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Want to know who’s behind those "anonymous" edits to Wikipedia listings? A CalTech student has created a tool that lets you enter a company or organization name and discover which entries have been modified by users within their internal networks, such as ExxonMobil, Disney and even (shocked! shocked!) the Church of Scientology.
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from Rhea 3773 Days ago #
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The Church of Scientology has to have some of the brightest marketers and lawyers on the planet. The crap they get away with...... [breathe in, breathe out]. Glad to see a tool like this!

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from g1smd 3773 Days ago #
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See also: http://sphinn.com/story/2875 http://sphinn.com/story/3058 http://sphinn.com/story/3186 http://sphinn.com/story/3210 This is a popular story! :-)

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from destructar 3772 Days ago #
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..

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from graywolf 3772 Days ago #
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I really fail to understand how so many smart people at Google don’t realize things like this are going on when they give the wiki such a key role in the ranking algo.

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from MiriamEllis 3772 Days ago #
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The sad thing is...I just don’t know how much of the general public will ever hear of this, or even if they do, realize what a black mark this is against a company. The Monstanto one is the one that really gets my goat. Grrr. They are my idea of public enemy #1. Thanks for this post! Miriam

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from BrendanPicha 3771 Days ago #
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Huh...I submitted this same story 3 days prior and received only 5 Spinns while Chris has received 24. I also linked directly to the original wired article. I think the reasoning for this is two things. 1) He works for search engine land and his name is recognizable. 2) His title "Who’s Spinning Wikipedia?" caters directly to the Sphinn audience whereas mine, "See Everyone Who Ever Edited Wikipedia" is more general. Conclusion...maybe Sphinn IS a popularity contest? http://sphinn.com/story/2875

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from g1smd 3770 Days ago #
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Five people have posted this story, in various forms, in all, so far. The only one to get a meaningful number of votes was the fourth submission, linking to the SEL story. The only one posted by anyone "well known" was also the fourth submission. I have seen this effect several times. . There is a related effect with: http://sphinn.com/story/1891 and http://sphinn.com/story/1884 too. The later thread where jfj3rd links to the SEL version of the story has always been 5 points ahead of the original Danny Sullivan post (posted first) linking to the original posting on the official Google blog. It seems that threads with links to SEL stories often outvote other threads that have direct links to the official source. Maybe that is good, as you then get their commentary on the story, and a link to the original site? Maybe it isn’t? . In any case, if I see a story posted more than once I try to link them all together so that people can find all the angles. The internal site navigation here doesn’t make it easy to find such related threads all by yourself.

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from planetc1 3770 Days ago #
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"how much of the general public will ever hear of this" The story has been red-hot for almost a week and hit major print papers today.

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from Michelle 3770 Days ago #
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@squareoak - I don’t think (in this case) it’s that there is a popularity contest here - but I do think that recognized contributors get more attention. I’m guilty of it, as I’m sure many others are. There are some people that are known authorities in this field (like Chris Sherman), who do not post at Sphinn very often. So if they do - I tend to take notice. More often than not though, I follow the comments feed, and jump to articles from there (not knowing the contributor). But familiarity with the user making the comments may influence me. For example, if I see a comment by Matt Cutts on a (non-cat-based) story, I’ll check it out. Cause I’m pretty sure he’s not here trying to raise his profile, or spam us :-) I think it goes to normal human behavior more so than an agenda of any kind. And like many others, I have found some great resources and interesting perspectives from the new faces that have joined Sphinn - and Sphinn is the better for it. But with this specific case, I think the title and description are what clinched it for Chris’ to get notice and get the votes. @g1smd - yep - the Pligg implementation of ’related stories’ relies on a poorly structured use of tags (which we’re not using anyway), so it’s disabled. We will definitely be implementing a way to view similar articles at some point in the near-ish future.

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from dannysullivan 3770 Days ago #
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I’ve definitely noted the issue with the same story sometimes being submitted by more than one person, since the same story can be covered by more than one outlet. Matt’s talk at WordCamp is probably the best example -- people are still submitting write-ups of that, despite three different versions having gone hot. I’ll I can say is that I am watching it and seeing if there’s a better way to handle it. I don’t think it’s always SEL versions that make it -- I’ve seen plenty of SEL stuff that doesn’t go hot. I think it does remain mainly with the title and description, but even things like time of day can have an impact.

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from TheRealTerry 3770 Days ago #
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Sigh... so what if a company goes on and updates their Wiki page? Wouldn’t they be the most knowledgable source of information? I think inside AND outside sources should be contributing to those articles and I think we shouldn’t get our panties in a twist when an insider who actually has some kind of real factual information to contribute corrects their own company page. Greywolf mentioned recently about how an individual herself is having to deal with issues of others incorrectly attributing her birth home and negating her own real and factual edits to the contrary. Companies HAVE to get in there and maintain their listings, or else you leave it up to the spasmodic hentai fed video game junky no job having mod crazy kids who run wikipedia because they have nothing but time on their hands. Wiki is a joke.

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from dennisbp 3769 Days ago #
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Well perhaps my take it on deserves a spinn too then ;) http://www.thebetanews.com/major-companies-the-vatican-and-governments-busted-by-wikipedia-scanner/ I’ve added a list of some the "best", or worst rather, edits done of Wikipedia. The Vatican editing an Irish Catholic politician, Microsoft editing Apple’s and vice versa or perhaps how MSN Search is “a major competitor to Google”. That’s what MSN added to their page. http://sphinn.com/story/3407

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from g1smd 3767 Days ago #
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http://sphinn.com/story/3407 http://sphinn.com/story/3490 http://sphinn.com/story/3625 This story just runs and runs.

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