Wikipedia is the most important site on the web. Many of its pages have a number one top ranking on even the most highly trafficked keyword terms in search engines, while the site dominates on any obscure term in Google.
The quality of corporate Wikipedia pages is poor... or at least that's the complaint by many leading people in the PR and marketing social media community.
And as a result the PR community argues more should be done to encourage corporate editing of Wikipedia, to improve the timeliness and accuracy of corporate entries.
Wikipedians cry foul, one because they don't see that the quality of the Wikipedia pages are poor, and two, Wikipedians state, allowing more corporate employees to edit Wikipedia pages would ruin the accuracy and validity of the Wikipedia articles.
The CREWE is a Facebook group set up in January 2012. Set up by a group of PR people to discuss the issue of changing the status quo on conflict of interest editing. The CREWE Facebook group includes Wikipedians who have been discussing the issues with the PR community.
From that Facebook discussion, two projects have emerged, one, there needs to be more education for PR people on how to work with Wikipedia to edit Wikipedia entries, and two, an audit of the Fortune 100 company Wikipedia articles.
The education project is focused on the development of a flow chart infographic that explains the process for conflict of interest editing within Wikipedia.
The audit consists of reviewing each Fortune 100 company Wikipedia article for the timeliness, and accuracy of basic corporate facts. Corporate representatives are also contacted to ask if they have attempted to update their corporate Wikipedia article and to describe their experiences.
So far 50 of the Fortune 100 company articles have been reviewed,
A Wikipedian, and member of the CREWE, Robert Lawton, of LawtonDigital.biz, developed a Google document for collecting the data for the Wikipedia audit of the Fortune 100, to be recorded there. Robert also developed additional tabs that show the level of quality of each Fortune 100 Wikipedia article according to Wikipedia's own rating system and the position of the webpage on Google and Bing.
One of the PR community's key points was that Wikipedia was on the first page of search results for nearly every company, and that ranking, put great responsibility on the encyclopedia to ensure the entries were accurate and of good quality.
The Fortune 100 company articles do have top search rankings for nearly every Fortune 100 company. Though notably, Google's own Wikipedia Article does not appear on the first page of Google results. While the quality of most articles, according to Wikipedia's own ranking system, appears to be less than stellar. For example, 44% of articles are "B" class, only 2% of articles are above "B" class. 30% of articles are only "start" class. This means that by Wikipedia’s own quality ranking system Wikipedia articles have a great deal for improvement.
Here’s the pitch; we need to finish the audit, but we need your help, if you'd like to take part, or want to have your communications class take part in the audit let me know, or other members of The CREWE.