Wikipedia Scanner: open season on companies

Since Virgil Griffith launched Wikipedia Scanner, it’s been open season on organizations whose IP addresses are linked to changes made to entries on the popular DIY encyclopedia. For example…

  • PRWeek’s UK edition notes that “PR agencies are flouting Wikipedia rules demanding they do not edit the site. At least six of the PRWeek top ten UK agencies have edited the site in the past year…FD is the biggest offender filing 25 edits, primarily concerning clients Russ DeLeon and Ruth Parasol—founders of the online gambling company PartyGaming.”
  • Wired is taking and publishing submissions in a posting titled “Vote on the Most Shameful wikipedia… Read More »

Help define business transparency

I was supposed to be a guest speaker at a meeting on the East Coast last Friday. I was invited by PodCamp founder John Havens, who set up a BlogTalk Radio connection. The group waited for me, but I suffered a computer crash (the first—and still the only—since installing Vista). The dial-in number was on my computer, and by the time I got back up and running, nobody was looking for my call any longer. I sat on hold, but the meeting was well underway.

The topic was transparency and what it really means (as opposed to the inaccurate definitions that have been applied to it in various corners). To faciliate the discussion, I set up a page… Read More »

Wikis in plain English

I don’t know what’s so complicated about wikis, but try explaining them to someone who’s never heard of them before, and they just can’t seem to grasp it. Thank goodness for Lee LeFever over at CommonCraft, whose new video does for wikis what his last video did for RSS. The next time you need to explain a wiki to someone, just show them this:

Lessig asks his readers to respond to NYT editorial

Author Mark Helprin, writing in The New York Times, has proposed a “perpetual copyright.” His argument revolves around the notion that other properties, like buildings, can be owned forever. Why not intellectual works?

For me, the answer is easy, as articulated by the Constitutional Law Foundation:

Patents and copyrights are grants to the holder, by the state, of monopoly powers, for a specific period of time, for a specific reason. The goal is to provide incentive for invention and art. The balancing concern is that one can stifle endeavor, raise the price of entry to enterprise, or lock away the ‘building blocks’ of science, art and…

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Join Jaffe’s conversation

Using a blog to share drafts of book chapters is getting to be less and less of a renegade approach to authoring. Shel Israel and Robert Scoble got a lot of attention for it with their Naked Conversations blog. Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, has announced he’ll do it for his upcoming book.

It’s a great approach, of course, producing feedback from your target audience that will help you improve the next draft and make it more relevant to prospective readers. But commenting is the limit of the blog’s utility. A wiki would let readers rewrite and add original content. Now that’s interesting.

And that’s what Joseph Jaffe… Read More »

Manufactured or mobile? Who decides?

Kami Watson Huyse has begun a very interesting experiment I’ll be watching with keen interest. In response to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales’ interview in PRSA’s Tactics, Kami has followed Wales’ advice and posted suggested changes to a Wikipedia entry in its related “discussion” section.

Wales is vehemently opposed to anybody altering or adding content to Wikipedia if they have been paid to do it. He finds the practice hugely unethical, regardless of whether the contribution was truly neutral in its point of view (a requirement for all Wikipedia posts). Instead of posting directly, Wales suggests PR reps (and others representing an… Read More »

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