Although you may think you don’t need a Wikipedia specialist, you do. Professional Wikipedia editing is hard. It is not as easy as creating content and clicking publish. In theory, anyone can edit Wikipedia. Therefore, anyone can edit an entry about themselves or their business.
However, I strongly suggest letting a Wikipedia specialist write your company’s Wikipedia page for you.
Wikipedia specialists know Wikitext: also known as Wiki-code
There are two ways to create and edit pages on Wikipedia. Visually or using Wikitext. Wiki-text is the site’s mark-up. Wiki is similar to HTML.
However, Wiki takes most folks a while to learn. A Wikipedia specialist should know Wikitext. It’s not simple, but it’s not hard. Your specialist should send you the content as a Word doc, then code it.
Don’t make visual edits. Wikipedia’s visual editor may look tempting. It looks like any CMS. However, to most, visual edits seem suspicious. Covert ads went up four-fold upon its introduction.
Wikipedia specialists know Wikipedia’s culture
Wikipedia is one of the internet’s oldest online communities. Its members are a tech new world order. Its stance is rare in most online communities. While Wikipedia has no political agender, its users usually lean to the left. Most view businesses as a threat to the site’s neutrality.
Wikipedia introduced its COI policy after a string of incidents. Currently, the site wards off PR folks from trade pages. Instead, paid editors “should” suggest edits on their client’s talk pages. In theory, volunteer editors should review and add edit requests. In practice, they do the opposite.
However, most of Wikipedia’s volunteers do not recognise this policy. They will not assist paid editors as a matter of principle. Most volunteers will do the opposite of what companies ask them to do and use Wikipedia’s many policies and guidelines to justify their antisocial behaviour.
Have any professional Wikipedia editors played by Wikipedia’s rules and had success?
One disclosed paid editor did have some success using this technique, but following an article that appeared about him in the Huffington Post last year the community turned on him with this article in the Signpost triggering a slew of heated debate. Furthermore, editors nominated several pages made for high profile clients such as Facebook’s Caryn Marooney for deletion.
Due to the hostility which Wikipedia’s community shows towards paid editors, I do not recommend following Wikipedia’s policy for paid editing as you will not get your desired outcome. Instead, I recommend using someone who knows the rules, knows the telltale signs of paid editing and can avoid the mistakes that financially connected editors usually make.
A Wikipedia specialist should know the law
If editors spot paid content, they will either remove it. They do this to keep their site clean and fact based. Lukily, Wikipedia’s policing of its platform means the feds look the other way.
However, the Wikimedia Foundation (the non-profit that looks after Wikipedia’s donations and servers) considered taking legal action against Status Labs. To steer clear of strife, Wikipedia specialists should not post ads.
I will not post anything that a volunteer wouldn’t post. I will take extra care to follow Wikipedia’s content policies. Even if Wikipedia’s rules cost me a few bad clients. In my experience, those who respect Wikipedia and treat it as an encyclopaedia get a much better outcome.