|Headquarters||West Chester, Pennsylvania, US|
|Key people||Gregory Kohs (CEO)|
|Slogan(s)||Author Your Legacy|
|Alexa rank||621,124 (May 2014[update])|
|Type of site||Wiki|
|Registration||Optional (required to edit pages)|
recorded January 2014
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MyWikiBiz is a wiki directory that allows people and enterprises to write about themselves. The brand began as a service creating Wikipedia articles for paying corporations; the founder and owner of MyWikiBiz, Gregory Kohs, was soon blocked from Wikipedia. As of September 2012[ref], the MyWikiBiz directory contained over 80,000 pages of content, much of which was link spamming. The business is headquartered in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
In January 2014, the site's main page carried a notice stating that all but the 5,000 most viewed pages would be removed from public view, citing link spamming damaging the site's Google page rank.
Kohs and his sister started the MyWikiBiz venture in Pennsylvania in July 2006, initially as a paid editing service, writing content for inclusion in Wikipedia and other community-edited sites. He considered the example of Wikipedia's "reward board", where interested parties would offer cash rewards or gifts to create or improve Wikipedia articles, as indicating his venture was within community standards. MyWikiBiz's prices ranged between $49 and $99 USD for adding entries that conformed to Wikipedia's standards and policies. No official Wikipedia policy prohibited paid-for contributions. Kohs argued that there were tens of thousands of clearly notable companies and nonprofit organizations unrepresented on Wikipedia.
Professor Jonathan Zittrain of the Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society discussed the case of MyWikiBiz in his book The Future of the Internet – And How to Stop It. Kohs also appeared on Attack of the Show! on January 25, 2007, and discussed MyWikiBiz.
Paid editing issues
Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales called the commercialized editing "antithetical" to Wikipedia's mission and "absolutely unacceptable" and blocked Kohs' account from editing Wikipedia. However, in August 2006, Wales issued a "mutually beneficial" compromise where he encouraged MyWikiBiz to author and post content on a GFDL-compliant section of MyWikiBiz.com, which could then be scraped by non-paid, independent editors into Wikipedia and other GFDL sites. Kohs' company stated that he was committed to write only about notable companies in a Wikipedia-like style. The first few weeks that he wrote articles onto his own site saw ten articles transferred to Wikipedia that way.
In late October 2006, Kohs formed a partnership to promote and market a wiki-based directory at Centiare.com, after which Kohs moved its contents to MyWikiBiz.com. Heise Online expressed a suspicion that while MyWikiBiz's "attempted corporate infiltration" of Wikipedia was discovered, MyWikiBiz was not an isolated case.
2014 Wikimedia conference ban
In June 2014, Kohs was not allowed to present at or attend WikiConference USA 2014, a national Wikimedia conference, despite the assertion in the conference's press release that "WikiConference USA is open to all participants, regardless of previous level of involvement with Wikipedia or the Wikimedia projects."
- "Mywikibiz.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-06-18.
- Read, Brock (2007-01-24). "Wikipedia Blocks a Pay-for-Play Scheme". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
- Main page, Jan 2014
- Bergstein, Brian (2007-01-24). "Idea of paid entries roils Wikipedia". MSNBC/Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- MyWikiBiz.com (2006-08-08). "MyWikiBiz press release: Wikipedia – Open For Business". 24-7 Press Release. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- Metz, Cade (2008-02-06). "Wikipedia ruled by 'Lord of the Universe'". The Register. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- Peer, Mathias (2006-08-24). "Wikipedia-Artikel, die man kaufen kann (Wikipedia articles that you can buy)". Die Welt (in German). Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- Noisette, Thierry (2006-08-11). "Wikipedia, nouvel enjeu de relations publiques (Wikipedia, a new issue of public relations)" (in French). ZDNet. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
- Zittrain, Jonathan (2008). The Future of the Internet – And How to Stop It. Yale University Press. p. 140. ISBN 0-300-12487-2.
- dvinson (2007-01-15). "Attack of the Show: Blog, January 15, 2007". Attack of the Show: Blog. G4TV. Retrieved 2007-10-15. "Gregory Kohs, webmaster for mywikibiz.com and Molly Wood, the Executive Editor from C-Net join us tonight at 7PM to discuss!"
- Wales, Jimmy (2006-08-09). "MyWikiBiz". WikiEn-L. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- "Why the idea of paid entries annoys Wikipedia". Mail & Guardian. November 9, 2007. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
- "Centiare on the heels of Wikipedia". press release. 2007-01-05. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- Sebastian Ryszard Kruk, Bill McDaniel, and W. William D. McDaniel, ed. (2008). Semantic Digital Libraries. Springer. p. 58. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
- Jellen, Richard (2007-03-31). "Edit-War um Friedrich Merz (Edit War on Friedrich Merz)" (in German). Heise Online. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- Jack O'Dwyer, "Wikipedia Critic Kohs Banned from New York Meeting," O'Dwyer's, www.odwyerpr.com/ June 3, 2014. See also: Jack O'Dwyer, "Wikipedia Critic 'Condemned Without a Trial,'" O'Dwyer's, www.odwyerpr.com/ June 16, 2014.
- "Wikimedia Chapters Announce Wikipedia Conference 'Wikiconference USA,'" WikiConference USA 2014 Press Release, Jan. 28, 2014.