On 13 February 2013, PR Report, the German sister publication of PR Week, published an article announcing that PR agency Fleishman-Hillard was offering a new analysis tool enabling companies to assess their articles in the German-language Wikipedia: the Wikipedia Corporate Index (WCI).
The free analysis tool was developed by a team led by Arne Klempert, Director Digital at Fleishman-Hillard Germany, who also served as a member of the Wikimedia Foundation board from May 2009 to July 2012. According to PR Report, the tool is designed to help PR professionals improve the way their company is described in Wikipedia—as well as to make transparent how well competitors are presented. Klempert said he wants to give PR professionals "a deeper understanding of how Wikipedia works, and the quality indicators for company articles in Wikipedia". An English-language article on Fleishman-Hillard's German website explains—
Despite the significance of Wikipedia corporate entries, no suitable analytical tool has been developed to date that evaluates the presence of one's own company or that of competitors. Yet, the quality of such entries is of major importance. Corporate Wikipedia entries are also always included among the top hits in Google. Articles on prominent companies can easily have more than 100,000 hits per month.
Arne Klempert, Director Digital at Fleishman-Hillard Germany: "With the Wikipedia Corporate Index there is now finally a standard for evaluating company articles on Wikipedia. At the same time, we want to use this kind of analysis to create a deeper awareness among communications officers of how Wikipedia works."
The WCI covers approximately 15,000 company entries in the German-language Wikipedia, evaluating about 40 article characteristics categorised in four areas: authors and edits, content and structure, links, and page views.
Klempert also wrote an article published by German PC Magazin last year, now reproduced in slightly altered form on the WCI website, advising companies on how best to edit Wikipedia. He noted that some Wikipedians categorically reject the involvement of company representatives, and said that this attitude is particularly marked in the English-language Wikipedia, while the German-language Wikipedia is more open to paid editors.
Klempert said company representatives could always use the discussion page and above all should edit transparently, identifying themselves, and should not try to change an article in one fell swoop—such changes would usually be reverted. Instead, they should start with small, non-critical changes to their article, demonstrating to editors that they understand the principles of Wikipedia collaboration. This included such things as updating company data, or providing images to be used as illustrations. Klempert also advised companies to monitor their own articles, to anticipate communication crises and be able to prepare for press enquiries.
According to the Kurier, a German-language Wikimedia news outlet that is somewhat analogous to the Signpost, a Wikipedia Corporate Index for the English-language Wikipedia is in the planning stages at Fleishman-Hillard. The version for the German-language Wikipedia has been nominated for a special PR Report award in the category "research, analysis and evaluation".
Austrian economics edit war: News website Salonreported on 19 February 2013 that arguments on whether to include a critique of Austrian economics by Nobel Prize-winner Paul Krugman in the Wikipedia article on the topic had led to the page being locked down. Salon stated that arguments centred on whether Krugman's description of Austrian economics was correct. Asked to comment, Krugman said, "That is my experience with the Austrians: whenever you try to pin them down, they insist that you fail to understand their profound ideas. And they have indeed been predicting runaway inflation for years now; it's interesting that they can neither explain why they were wrong nor admit that this poses a problem."
"Warning! Wikipedia will make your financial IQ drop": Author and finance expert Janet Tavakoli published an article in the Huffington Post on 20 February 2013, stating that Wikipedia's articles on finance did a good job of explaining "why relying on information supplied on the internet by anonymous strangers is a bad idea". She said that Wikipedia's coverage of credit derivatives ignored peer-reviewed information (including articles she had authored), and that her ownadditions to Wikipedia were reverted.
Upper Crust whitewash: Boston website Bostinno.com reported on 20 February 2013 that the Wikipedia article on Upper Crust Pizzeria had seen all mention of a U.S. Department of Labor investigation into the company's pay practices and resulting lawsuits removed.
GEO Group facelift: The Huffington Post ran an article on 20 February 2013 reporting that the GEO Group "may have decided to give its Wikipedia page a facelift", noting that Abraham Cohen (talk·contribs) shared his name with GEO Group spokesman Abraham Cohen. The story was picked up by the Sun Sentinel and a number of other sites.
Visualisation of edit wars: The Daily Dot ran an article on 21 February 2013 on a "wonderfully nerdy" visualisation of Wikipedia edit wars.
Wikipedia via SMS: Tech site The Verge and many others reported from 22 February onward that Wikipedia will soon be available via SMS: "The latest plan is [to] let users request specific articles from Wikipedia by having them send text messages to the website through SMS or another standard called USSD. Wikipedia via text is due out in the next few months and is being funded by a $600,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, the nonprofit media and journalism support organization." The Verge article referenced a blog post by Kul Takanao Wadhwa, the head of mobile for the Wikimedia Foundation, on the Knight Foundation website.
Wikipedia, the ultimate web marketing tool: An article on investment website AdvisorOne.com on 22 February 2013 drew attention to Wikipedia's value as a web marketing tool: "A Wikipedia page can bring an advisor credibility and discoverability—for those with a supportable claim to notability." The piece featured an interview with paid Wikipedia editor Mike Wood from Legalmorning.com.
Wikipedia's gender gap: On 24 February 2013, an article in the Huffington Post quoted former Wikimedia fellow Sarah Stierch on the reasons for Wikipedia's gender gap, which, according to the article, causes systemic bias in Wikipedia's coverage, with articles on such topics as abortion, pregnancy, feminism and motherhood being mainly written by male editors: "After talking to women, surveying women, they said, one, it's an attitude problem. It's the Internet, people are jerks. We have a motto at Wikipedia, 'Don't be a dick.' There's a lot of dick, pun intended, on the Internet. It's a culture problem, so that's one thing, and people need a lesson in manners. Two, the help system on how to edit Wikipedia is really complex. When you have a bunch of guys, computer guys who created Wikipedia, writing the rules on Wikipedia, it tends to get a little wordy and expansive and anal-retentive. And it gets a little overwhelming." The story was picked up by Australian news website news.com.au.