5. It  should  also  be  no  surprise  that   Wikipedia  tops  almost  all  search  results   or  that  it’s  been  ranked  as  the  most   influenDal  website  on  the  planet.  
  • 6. For  the  long-­‐term   O+.4%$QBK$+L$R!%$,0;#$E)09#$ A$"+.4$  &'$   $       B@$*&'.,#%$S$@$"+.4%$ O0)LP)&L#$+L$0$,1##,$     $   5N#40(#$)&L#%E0'$+L$0$   BBTU$"+.4%$    G09#2++;$E+%,$       ?$    @$  A?$      A@$      B?$      B@$   How  long  does  a  Wikipedia  arDcle  last?   For  the  foreseeable  future  
  • 7. One  interesDng  comparison  is  that   individual  tweets  and  Facebook  posts   last  less  than  24  hours,  but  a  Wikipedia   arDcle  lasts  for  the  foreseeable  future.  
  • 8. The  wall  of  humiliaDon   •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  Poli[cians   Governments   PR  agencies   The  Va[can   The  Mormon  Church   Amnesty  Interna[onal   The  FBI   Scientology   Exxon   Microsoe   Apple   Coca-­‐Cola   Disney   •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  Nestle   Pepsi   Diebold   CIA   Anheuser-­‐Busch   ChevronTexaco   Dell  Computers   MySpace   EA  Games   Fox  News   Sony   Wal-­‐Mart   The  Guardian  
  • 9. Lets   talk   about   some   of   the   issues.   The   biggest   one   being  is  what  we  call  the  wall  of  shame.  This  is  just  a   sampling   of   some   of   the   organiza[ons   that   have   gonen   involved   in   some   kind   of   public   controversy   over   their   par[cipa[on   on   Wikipedia.   But   not   all   of   them   necessarily   did   anything   wrong.   For   example   Exxon   replaced   bias,   uncited   and   one-­‐sided   informa[on   about   an   oil   spill,   with   equally   bias,   uncited   and   one-­‐sided   informa[on.   And   anyone   edi[ng   Wikipedia   from   the   corporate   network   could   result  in  this  kind  of  incident,  even  if  it’s  the  guy  from   the  mail  room  that  gets  on  Wikipedia  on  breaks.   So   the   message   a   lot   of   us   get   from   this   is   don’t   touch   Wikipedia.      It’s  risky.  
  • 10. But  how  do  we  prevent  this?   “Next  in  line   for  Chapter  11”   Source:  fired  employee  
  • 11. On  the  other  hand,  this  is  an  example  of   something   we   deleted   recently.   A   profitable   and   growing   mul[-­‐billion   dollar   company   had   a   small   layoff.   Shortly  aeerwards  someone  added  that   they   were   next   in   line   for   Chapter   11   and  their  investors  were  pulling  out.  It’s   rou[ne   to   find   Wikipedia   ar[cles   on   companies   that   are   wrinen   by   ac[vists,   fired   employees   or   someone   with   an   axe  to  grind.  
  • 12. Volunteers  haven’t  prioriDzed  your  page  
  • 13. Also,   without   interven[on,   the   quality   of   Wikipedia   ar[cles   are   generally   extremely   low.   This   data   is   based   on   an   analysis   of   more   than   2,500   Wikipedia   ar[cles   on   brands   and   the   Wikipedia   community’s   own   assessments   on   those   ar[cles.   85   percent   of   company   ar[cles   are   in   bad   shape,   but   only   10   percent   of   them   are   considered   important   by   Wikipedians.         When   we   went   to   the   Wikimania   conference   this   year,   we   talked  about  improving  the  coverage  of  African  culture  and   healthcare,  how  people  were  making  health  decisions  based   on  content  on  Wikipedia  or  how  judges  are  ci[ng  Wikipedia   in   court   rulings,   but   there   were   no   ini[a[ves   to   improve   the   coverage  of  business  topics  and  of  companies.  Your  ar[cle  is   important   to   you,   but   not   to   Wikipedia’s   editorial   community.  
  • 14. 5  strategies  
  • 15. Finding  middle-­‐ground   C@$     C?$     B@$   58.*G(     J?$     I?$     A@$     @?$     H?$     C?$     A?$     @$     B?$     A?$     B?$     ?$       ?$     ".-­‐*L(    
  • 16. So   this   brings   us   to   the   ul[mate   dilemma   most   organiza[ons   face,   especially   when   they   start   thinking  about  establishing  company  policy  about   Wikipedia.   Edi[ng   your   own   Wikipedia   ar[cle   isn’t   necessarily   unethical,   but   it’s   ethically   ambiguous.   Not   disclosing   your   iden[ty   may   be   considered   astroturfing.   It’s   extremely   risky   for   major  brands  to  edit  their  own  ar[cles  in  the  eyes   of  Wikipedians.  But  it’s  also  irresponsible  for  you   ignore   one   of   the   world’s   most   influen[al   websites,   especially   seeing   that   it’s   not   always   a   working  system  without  interven[on.  
  • 17. SmarterWiki   has   iden[fied   five   approaches   to   Wikipedia,   but   most   organiza[ons   don’t   realize  they  have  this  many  op[ons.  We  get   caught   in   this   false   dichotomy   where   most   companies   either   engage   in   the   risky   and   controversial  path  of  edi[ng  their  ar[cles  or   develop   a   complete   hands-­‐off   policy.   Most   of  us  can  find  bener  middle-­‐ground  through   strategies  that  rely  on:   transparent  community  collaboraDon.  
  • 18. The  five  approaches  to  Wikipedia   •  Hands-­‐off:  Zero  edits   •  Monitoring  &  response:  Correc[ng  overt  factual   correc[ons,  grammar  and  vandalism   •  Public  relaDons:  Be  a  resource;  answer  ques[ons,   provide  research   •  Content  markeDng:  Create  and  offer  high-­‐quality   content  to  the  editorial  community   •  Paid  ediDng:  Directly  edit  Wikipedia  
  • 19. There  are  three  reasons  for  a  company  to   develop  a  hands-­‐off  policy.  If  volunteer   editors  have  already  created  an  excep[onal   page,  if  the  company  doesn’t  meet   Wikipedia’s  notability  requirements,  or  if  the   company  has  a  nega[ve  reputa[on  such  that   genuine  improvements  to  the  ar[cle  would   only  make  the  company  look  bad.       We  can  also  take  a  very  passive  approach  by   just  monitoring  pages  for  blatant  errors  and   vandalism.    
  • 20. Where   most   companies   and   PR   agencies   should   find  themselves  is  doing  PR  on  Wikipedia  with  the   site’s   ci[zen   journalists.   This   means   answering   their   ques[ons   on   the   Talk   page,   providing   research,   dona[ng   images   and   just   being   helpful   the   same   way   we   would   with   professional   journalists.   This   approach   is   effec[ve   at   making   modest   improvements   to   ar[cles   that   already   have  engaged  editors  interested  in  the  topic.     It’s   inconsistent   and   may   take   years   before   an   editor  decides  to  use  the  sources,  but  it  requires   very   linle   exper[se   and   is   basically   something   an   entry-­‐level  professional  can  support.    
  • 21. We   create   some   of   the   best   arDcles   on   Wikipedia   on   execuDves,   brands   and   products,   and   we   transparently   offer   them   to   Wikipedia’s   editorial   community   as   contributed   content   for   their   consideraDon.   This   is   the   best   way   to   make   vast   improvements   to   Wikipedia   ethically,   but   it   requires   substanDal   experDse,   established   relaDonships   with   current   editors,  Dme  and  effort.     And  finally  paid  edi[ng  is  what  most  of  us  are  familiar  with  –  this   refers   to   just   edi[ng   your   page.   This   requires   fewer   resources   and   exper[se.   It   also   rou[nely   delivers   bias   or   promo[onal   ar[cles.  This  is  a  poor  choice  for  risk-­‐adverse  or  generally  ethical   organiza[ons,   but   it’s   effec[ve   as   a   low-­‐cost   method   and   for   organiza[ons   that   want   bias   ar[cles,   but   risky   and   unprofessional   method   of   working   with   Wikipedia.   As   seen   in   the   news   recently,   and   wrinen   about   in   ars   technica,   this   method  oeen  results  in  public  shaming.