I met up with Jimmy Wales for lunch
If you don’t know Jimmy, you’ll know his
He is Mr Wikipedia.
Through his site he is helping make free information
available to the world.
And boy is he is succeeding.
Wikipedia is now one of the most-visited
websites in the world.
It has over 20 million articles that have
been co-created by over 100,000 regular contributors and experts.
And recently his site has become a bit of a
hot topic in the PR world.
Questions have been asked of what best
practice looks like for reputation management on Wikipedia.
Over lunch I asked Jimmy what he thought
about it all and how should agencies engage with Wikipedia in the best possible
He distilled it down to just three words
“Respect the Community”.
For him it was that simple.
Wikipedia is a crowdsourced site where
thousands of people take the time to voluntarily research, submit and edit the
He has no problem with paid-for PR practitioners putting a viewpoint across on
the site on behalf of clients if it is truthful and provides an alternative
But it needs to be done in an open and
Practitioners can’t pretend to be everyday
members of the community if they are being paid for opinions.
That isn’t what Wikipedia is about.
It’s about the pursuit of truth and
knowledge in an open and honest manner.
And by simply respecting the community, you
won’t go far wrong.