business

Sickipedia: gaming Wikipedia for fun or for profit

on Feb 11 in business, hints and tips, social media, strategy posted by

Thought of the Day, Feb 12, 2009

I guess some companies just don’t get it, or at least their employees don’t. Watch my lips — mess with social media and you will be found out. 

A case in point is Wikidgame, a site run by Wired’s Reddit. The site highlights nefarious edits made to Wikipedia by companies or organizations for purposes of padding their information or hiding juicy tidbits. Users get to vote on the “best” edit, which usually means the worse from a company’s standpoint. Unfortunately, it also points to a basic flaw of the online encyclopedia, that anyone can spin their story, at least until Wikipedia editors catch on to it.

Examples:

  • Exxon Mobil Cleans up Valdez Oil spill history
  • Nestle sweeps criticisms under the rug and off its own Wikipedia entry
  • Someone from Wal-mart edited out their competitors’ links
  • Dow Chemical employee removing “Environmental and human rights controversies”

AND (my personal favorite)

  • Very unbecoming edits to Rush Limbaugh’s page by someone with the Democratic Party.

Wikipedia’s shortcomings aside, the lesson here is that companies cannot hide for long in today’s immediate, 24/7, global world. Transparency, honesty and openness are the currency of high quality relationships, in business as well as personally.

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