Few online projects impacted the Internet as profoundly as Wikipedia. The popularity of the webpage is also the primary reason why local and international brands are focusing on creating their own Wiki entries as it helps them boost their reputation. In fact, anyone interested in gaining more publicity can make a Wikipedia page to get noticed. However, few people realize that Wikipedia can also be used by competitors to malign a business or an individual.
Since anyone can easily edit a Wikipedia page, it is relatively simple to generate a “false” buzz on the Internet. For instance, someone savagely edited the Wiki entry of Marion Cotillard after the drama surrounding her name. Initially, someone made Wiki edits to the occupation field on the Wikipedia by writing, “Reason why the power couple broke up”. Later, the page changed once more by adding the word “cheater” to accompany the title of Singer and Actress. As a result, the Wikipedia entry showed, “Singer, Actress and Cheater”. While it may sound funny to some Wikipedia editors, such entries can easily damage the reputation of a celebrity. In addition, it can also spread rumors and false information. Just imagine how it will feel when a reader interested in knowing more about the actress visits the page just before the release of the movie “Allied”, also starring Brad Pitt.
Actually, this is one of the primary reasons why individuals and celebrities hire professional Wiki firms to create a Wiki page of his own. Professional services such as Get Your Wiki are examples of businesses that manage and market Wikipedia pages. The company hires professional editors, some of whom are existing Wikipedia editors, to create Wikipedia pages.
Another reason for hiring Wikipedia editors is the slightly complicated process of creating Wikipedia pages. Unknown is the fact that Wikipedia follows strict rules of entry. Without following rules, the page is deleted without warning or the creator is banned. For Wikipedia, such steps are necessary to maintain the integrity of information on the public site. Accordingly, Wikipedia entries can be difficult because writers need to provide accurate references for entry. Likewise, anecdotal evidence isn’t considered citation to Wikipedia. Therefore, Wikipedia also organizes “edit-a-thons,” organized events to create awareness on creating Wiki pages.
The cumulative Wikipedia growth effect
The Wikipedia is the free online encyclopedia of everything. Over 80,000 editors and writers donate their time and resources to edit Wikipedia articles every month. Unlike professional journalists, Wikipedia writers and editors work for free. Additionally, most of them are anonymous and work in an unstructured set up with no clear lines of authority. Barely 15 years after publishing its first articles, the English version of Wikipedia has over 5 million articles and 28 million registered users. The site’s ability to harness millions of volunteer Wikipedia editors intrigued two researchers, Stephan Seiler and Aleksi Aaltonen to study its effect. They analyzed 1,310 articles edited more than 63,000 times within eight years. The study found that edited articles tend to attract more editors. Due to the cumulative growth effect, the content for a typical article published between 2002 and 2010 grew significantly.
According to Seiler, Wikipedia is an interesting subject to study because much of its data is easily accessed and in a standard format. Seiler and Aaltonen used a dataset containing articles from the launch of Wikipedia in 2001 to 2010 to track the evolution of content across edits for a typical article. To make the study manageable, they used editorial changes about the Roman Empire because they were unlikely to be influenced by the current events. The study found that when an editor would update a Wikipedia page with new information it is equivalent to a half a sentence although some may be long. It was discovered that 43 percent of Wikipedia revisions are simple addition while only 8 percent are pure deletion. The remaining 49 percent is the combination of pure addition and simple deletion. The study concluded that articles get better and long due to cumulative growth effect.
Benefits of Wikipedia
Wikipedia is a powerful marketing tool for a business and personal branding. It is a wonderful open-source that can be edited by anyone. According to Get Your Wiki, most Wikipedia edits are done in good faith to build personal and business brand. Nonetheless, some may be malicious and can hurt your brand or company reputation. As such, Get Your Wiki offers a monitoring service that vets all pages in real-time to ensure that every edit is accurate and benefits the online encyclopedia. Additionally, Wikipedia as well as companies like Get Your Wiki act as instruments that preserve the dying languages. It also promotes digital literacy in different languages other than English. It is the only web-based project accessed by everyone freely.
Recently, somebody menacingly decided to edit a Wikipedia page belonging to Larry Madowo who is a Kenyan television news anchor. His defaced Wikipedia page portrayed him as a politician who was born in 1889 and was the leader of the Kazi Party in Kenya. The story continues to state that he was the Chancellor of Kenya and Lehrer of the Kazi Kenya party who initiated World War II in Europe.
Through these Wikipedia revisions, he is also depicted as a central figure in the Holocaust that happened during this period. The defaced page further states that Larry was born in Tororo, Uganda and later moved to Kenya where he was decorated for his service at the Girl Scout movement in World War II era for selling cookies. It is also written that he attempted a coup in Kisumu to seize power from the Girl Guide Movement. The article ends by stating that currently, Larry is a news anchor who is probably a vampire.
Wikipedia is a collaborative encyclopedia that is available online for its users. The site does not hire Wikipedia editors to write content like any other encyclopedia, but it is an open source site that allows people and business entities to post articles. If properly utilized, Wikipedia can be an effective marketing tool for any business or personal branding. It offers many benefits and among them include the ability to not only edit but create a Wiki page for your business, biography or brand post on its website. This can provide significant improvement to your business or brand reputation.
In addition to that, it fosters an improvement in the level of credibility and authenticity to your business or persona. This is something that many individuals and businesses desire. Wikipedia will also enable you or your business to produce a significant increase in sales and also enhance your visibility on search engines. However, the writing guidelines in Wikipedia are very cumbersome and grueling for a new user. Which is why some decide to hire a Wikipedia expert and defer to their experience.
One is required first to register an account which has a minimum number of approved Wikipedia edits restrictions. The site does not also encourage self-promotion, and suspicions of such acts are reprimanded with flaggings or deletions. Companies, therefore, require expert help in creating Wikipedia pages to avoid deletion.Wikipedia is the type of site that any business should engage in. It is hard to ignore Wikipedia as a business or an individual entity.