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  • TBH, I'm not sure how to include this.
Since I've lost Internet access from home, I've been taking a load of photos in and around Edinburgh's World Heritage sites. These are going onto Commons (see my contribs there) and, to further improve coverage, I'm also seeking permission to photograph inside all of Edinburgh's city libraries. Essentially, what I'm doing is getting myself known on-the-ground, and you could say laying groundwork to perhaps do a session for Edinburgh librarians sometime later in the year (eg, get enWP entries for all of their premises). --Brian McNeil / talk 09:35, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

"Measuring Public Relations Wikipedia Engagement"[edit source]

This article "Measuring Public Relations Wikipedia Engagement" merits further discussion:

  • "When asked if there are currently factual errors on their company or client’s Wikipedia

articles, 32% said that there were (n=406), 25% said that they don’t know (n=310), 22% said no (n=273), and 22% said that their company or client does not have a Wikipedia article (n=271). In other words, 60% of the Wikipedia articles for respondents who were familiar with their company or recent client’s article contained factual errors." (p. 8) DiStaso did not look into whether thyere was any factual error, merely records that her respondent perceived factual error - a somehwat surprising leap of faith.

What is revealing is the problem that people in this industry have getting their head around wikipedia. The recent Signpost (30 April 2012) has an interview with Pete Forsyth who has developed Wiki Strategies, which precisely offers training for people in this field in the USA.

Dr. DiStaso creates confusion in that she defines Wikipedians as "those who write and edit Wikipedia" but then on page 17 she engages in a discussion about whether Public Relations/Communications Professionals should "go through wikipedians" - actually obscuring the issue behind a tautology. The question is more what happens when such people do become wikimedian. This is actually being addressed by Wikipedia:WikiProject Cooperation. Indeed the fact that she does not reference this is somewhat suprising in a paper which aims to address these issues!

When Dr. DiStaso complains about how ill-informed public relations/communications professionals tend to be about wikipedia. As regards the negative publicity about people "caught" making edits about pages for people they work for, this should be seen in the context of the nature of the edits they have made. Also, when she talks about the time it takes to respond, again this is not put in any context: does it relate to material which was never true, or to material which has beceome out-of-date. Again when she looks at whether edits stick, this needs context. If people add puffs for their company or its products, well perhaps it reflects on what the public relations/communications professionals write? Although she admits the onus is on the PR industry to get her head around how wp works, an intersting remark she makes is "It, however, would be difficult to explain to corporate executives that you can but should not personally remove erroneous content." No doubt these corporate executives are not short on intelligence, perhaps they just need to realise that not all of humanity acts in a corporate fashion!

In her conclusion, she returns to her unsubstantiated claim of 60% of pages containing factual errors. Her response is that WP must change because the current process, which is simply not working. Well, Wikipedia:WikiProject Cooperation provides an area of enagement, which she does not review even though she calls forsteps to include "educating public relations/communications professionals about the rules and resources available".

As for educating volunteer editors about the the need for timeliness, perhaps she should reflect that some of us feel unhappy when highly paid professionals take us for granted. It is also interesting to note that she is unaware of how serious issues - particlularly around Biographies of Living People are dealt with promptly through channels like OTRS.

In all I found her paper interesting, if flawed. I feel the topic is important even if her approach was somewhat superficial. Are there any plans for WMUK to respond to the UK press coverage?Leutha (talk) 15:07, 2 May 2012 (UTC)