Wikipedia was officially launched on Monday, January 15, 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. There is controversy over using Wikipedia though. Most schools from grade school through college inform their students to not use Wikipedia. The reason for this is due to the fact that there is truly no central authority governing Wikipedia. This can also be seen as a pro to many individuals as well. Rather than one person, or company, controlling the content the entire Internet of billions of people are allowed to contribute, enhance and validate each and every article.
As we were finishing up our LinkedIn series we prompted and asked others to provide some thoughts on future blog posts that they would be interested in. Tom Meschede suggested a posting on "Something on the uses of Wikipedia for your company." We had others suggest search engine optimization (SEO), social media integrations, security, Facebook page creations and a few others. We will be doing each and every one of those as well. We decided to start out with the most unique and challenging of them as we always look for challenges as well as articles that you don't see people covering.
We felt it best to start out with what a wiki is as everyone understands what an encyclopedia or dictionary is. A wiki is a piece of server software that will allow users to freely create and edit content using a web browser. A wiki is a collaborative group discussion on one or more topics that people are passionate about. The contributions can be edited by everyone using an open edit methodology. There are commercial products, like Microsoft SharePoint that allow business users to create private corporate wiki pages for team members to work and share knowledge.
We are going to start this discussion covering public wiki pages. There are many wiki style sites on the Internet. For this blog article we are going to cover the defacto standard most everyone is familiar with: Wikipedia.org.
First and foremost to qualify for a Wikipedia page you need to have Notability. Notability is being worth of notice, having fame, or being considered to be of a high degree of interest, significance, or distinction. It also refers to the capacity to be such. Persons who are notable due to public responsibility, accomplishments, or, even, mere participation in the celebrity industry are said to have a public profile. Does your business qualify to this? If you strongly believe the answer is yes then you truly may qualify for a Wikipedia page. If you don't feel strongly that you do then a Wikipedia page is most likely not (yet) for your business. If you don't qualify for one this gives you something you could set as a goal to strive for.
As we dug we found several articles, recorded webinars and web workshops that started out to not do Wikipedia for your business. Even if you have the notability for one. We can truly understand this from a standpoint of a small business as anyone and everyone can make modifications and additions to a Wikipedia article. This could leave open space for competitors or unhappy customers posting negative items about your business. Once you have a Wikipedia page created it is recommended to monitor your page to make certain it is always showcasing your business in the highest degree possible.
Let's say you have passed the notability point, are not concerned about the negatives of a Wikipedia page, and you feel you should have a Wikipedia page. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia. A page cannot be thrown together and become a part of the living Wikipedia community. This takes a lot of thought and effort. Below are some of the key steps for creating a Wikipedia page and being successful in getting it accepted.
When you do create your article one item to remember is that pictures are visually appealing to everyone. As Wikipedia gets new articles having pictures that work with and support the article can help get the article accepted within the Wikipedia system.
Note: Another important item when writing your Wikipedia article is about Conflict of Interests. If you are writing on behalf of a company or person you need to make note of this.
The public Internet allows anyone with Internet access to contribute. Corporate pages are where businesses can share internal knowledge and information among employees. For our discussion we will be limiting to Microsoft SharePoint for our covering of a wiki in the corporate culture. In a public setting a wiki page has the potential to be edited by millions of users. Within the corporate environment a wiki page is typically accepted automatically and edited by only a few even if thousands have access to a wiki. Creating a business wiki page should go through the same steps you would for the public Internet. The reason is having complete and accurate information is key to the overall success of wiki page.
For example, within Microsoft SharePoint when a project is created we will create a wiki page so that other developers come on board they can get up to speed about the project in a quick and timely manner.
A wiki page can be used by both regular Internet users and businesses. For a business the process is a lot simpler due to a smaller target audience but otherwise are the same. A wiki page is a collaborative effort to create information that is useful to a group of individuals.
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