Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Wikipedia and companies explained, by Lennart Guldbrandsson


Published on

It's not impossible for companies to work well with Wikipedia - just unlikely. Here's why, and how to overcome the problems. PR professionals and companies often want to work with Wikipedia, but don't know how to do it. This is based on a presentation I did at KWD Webranking awards in January, 2014, Stockholm, Sweden. Filmed version will be added as soon as it's published by KW Digital. Please help spread this message. (Commented version. Uncommented version here:

Published in: Marketing, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

Wikipedia and companies explained, by Lennart Guldbrandsson

  1. 1. Wikipedia & companies m e n ts With c.o m i n re d Lennart Guldbrandsson Wikimedia Sverige @AliasHannibal
  2. 2. Why companies should work with Wikipedia. Let's compare Wikipedia with some of the most trusted information websites. il l io n And no w o re than 5 0 0 m has m i p e d i a e a c h m o n th . . . Wik o rs vi s i t Data: ComScore
  3. 3. However, if companies engage Wikipedia in the same way as the Church of Scientology - with attempts at pushing their agenda they will face the same two consequences: 1. Being banned from editing Wikipedia 2. Facing media and the public's scorn for what they've done. The lesson here: if you want to work with Wikipedia, you'll have to do it our way. Read more:
  4. 4. Companies should follow the same rules as anyone else who want edit Wikipedia. Our five pillars is a good guide: 1. only encyclopedic material 2. only neutral material 3. only freely licenced material 4. in good collaboration with other Wikipedians 5. while using common sense Read more:
  5. 5. About 100 000 persons comprise the active group of Wikipedians. Most of us are easy-going, but we are a very diverse group, and there is no central editorial board, which makes it imperative to be patient and polite when you deal with Wikipedia. Read more: Here's me, at the yearly Wikipedia meetup, 2012, in Washington DC.
  6. 6. This is a printed version of Wikipedia's best articles. But the span between our best articles and our worst is great. It's just not single articles, either, but entire topics. Some topics are bad because we haven't gotten to them yet. Some topics are bad because the topic is difficult to write about. Company articles are difficult, for several reasons: 1. companies try to push PR into the articles 2. competitors and critics want to skew the articles negatively 3. few Wikipdians (relatively the number of articles) know a lot about the corporate world, i.e. we have a lack of business people among our editors 4. most companies have very little knowledge about their own history 5. most companies have very little time updating Wikipedia or learning its system. Read more:
  7. 7. Some companies use PR companies to write their articles for them. In some cases this turns out bad, and almost every time the media takes Wikipedia's side. Many Wikipedians want to forbid paid editing completely, since the writing so often is skewed and non-neutral. Others want to differentiate between paid editing and paid advocacy editing. Still other Wikipedians want to try to find a solution with the PR companies and their customers. We have no final good solution, yet.
  8. 8. A big reason why PR companies get it wrong is that they go the "dumptruck approach", i.e. just add a lot of text in one go, without working with the community and its rules. This often lead to...
  9. 9. ... the same thing as the scientologists: they get blocked and publicly ridiculed. So is there a solution? Yes. Next some dos and don'ts.
  10. 10. DON'T * share an account * threaten and/or demand action * create articles (it's too difficult for most newcomers) * remove negative information, such as information about a crisis or bad press * plagiarize, even your own website
  11. 11. DO First and most important: imitate other articles and veteran users! * remove obvious vandalism * create account, be open with your identity and bias * write on Talk pages * find users, ask for help * work on the history section, where it's often less controversial stuff * provide sources, such as links to annual reports * provide freely licenced images
  12. 12. Again, imitate other users and articles. For instance, look at the best articles by going to the one listed on the main page of Wikipedia and find out how your article could look.
  13. 13. If you should find yourself in trouble, use these ways to contact Wikipedia. Read more: 1. Talk pages 2.
  14. 14. & Wikimedia UK "Wikipedia Best Practice Guidance For Public Relations Professionals" PR professionals and Wikipedians together created a great guide for companies who want to work with Wikipedia without risking getting into trouble.
  15. 15. Questions?
  16. 16. Image sources *, CC-BY.SA 2,5, First Church of Xenu *, © ®, Lane Hartwell, David Peters, Jmkim dot com *, CC-BY-SA 3,0, Lisa N Marrs *, ©, Rob Matthews *, © *, © *, public domain, Jeremy Harris, U.S. Marine Corps *, public domain, Torsten Henning *, CC-BY-SA 2,0, The McClouds *, CC-BY-SA 3,0, Kunstkenner2305 *, public domain, David Henry Souter *, ® CIPR