Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Another Microsoft Scandal: Tech Giant Attempts To Pay Blogger for Wikipedia Changes

Microsoft committed the ultimate of new media mistakes when it offered money for a blogger to edit Wikipedia articles on the tech giant. The news follows Microsoft's other major lapse in judgment when they gave away free laptops with the options for the recipients to keep them. I have to wonder where has Microsoft's marketing people been when all of these gaffes occurred.

This controversy stems from Microsoft offering money for articles to be rewritten which is against everything Wikipedia has stood for in the past. The site is focused on unbiased, unslanted articles that anyone is able to edit.

The move was to be carried out by Rick Jelliffe who works for a tech company in Australia in addition to blogging. Apparently the offer was to edit "technical standards" and was not intended to be biased toward Microsoft. The situation arose after the company attempted to flag errors in articles about the company and, after they weren't resolved they contacted the blogger. Typically issues with entries on the Wikipedia site are addressed in the discussion forums and then corrected on the site. This is the process that should have been taken to correct the entries.

This marks the first big case of a company trying to hire someone to edit Wikipedia entries. The site also recently made all outbound links NOFOLLOW meaning search engines will not use the link in determining a sites PageRank. Expect more situations like this one to arise in the future as more and more companies and individuals seek to gain free exposure from sites like Wikipedia, although adding the NOFOLLOW tag may quell some who create pages simply to gain a quality link.

Vote for this entry on Netscape!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

No comments: