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A data-based analysis of brand representation on Wikipedia

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I recently conducted a statistical analysis of 2,578 brand pages on Wikipedia based on standardized tags and rankings the site's editorial community places on the articles. The report on the data got some pickup in media publications like PRWeek and Ragans.

One interesting but also unsurprising outcome was that Wikipedia's editors consider most company pages to be of low-quality, but also don't feel those articles are important. This sets the scene for the dynamic between marketers and the Wikipedia community. Marketing professionals are generally discouraged from writing their own articles because they are unlikely to be neutral, but part of the reason it is not prohibited is because we are the most likely ones to take an interest in the page. It is a positive thing for marketers to do when it is done well.

The data also showed that the most common complaint about company articles is the lack of quality, independent, sources that can be used as citations for the article. Productive, long-term relationships with Wikipedians are based on providing value and this is indicative of what Wikipedians value most - quality sourcing. In some cases it is safer and more productive for company representatives to help provide sources rather than to write the article.

Finally, the ranked importance of the aritcle had no effect on the article-quality. This has also been found to be the case by other more general studies. It shows that Wikipedia editors improve articles they take an interest in, rather than those that are most important. In Wikipedia's volunteer model, the best way to get collaboration is by being pleasant to work with, not appealing to the editor's sense of accountability. As volunteers, the editors are not accountable for anything!

Downloadthe full report


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