Wikipedia Consulting Case Studies
Wikipedia article about one of the best-known corporate executives in the world was changed to include a statement that the executive had been indicted in Europe for a corporate crime. In fact, the sources (including media in other languages), revealed that an ordinary citizen had filed a complaint against the corporation and its executives asking that local investigators look into company based on a novel theory of malfeasance. The corporation’s lawyers wrote a lengthy statement explaining the full facts and we were approached to try to get the inaccurate language replaced. We cut the length of the proposed language substantially and recommended we ask that as an alternative, the incident be removed entirely from the biographical article because it misrepresented the sources and the incident, involving only a citizen complaint, did not belong in the career summary of the executive under Wikipedia BLP policy. An independent reviewer considered the matter and deleted the statement entirely within one hour of our request.
Main article about one of the best-known technology brands in the United States was out-of-date and incomplete. We created a proposal to update the article, being respectful to the work already done by other editors, but updating/correcting facts and adding extensive sections on the history of the company. We were strict in our use of reliable sourcing, maintaining a neutral point of view and excluding “promotional content,” as required by Wikipedia policy. After the draft was approved by the company, we submitted it for review, disclosing we were paid consultants, and made “appropriate notifications” to independent editors (unconnected to us in any way.) We strictly followed Wikipedia rules concerning conflict of interest disclosure and “editor” conduct. The independent reviewer asked for small clarifications and then accepted the proposal, publishing it as the revised article.
Company with a variety of consumer and B2B products asked for an article. After reviewing more than 100 sources, the article was organized around product lines, with tight sourcing for each product. The article was accepted after an independent review based on the showing of product notability. The reviewer requested more detail and more reviews, improving the article. After a significant new product line was introduced, with a shift in direction for the company, an update was proposed with a new lead and new product description, which was quickly accepted by the prior reviewer.
CEO of technology company had an article about him written and submitted by his PR firm. The article was rejected for failing to show notability. After an exhaustive review of dozens of sources, including college alumni magazines, foreign language publications, and many financial media sources, we were able to redraft a more comprehensive biography with sufficient sourcing for it to be accepted.
Executive with storied career requested article requiring review of sources going back more than 30 years. Archival and book research went far beyond sources available on the internet. Rich portrait of the individual emerged, backed by a wide array of highly credible sources. Resulted in an extensive article. Previous attempts by the subject to expand the article had been rejected as “promotional” because the language was not in the tone of an encyclopedia and was not properly sourced. Our changes were reviewed and approved.
A large technology company had its article repeatedly attacked by users sophisticated enough with Wikipedia to provide superficially supporting citations for their attacks. As a result, the language remained on their profile for months and eventually found its way to the Google Knowledge Panel about the company, displayed on search results, at which point we were retained. We composed a memo that meticulously examined each of the sources that was used to support the attacks to prove that their use violated Wikipedia policies and guidelines (e.g. no use of discussion boards as a reference; no use of one-person blogs, etc.) The memo was reviewed by an independent editor and the damaging claims were removed within days. Ultimately, in discussion with a Wikipedia admin, a decision was made that the article, which covered both a product and the company, should be split in two, so the new company article could take a more holistic view. Google Knowledge Panel eventually picked up on the new company article, completely reversing the previous attack into a neutral description of the company.
Article about start up prepared by in-house PR people was deleted as “promotional.” We were hired and wrote a new version written in a neutral, encyclopedia term and supported by every reliable source that had been published about the company. Independent reviewer approved the new article for publication.
Hired by venture capital firm with large fund and no Wikipedia presence. Crafted an article about the fund, its history and founders. Created the “Comprehensive Portfolio Review” chart to explore each of the fund’s investments, with name of company, industry, company description, investment(s), co-investors and exit, if any. Each line in the chart backed by its own independent reliable sourcing.
Large open source technology project, run by a corporation, required review of both popular press and academic literature to create a comprehensive article.Significant technical information summarized for a non-technical audience. Links back to corporate sponsor’s Wikipedia article (as well as link to the new article on the company’s article) solidified the relationship between the entities.