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Hello, I am William Beutler, a writer and entrepreneur in Washington, D.C., where I have lived since August 2002. I was born in Portland, Oregon in September 1979 and grew up there before attending and graduating from the University of Oregon in Eugene in June 2002. From August 2002 through March 2006 I was a writer with National Journal's The Hotline. From April 2006 through July 2010 I was a social media strategist and client manager with New Media Strategies (NMS) in Arlington, Virginia. In August 2010 I decided to hang out my own shingle, and in May 2013 we decided to call ourselves Beutler Ink.
In March 2005, I co-created The Blogometer, which I wrote until leaving for NMS. From July 2006 of that year until my most recent post, I have written about politics and blogging plus traditional and social media at Blog P.I. Other blogging activity has focused on national media and politics at Armed Prophet (2003-05) and goings-on around the District at The Washington Canard (2004-09). You can also find me on Twitter at @williambeutler. As an undergraduate at Oregon, I served for two years as editor-in-chief of a student-funded magazine, the Oregon Commentator (est. 1983).
As of March 2009, I write a blog about Wikipedia, The Wikipedian, intended for readers of the English Wikipedia (i.e. Internet users) who have never understood the project well enough to get involved. In conjunction with this site, I maintain a Twitter account called @thewikipedian, featuring hand-tweeted highlights of Wikipedia news, commentary and announcements of new blog posts.
I first started editing Wikipedia as a reader who finally decided to try my hand at editing the articles I read. Beyond that I continued with simple spelling, grammar and formatting corrections, which led to more substantial contributions to existing articles and, eventually, creating new ones.
Eventually, I started working in ad hoc collaboration with uninvolved (i.e. neutral) Wikipedia editors to develop by consensus best practices for following Wikipedia's conflict of interest rules where organizational or financial interests are involved. With advice from another editor, in August and September 2007 I created the existing Wikipedia article about NMS. As my investigations along these lines progressed, by April 2008 I had decided to cease editing the NMS article from this account and, following a discussion at the Village Pump, I created the secondary account NMS Bill to discuss issues of interest to NMS and its clients. Upon leaving NMS in August 2010, this account has been retired, and I have continued to work on client articles (now only via discussion on Talk pages) from a separate disclosed account, WWB Too. Surprisingly enough to me, these days the majority of my Wikipedia activity is conducted through that account. However, I continue to edit for fun from this account, and expect I always will.
- Userbox in progress for PRCOM statement
- Wikipedia:Statement on Wikipedia from participating communications firms
- Wikipedia:Statement on Wikipedia from participating communications firms/Frequently asked questions
In the media
- Critical Point of View: WikiWars, Centre for Internet & Society / Institute of Network Cultures, January 12-13, 2010
- How the PR Industry Views Wikipedia, WikiConference USA, New York City, May 30, 2014
- We Need to Talk About Paid Editing... Sorting Out Wikipedia's Most Enduring Argument, Wikimania 2014, London, August 10, 2014
- Paid Editing of Wikipedia: Getting Past "Gotcha", SXSW Interactive, Austin TX; March 13, 2015
- Can Conflicts of Interest (COI) be aligned with the Wikimedia project?, Wikimania 2015, Mexico City, July 17, 2015
- It's a Wiki World, Politics Magazine, April 2010
- Wiki Wars: Inside the increasingly nasty battle for Wikipedia’s soul, Quartz, February 23, 2015
- A Wikipedia Expert's Thoughts on the NYPD Editing Controversy, Hubspot, March 23, 2015
- Wikipedians Wrestle over John Edwards Love-Child Rumor, Sarah Lai Stirland, Wired, July 3, 2008
- Rep. David Rivera's war with Wikipedia, Marin Cogan, Politico, April 7, 2011
- New signs Wikipedia began a long decline in 2012, Eric Mack, Crowdsourcing.org, December 30, 2012
- War is over: Imaginary ‘Bicholim Conflict’ page removed from Wikipedia after five years, Eric Pfeiffer, Yahoo! News, January 4, 2013
- The War Over Elizabeth Warren's Wikipedia Page, Elizabeth Flock, US News & World Report, January 7, 2013
- WikiPeaks? The popular online encyclopedia must work out what is next, The Economist, March 1, 2014
- Saving Wikipedia, Noah Rayman, TIME, April 2015
- The Wisdom and Folly of Crowds, To The Point, KCRW, June 18, 2010
- Q&A: Bill Beutler on How Executives Should Handle Wikipedia, Chip Griffin, Franeo Insights, August 30, 2013
- The State of Wikipedia (executive producer, writer), January 2011
- Q&A with William Beutler, Q&A, C-SPAN, December 13, 2011
- Bloggingheads.tv, September 10, 2013
- Bloggingheads.tv, September 22, 2014