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Ch02 Part1-1 - What is Social Media (Research)

Page history last edited by ym@... 12 years, 11 months ago



Ch02 Part1-1 - What is Social Media (Research)






1.       Wikis


Note: Items in quotation marks are extracts from webpages - links to the original webpages are cited alongside




1.      Wikis


·          Inventor of wikis




in order to make the exchange of ideas between programmers easier, Ward Cunningham started developing the WikiWikiWeb in 1994 based on the ideas developed in HyperCard stacks that he built in the late 1980s.





"Note that this page is only a reconstruction from memory of intentions I held at the beginning. Additional principles, like server robustness, have been forced upon me.

·         Open - Should a page be found to be incomplete or poorly organized, any reader can edit it as they see fit.

·         Incremental - Pages can cite other pages, including pages that have not been written yet.

·         Organic - The structure and text content of the site are open to editing and evolution.

·         Mundane - A small number of (irregular) text conventions will provide access to the most useful page markup.

·         Universal - The mechanisms of editing and organizing are the same as those of writing so that any writer is automatically an editor and organizer.

·         Overt - The formatted (and printed) output will suggest the input required to reproduce it.

·         Unified - Page names will be drawn from a flat space so that no additional context is required to interpret them.

·         Precise - Pages will be titled with sufficient precision to avoid most name clashes, typically by forming noun phrases.

·         Tolerant - Interpretable (even if undesirable) behavior is preferred to error messages.

·         Observable - Activity within the site can be watched and reviewed by any other visitor to the site.

·         Convergent - Duplication can be discouraged or removed by finding and citing similar or related content.

There are many Wiki authors and implementers. Here are some additional principles that guide them, but were not of primary concern to me.

·         Trust - This is the most important thing in a wiki. Trust the people, trust the process, enable trust-building. Everyone controls and checks the content. Wiki relies on the assumption that most readers have good intentions. But see: AssumeGoodFaithLimitations

·         Fun - Everybody can contribute; nobody has to.

·         Sharing - of information, knowledge, experience, ideas, views...


·         Interaction - This enables guest interaction.

·         Collaboration - We believe that this could make a good collaboration tool, both synchronously and asynchronously.

·         Platforms - We like the cross-platform implications.

·         Social Networks - Its power for supporting the work of social networks is great."


·          Wiki Tools


30 wiki tools - http://mashable.com/2007/07/16/wiki-toolbox/


·          Wikipedia


o        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About - "is a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project. Wikipedia is written collaboratively by volunteers from all around the world. With rare exceptions, its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the Internet, simply by clicking the edit this page link. The name Wikipedia is a portmanteau of the words wiki (a type of collaborative website) and encyclopedia. Since its creation in 2001, Wikipedia has grown rapidly into one of the largest reference Web sites."



 Editing policy and Microsoft kerfuffle


§         "Wikipedia is a bit odd in that the experts on a given subject are the only people not welcome to participate (their methods for making these points, however, are leaving a very bad taste in my mouth). Nick Carr put it well today when he said: “It seems like we’re getting to the point where anyone who has gained deep enough knowledge of a subject to have developed a point of view on it will be unwelcome to edit Wikipedia." http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/01/25/microsofts-v-wikipedia-round-2 [for more on Nick Carr, see Ch02 – Brief History doc]


§         http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/01/24/battleground-wikipedia/ - "Doug Mahugh at Microsoft freely admitted to doing this in a comment to a Slashdot article on the matter. According to another source, a Microsoft spokesperson also chimed in, saying that they believed the article were heavily written by people at IBM, a rival standard supporter, and that Microsoft had gotten nowhere flagging mistakes to Wikipedia’s volunteer editors. However, the discussion area of the Wikipedia page in question does not show any Microsoft involvement.

"Microsoft clearly didn’t feel comfortable making direct changes to article about their technology, and frankly they can’t really be blamed for that. Editing an article about yourself is considered a conflict of interest by many in the Wikipedia community, and people are routinely trashed for doing so."


§         New York Times 17.06.2006 - http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/17/technology/17wiki.html?ex=1189396800&en=78bfd0d1c23c2f07&ei=5070 "At its core, Wikipedia is not just a reference work but also an online community that has built itself a bureaucracy of sorts — one that, in response to well-publicized problems with some entries, has recently grown more elaborate. It has a clear power structure that gives volunteer administrators the authority to exercise editorial control, delete unsuitable articles and protect those that are vulnerable to vandalism.

Those measures can put some entries outside of the "anyone can edit" realm. The list changes rapidly, but as of yesterday, the entries for Einstein and Ms. Aguilera were among 82 that administrators had "protected" from all editing, mostly because of repeated vandalism or disputes over what should be said. Another 179 entries — including those for George W. Bush, Islam and Adolf Hitler — were "semi-protected," open to editing only by people who had been registered at the site for at least four days. (See a List of Protected Entries)"


§         http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/2007/08/wiki_tracker See Who's Editing Wikipedia - Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign 14 aug 07

"Some of this appears to be transparently self-interested, either adding positive, press release-like material to entries, or deleting whole swaths of critical material.

"Voting-machine company Diebold provides a good example of the latter, with someone at the company's IP address apparently deleting long paragraphs detailing the security industry's concerns over the integrity of their voting machines, and information about the company's CEO's fund-raising for President Bush."


§         Corporate editing of Wikipedia revealed 19 aug 07 - http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/08/19/business/wiki.php  International Herald Tribune - "Last year, someone edited the Wikipedia entry for the Sea World theme parks to change all mentions of "orcas" to "killer whales," insisting that this was a more accurate name for the species./// There was another, unexplained edit: A paragraph about criticism of Sea World's "lack of respect toward its orcas" disappeared./// Both changes, it turns out, originated at a computer at Anheuser-Busch, Sea World's owner."




I'd really like to ask for input from a reputation management expert with special expertise re online matters to discuss this issue in more depth:


The questions I'm interested to explore are:

# How might Microsoft have handled the situation in another way that could have lessened the kerfuffle?

# Given that companies/ brands can be tracked making amendments to Wikipedia now, what is the impact on their brand of trying to make these amendments (a) themselves (b) via a hired gun?

# What should a company/ brand do if they find themselves written up erroneously or even maliciously on Wikipedia and similar sites?

- as a first response

- and then if it needs to escalate

# Apart from trying to deal with it on Wikipedia or such other third party site, how else might they handle the problem? eg on their own blog, if they have one etc?

# Is this sort of thing preventable? Or minimisable? If so, how?



Wikipedia and fake professor


Fake professor in Wikipedia storm – BBC 6 March 2007 - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/6423659.stm - "The editor, known as Essjay, had described himself as a professor of religion at a private university.  But he was in fact Ryan Jordan, 24, a college student from Kentucky who used texts such as Catholicism for Dummies. He has now retired from the site."


Even New Yorker taken in - http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2007/02/never_trust_an.php

Nicholass Carr’s blog - "Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikia and of Wikipedia, said of Essjay's invented persona, "I regard it as a pseudonym and I don't really have a problem with it."

If credentials don't matter, why bother faking them? /// Ah, well, Schiff put it best in the final line of her article: "Your truth or mine?""


The New York Times 05 March 2007 - http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/05/technology/05wikipedia.html?ex=1330750800&en=f79cc41f899c2de6&ei=5090 "The Essjay episode underlines some of the perils of collaborative efforts like Wikipedia that rely on many contributors acting in good faith, often anonymously and through self-designated user names. But it also shows how the transparency of the Wikipedia process — all editing of entries is marked and saved — allows readers to react to suspected fraud./// After the [New Yorker] article appeared, a reader contacted The New Yorker about Essjay’s real identity,"


More comment and links to commentators - http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/archives/001162.html




DISCUSSION OF WIKIPEDIA KERFUFFLE AND FAKE PROFESSOR may need to be moved to later section re Ch02 Part 3-1 - Authenticity, Openness and Trust (Research) rather than discussed in detail here in the What is Social Media section.



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