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February 29, 2012


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Thanks, David. Wikipedia is indeed an interesting (and challenging) place to publish great content. Looking forward to the book deal :-)

David Meerman Scott

Thanks for taking the time to educate us, Colin!

Terri O. Johnson

David -- I enjoyed our dialogue a while back on this very topic. Thank you for looking into the question in greater detail. As mentioned, We are very interested to have LearningRx cognitive brain training added to Wikipedia. Like Colin Warwick, I've become intreged by how Wikipedia works and evolves.

I've enjoyed reading "The New Rules" and applying to our marketing & PR strategy.

Here is a link to my blog, Education & Wellness:

These are posts of my news columns that run in Eden Prairie News & Chanhassen Villager in Minnesota.

Cheers, Terri O. Johnson


Terri, Given the complex and controversial nature of brain function and the fact that you are not disinterested in LearningRx, I'd recommend an indirect approach: focus on having your system evaluated in controlled studies that are published in peer-reviewed journals. I see you are doing this here:


Once the studies are complete, contributors who are knowledgable will add the info. If not, add it yourself to an appropriate page (learning, intelligence, or preferably something more specific) and flag it for a third-party COI review.

Take a look at the discussion/talk page behind a controversial article to get a feel for the ebb and flow:


I don't recommend you add a page about your company yourself. It will almost certainly by deleted rather quickly.

Hope this helps!

-- Colin


...just noticed that someone did create an article entitled LearningRx and that it was _d_elete _b_ecause it was considered _spam_ ("db-spam" in wiki-speak) in 2007 by an administrator. Administrators on wikipedia have powers regular contributors don't have: the power to block a contributor from making damaging edits to the project, for example, and the power to delete an inappropriate page without further debate ("speedy deletion").


BTW, a Wikipedia user with the screen name King4057 just pointed out to me two related topics:

* CREWE: Corporate Representatives for Ethical Wikipedia Engagement - a Facebook group by PR folks who want to interact with Wikipedia


* WikiProject Cooperation - help for PR folks and paid contributors



...looks like the person behind the King4057 Wikipedia screenname/login is David King @David44357


David Meerman Scott

Colin - thanks so much for all this additional information. "Corporate Representatives for Ethical Wikipedia Engagement" sounds interesting. I'll check it out.

David King

Yup, that's me, the Wikipedia guy. Colin already hit the bulls-eye. You're not prohibited from editing your own article, but if you're (a) an amateur editor and (b) you have a COI, it's going to be very difficult to make welcomed contributions.

COI edits are "strongly discouraged" because they tend to lead to trouble, but the COI guideline has language around exceptions because ultimately it's all about the contributions themselves.

You can invest in training, hiring or partnering with expertise on how to do it well or follow the five bullets here under "what everyone should know"

Think of Wikipedia like the New York Times. You wouldn't write yourself in, but you could ask for factual corrections, pitch stories to neutral editors, or offer contributed articles. Resist the temptation to just dive in and edit, just because it's openly editable.

Extremely pleased by the way to see more bridges being built between volunteers and the marketing community. Appreciate you covering this oft-forgotten topic.

-David King

David Meerman Scott

Hey David - thanks for stopping by. I liked your article over on Todd's Shift blog. He is a friend so it is nice to be connected now to you.


Hi @David44357, I like your analogy of thinking of Wikipedia as being like the New York Times. No-one likes a gate-crasher.

-- Colin

Gilbert Homes

Awesome article, I am so grateful we have so many people willing to contribute to Wikipedia. I think it will stand the test of time as something the human race is capable of when working together to achieve a goal.


Thanks, Gilbert. Wikipedia's stats are impressive. Collectively editors add about 11 million edits a month.


-- Colin

Terri O. Johnson

Colin (and David King)- Thank you for the comments and suggested links to evalute further how we might pursue a Wikipedia listing for LearningRx.

I also found it interesting that you found and included a link to the National Science Foundation (NSF) student launched in Texas. Your link was to PRWeb. I did my own search and was surprised at how difficult it was to find information about several larger studies we have going on. For one, we are the subject of a NSF study on the ability to improve IQ. Here is one brief mention of another study from the researcher, Dr. Oliver Hill: http://democrats.appropriations.house.gov/images/stories/pdf/cjs/2011_STEM_Ed_Hearing_1_Oliver_Testimony.pdf.

I believe it was mentioned that blogs are not considered to be an adequate source, as an example: http://www.parentguidenews.com/Catalog/SpecialNeeds/BrainTraining.

Is there a published ranking of the "legitimacy" of source information allowable for Wikipedia postings?

Respectfully, Terri O. Johnson

David King

Blogs can be a reliable source, but it depends on if it's self published, who the author is, and what it's being used for.

See "What Counts as a Reliable source"

For example, a blog may (or may not) be reliable enough to add to the company article that the company has conducted these studies, but not enough to use their results as statements of fact on subject-matter articles.

David Meerman Scott

David - thanks for clarifying a bit on blogs.

It's such an interesting topic to me. Is Huffington Post a "blog"? If yes, is HuffPo less reliable than, say, India's "Hindustan Times" website because they happen to also publish a print newspaper?

David King

The reliable sources policy indicates three factors to consider - the author, the publication and the content itself.

The Huffington Post wouldn't count as a "self published" blog and would probably be considered a credible publication/author. So would the print paper. That's an easy, clear case, unless you're citing an op-ed rather than a journalist.

But say I do a post on my blog calling out CNN for all their errors in a story on Newt Gingrich's Wikipedia editing. Well, now CNN and "some guy's blog" have contradicting stories - which one is more "reliable"?

CNN is a more authoritative publication, but I have more expertise than the reporter and the content itself has more evidence in the form of actual documented Wikipedia records.

Now consider the same scenario for abortion or politics and you start to see why these rules exist to keep the encyclopedia neutral. Neutrality isn't just something that comes naturally - it comes as a result of a complicated system that works.

David King

The Wikipedia SignPost article on this scenario is representative of how this would be handled on Wikipedia, by summarizing all major viewpoints from credible sources (including mine and CNN's).


Peter Scazzer

Pretty nice conversation. It's very nice to hear that 11M are contributing to Wikipedia per month, sharing their knowledge online, but Colin was right share what you want to share and face the risk of your article will get posted on other websites.

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