The importance of your reputation on Wikipedia

protect your reputation on Wikipedia

What comes to mind when you think of monitoring social media? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn? One site often overlooked by corporations is Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone. Using Wikipedia has both positives and negatives. On the positive side, there is a vast amount of information available on every topic imaginable. On the negative side, since it is open to everyone, inaccurate or damaging information is often posted – a threat to anyone’s reputation.

A few things to remember when considering Wikipedia:

  • Make sure you include Wikipedia as part of your social media monitoring. Check daily if necessary. You can also watch Wikipedia changes via RSS feeds or email alerts.
  • Wikipedia has a huge policy and guidelines section. Ensure you read and understand these before you begin editing.
  • Wikipedia entries have a high search ranking and are usually one of the top results for any search term. If your company doesn’t have a page, make sure you create one. It’s yet another way searchers can find you online.
  • Focus on fixing inaccuracies on your Wikipedia post. If you want to do a major rewrite, consider going to the talk section to discuss your proposed changes with the Wikipedia community editors.
  • Write factual, balanced entries. The community edits the content and will remove your changes if they’re deemed to be biased.
  • Include citations – links to verify content – in your Wikipedia post. These citations should be high quality and trustworthy websites and blogs
  • Wikipedia can track IP addresses of those editing its content. WikiScanner can link IP address and location to Wikipedia edits. Employees at most major companies, including Wal-Mart and Electronic Arts, have been caught making changes to their own entries.

With the increased attention on other social media sites, Wikipedia is the often forgotten information source. Yes, you want to make sure your Wikipedia entry is truly representative of your company, but as with all other social media, you also want to be transparent online. Remember, Google is your new home page and with Wikipedia at the top of your search results, what do you want people to see? Objective, high quality information? Or inaccurate, negative slander?

Jeff Voon

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~ by Wilcox Group Team on July 5, 2010.

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