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> MyWikiBiz is back from the dead!, ...kinda like Sinbad
thekohser
post Sat 17th March 2007, 2:39am
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Well, what do you know? An article about my ol' company Wikipedia Review has been trotted out for another try at permanence in Wikipedia. I wonder how this one will pan out.

Looks awfully self-referential to me, so far. What's with the "Internal Links" section?

And, what's with the "Open Letter to Jimmy Wales" from Scott Baradell in the "External Links" section? I mean, Scott's a friend of mine, but that blog post doesn't even mention Wikipedia Review.

Greg
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thekohser
post Sat 17th March 2007, 8:09pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 16th March 2007, 10:39pm) *

Well, what do you know? An article about my ol' company Wikipedia Review has been trotted out for another try at permanence in Wikipedia. I wonder how this one will pan out.


And down she goes, victim of the WP:CSD#G4.

All for the best, since the article referred to my business in the past tense (even though I spoke with a venture capital consultant this morning).

Greg
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Joel Leyden
post Sat 17th March 2007, 11:41pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Sat 17th March 2007, 2:39am) *

Well, what do you know? An article about my ol' company Wikipedia Review has been trotted out for another try at permanence in Wikipedia. I wonder how this one will pan out.

Looks awfully self-referential to me, so far. What's with the "Internal Links" section?

And, what's with the "Open Letter to Jimmy Wales" from Scott Baradell in the "External Links" section? I mean, Scott's a friend of mine, but that blog post doesn't even mention Wikipedia Review.

Greg


Greg, many of us are with you.

I would rather NOT have anything on my company or myself on Wikipedia until they hire and use only professional and objective editors.

As it now stands, Wikipedia is the world's largest digital cesspool.
With a stink one can smell around the world.

It's truly a waste of time for which the Wikipedia Contest will prove in the coming days.
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thekohser
post Mon 26th March 2007, 3:59am
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Sat 17th March 2007, 4:09pm) *

And down she goes, victim of the WP:CSD#G4.

All for the best, since the article referred to my business in the past tense (even though I spoke with a venture capital consultant this morning).


Well, whaddaya know? It's back again, and survived an AfD "vote". I went ahead and obeyed WP:COI and made my suggested corrections and improvements on the article's Talk page.

Wonder how long before some of my old friends have a cow, seeing that Jimbo restored my account, despite the "community ban". I sure hope this doesn't lead to more fireworks.

Greg
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Somey
post Mon 26th March 2007, 4:15am
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Y'know, what you really ought to do is change the entire Wikipedia Review business model. This write-an-article-for-$100 stuff is hardly the way to rake in the big bucks, IMO....

What might start to get really lucrative over the next year or two would be to provide medium-term consulting services, billed hourly, for companies who need help and advice for getting Wikipedians to stop smearing them, and to go mind their own @$#%!! business!

laugh.gif
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LamontStormstar
post Mon 26th March 2007, 4:26am
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thekohser

How exactly was your plan to work if somebody wanted inclusion but they couldn't pass notability?

I mean if someone could pass it, but they want someone to just write them a nice article that might be one thing.

And how did you expect billing to work when you'd do something and then someone else reverts it or deletes it? Would you keep the customer's money, refund it, or keep trying futily so it turns out not to be worth your time.
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Skyrocket
post Mon 26th March 2007, 4:31am
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Maybe you could use the Barbershop model: If somebody needs something you do, they pay you to do it. Later on, when they need it again, they can come back and pay you to do it again. Or else they can pay somebody else to do it. Or do it themselves. Their choice.
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Somey
post Mon 26th March 2007, 4:48am
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QUOTE(LamontStormstar @ Sun 25th March 2007, 10:26pm) *
And how did you expect billing to work when you'd do something and then someone else reverts it or deletes it? Would you keep the customer's money, refund it, or keep trying futily so it turns out not to be worth your time.

I shouldn't speak on Greg's behalf of course, but I think the idea was that he'd state up front that all he was going to do was write the article with the proper formatting, citations, yada yada yada, the company would presumably approve it, and he'd then post it - and anything that happened after that was specified as being beyond his control, and therefore not part of the deal.

When you think about it, that's still a fairly substantial amount of work for only $100, which to most companies is "chicken feed." But I agree, if he were to try and help shepherd the article through whatever stuff was going to happen to it after the initial posting, including AfD's and such, that would almost have to require an hourly-billed contractual agreement, no? Obviously the WP people would frown on that sort of thing, since their assumption is that when you log onto Wikipedia, you're a Wikipedian first, and everything else second, including your own self.

Naaaah, it's not a cult at all...
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gomi
post Mon 26th March 2007, 5:23am
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QUOTE(LamontStormstar @ Sun 25th March 2007, 9:26pm) *
And how did you expect billing to work when you'd do something and then someone else reverts it or deletes it? Would you keep the customer's money, refund it, or keep trying futily so it turns out not to be worth your time.
As I've noted elsewhere, the better (and more evil) business model is to offer a service to companies (large ones) who already have a page, saying, in essence:
QUOTE
"for $50/$500/$5000 per month, I will employ my army of sockpuppets (with well-honed Wikipedia pedigrees) to relentlessly remove anything negative from your page, smooth over your peccadillos, and generally make your sh*t not stink, in protection againt the (pick one) a) moronic teenagers; b ) competitors and rivals; c) disgruntled employees; or (d) genuinely outraged shareholders who want to make you look like evildoers".


This could be a great business, because it self-sustains as long as Wikipedia continues to suck!
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Somey
post Mon 26th March 2007, 5:34am
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QUOTE(gomi @ Sun 25th March 2007, 11:23pm) *
This could be a great business, because it self-sustains as long as Wikipedia continues to suck!

And since it will always suck, it's a perfectly sound investment for VC's!

Still, you'd be 80-20'd out the ying-yang, I suspect. You'd have to charge on a sliding scale, based on how evil the company is... companies like Halliburton, Wal-Mart, and Microsoft would be practically untouchable. Unless you were really good at avoiding the customer-sandbagging effect, you could get screwed pretty badly!
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thekohser
post Mon 26th March 2007, 12:34pm
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QUOTE(LamontStormstar @ Mon 26th March 2007, 12:26am) *

How exactly was your plan to work if somebody wanted inclusion but they couldn't pass notability?

I mean if someone could pass it, but they want someone to just write them a nice article that might be one thing.

And how did you expect billing to work when you'd do something and then someone else reverts it or deletes it? Would you keep the customer's money, refund it, or keep trying futily so it turns out not to be worth your time.


While others have already responded, in a way, for me... My intention was to accept business only from those companies who would pass the Wikipedia notability test.

As for placement and persistence, remember Jimbo created a "Concordat" (that's what I called it) with Wikipedia Review, such that we would be placing the GFDL content on our own website. Then, independently-acting, non-paid, "trusted" Wikipedians could scrape that content into Wikipedia if they felt it was worthwhile. (No comment on the overall wisdom of such a policy.) While it wasn't in my advertising literature, I had an unwritten policy with clients that they would get a refund if their article were to be deleted or severely molested within the first two weeks of its placement on Wikipedia. I'll just say this: we had no dissatisfied paying clients. We had a couple of instances where either no payment was processed, or a refund was issued, and the clients were satisfied with the attempt.

Just so everybody knows where I'm at, currently, I'll copy Wikipedia Review's description from Centiare:

QUOTE
Wikipedia Review (Wikipedia Review) is a U.S. Internet publishing firm, headquartered in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Wikipedia Review specializes in helping commercial enterprises optimize their presence in wiki spaces.

Founded in 2006 by Gregory J. Kohs, Wikipedia Review initially set out to create and edit neutral-point-of-view Wikipedia articles for payment. However, key leaders and administrators of Wikipedia expressed concerns about the potential conflict of interest in such practice. Wikipedia Review adapted to these concerns and currently pursues activity in other non-Wikipedia editing spaces that utilize wiki markup languages, including Centiare.

Kohs is available for speaking engagements and press interviews, regarding the promises and perils of community-edited spaces on the Internet. He will be speaking about wiki implementation at the annual conference of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy in July 2007.

Wikipedia Review has a devoted interest in the success of the Semantic Web.


I absolutely agree that the $49, $79, or $99 business model was, eventually, going to take more time and effort than it was worth financially to myself. However, the long-term goal was to have a team of low-paid Eastern European and/or Indian editors doing the lion's share of the work in exchange for a smaller portion of the client's payment. That would leave me free for higher-level consultative work with corporations and organizations about long-term, wider-reaching strategies for community-edited spaces on the Internet (including Wikipedia).

It's funny, but so many of my Cheetos-fingered, teenage critics laughed at how much Wikipedia Review was trying to charge clients for something that "they could do themselves for free". On the other hand, several of my clients and many reputable business people who examined the business model often commented, "You should be charging $499, not $49." It's certainly a telling example of how little the average Wikipedian knows about the business world and the value of intellectual capital.

Greg
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LamontStormstar
post Mon 26th March 2007, 2:00pm
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Wouldn't the underpaid foreigners then go into business for themselves in time?
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thekohser
post Mon 26th March 2007, 3:21pm
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QUOTE(LamontStormstar @ Mon 26th March 2007, 10:00am) *

Wouldn't the underpaid foreigners then go into business for themselves in time?


Imagine someone in the Communications department of Manor Care (a Fortune 600 company that is not listed in Wikipedia). Now, imagine that they want someone to write them a Wikipedia-suitable article. How easy a time are they going to have talking on the phone about their objectives with Greg in Pennsylvania, who has a slight Michigan accent, versus talking on the phone or corresponding by e-mail with Ivan Dragorbovich in Romania or Rashnan Heptashareepishnah in India?

In time, yes, the foreigners might go into business for themselves. My guess is that they would not perform as ably as the American firm when marketing to or communicating with American organizations.

We'll never know now, though, will we?

I wonder how long Mercenary Wikipedian is going to last before he's exposed?

Greg
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Somey
post Mon 26th March 2007, 3:29pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Mon 26th March 2007, 6:34am) *
It's funny, but so many of my Cheetos-fingered, teenage critics laughed at how much Wikipedia Review was trying to charge clients for something that "they could do themselves for free". On the other hand, several of my clients and many reputable business people who examined the business model often commented, "You should be charging $499, not $49." It's certainly a telling example of how little the average Wikipedian knows about the business world and the value of intellectual capital.

I've got companies that actually can't buy some of our cheaper utility programs officially, because $100 is simply too low to be placed on a corporate purchase order. Amounts like that have to come out of petty cash, which for an individual user is almost unobtainable compared to setting up a PO, which by contrast is just a matter of e-mailing a request to the right person. So they end up having to put it on personal credit cards and "expense it" - and since nobody wants to do that, I've ended up having to raise prices to increase sales! I've done that twice now.

QUOTE(LamontStormstar @ Mon 26th March 2007, 8:00am) *
Wouldn't the underpaid foreigners then go into business for themselves in time?

Most outsourcing firms are actually very strict about that, believe it or not, at least in India. In addition to non-compete agreements, they have reputations to maintain for not doing that very thing, and their in-country competitors are very quick to point fingers when it happens...

That's not to say that people should ever outsource anything, of course. But I suppose it could be said that outsourcing a function that was never done by domestic workers in the first place is a whole lot better than laying people off in your own community just to save money in the short term.

One thing that does occasionally happen, though (and this is rarely written about) is that in the software development industry, outsourcing firms will buy the rights to failed projects as salvage operations. These then wind up on their websites as entries in long lists of products that unsuspecting US CTO's assume to be internally developed, and their existence is supposed to prove that the company is well-versed in whatever genre the product is - accounting, ERP, document imaging, whatever. Anything. In fact, very few of those products are original to that company, and none of the original designers are still involved. There's less of that now than there was 5-6 years ago when outsourcing was starting to really take off, but it still happens occasionally.

That's not particularly relevant to this thread, of course... but this might be, though!
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guy
post Mon 26th March 2007, 8:46pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Mon 26th March 2007, 4:21pm) *

How easy a time are they going to have talking on the phone about their objectives with Greg in Pennsylvania, who has a slight Michigan accent, versus talking on the phone or corresponding by e-mail with Ivan Dragorbovich in Romania or Rashnan Heptashareepishnah in India?

We manage these things better in Britain. Several companies now have call centres in India, and I know people who find them easier to understand than people from say Glasgow.
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wikilove
post Mon 7th May 2007, 10:10pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Mon 26th March 2007, 4:21pm) *

It's funny, but so many of my Cheetos-fingered, teenage critics laughed at how much Wikipedia Review was trying to charge clients for something that "they could do themselves for free". On the other hand, several of my clients and many reputable business people who examined the business model often commented, "You should be charging $499, not $49." It's certainly a telling example of how little the average Wikipedian knows about the business world and the value of intellectual capital.


That's because many of them are still in school, and they have no concept that what THEY do or that their time is worth something.

Or they are people to whom "content" is defined by "how I see things" and "if I think those links are relevant" - regardless if they are informed of the subject matter....

And you should have been charging at least 499 per article. Otherwise you wouldn'tve been respected.

And you should have kept it on the down low (read: not advertised on WP). Its like a thumb in the face to all those people, that you should make money on what they are doing for free....

This post has been edited by wikilove: Mon 7th May 2007, 10:11pm
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wikilove
post Mon 7th May 2007, 11:08pm
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QUOTE(LamontStormstar @ Mon 26th March 2007, 2:00pm) *

Wouldn't the underpaid foreigners then go into business for themselves in time?


Starting new businesses isn't as easy in other countries. The ease of doing it here is why we are so powerfully economically.

In most countries, you have to pay people off, or you have to already be a "have". "Have nots" are booted out pretty quick.

There are exceptions, and its getting better, but...

Besides that the culture and mentality doesn't support it. It isn't usual to start new businesses. Again, it is changing, but....

There is more of a passive attitude.
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thekohser
post Tue 8th May 2007, 2:45am
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QUOTE(wikilove @ Mon 7th May 2007, 6:10pm) *

And you should have kept it on the down low (read: not advertised on WP). Its like a thumb in the face to all those people, that you should make money on what they are doing for free....

I'm a generally honest person. Going in "above board" was the way I thought best, right from the get-go, because IT WASN'T AGAINST ANY RULES on Wikipedia to edit for pay.

Besides, had I gone "secretive", how long do you think it would have been for Durova or JzG or Tobias to pool together $49, purchase an article, then see who created the page and ban the holy hell out of them?

Greg
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Somey
post Tue 8th May 2007, 3:00am
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Mon 7th May 2007, 9:45pm) *
Besides, had I gone "secretive", how long do you think it would have been for Durova or JzG or Tobias to pool together $49, purchase an article, then see who created the page and ban the holy hell out of them?

Well, if ya want my opinion, I doubt the idea would have even occurred to them. As long as they can pretend there's nothing bad happening in their Utopian commercial-free cocoon, they'd just buzz merrily along with the rest of the hive...
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wikilove
post Tue 8th May 2007, 10:47pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Tue 8th May 2007, 2:45am) *

I'm a generally honest person. Going in "above board" was the way I thought best, right from the get-go, because IT WASN'T AGAINST ANY RULES on Wikipedia to edit for pay.

Besides, had I gone "secretive", how long do you think it would have been for Durova or JzG or Tobias to pool together $49, purchase an article, then see who created the page and ban the holy hell out of them?

Greg


Honest? Or overly self-disclosing? How you make your money is none of their business.

The model I was thinking of concerned your having approached businesses directly. You could have something on the web, sure. But it could be part of a general web PR program.

But by mentioning it to Wikipedians, that was most definitely going to tee them off. If for no other reason, because it is their turf, or because they didn't think of it and BLAH BLAH BLAH...

And 49 dollars wasn't worth your time, to be honest. That wouldnt even cover dinner for two.
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