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The Almighty Buck The Internet

Wikipedia Used For Apparent Viral Marketing Ploy 201

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the inevitable-abuses-of-trusting-systems dept.
jangobongo writes "An article over at BoingBoing discusses what appears to be a viral marketing ploy appearing in a Wikipedia entry. Quote: "Someone has apparently abused collaborative reference site Wikipedia in a viral marketing campaign for a BBC online alternate reality game." "
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Wikipedia Used For Apparent Viral Marketing Ploy

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  • Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:41AM (#13319861) Homepage
    What's so wrong with it:

    It's well written, doesnt appear to violate NPOV, contains appropriate factual information that would be useful to somone researching the thing years from now.

    Who can better contribute entries than the creators of things, as long as they are carefully watched over by the editors? After all these are the people who have the largest chunk of the story first hand.
    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Informative)

      by Baricom (763970) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:41AM (#13319864)
      It depends on whether you're looking at the live version, or the historical one. The live version was apparently re-written to reflect the fact that it describes a fictional character.
    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

      by Breakfast Pants (323698) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:55AM (#13319908) Journal
      Hah nice try. It is obvious that your post is a part of that same viral marketing ploy.
      • Unlike the Slashdot article, which definitely doesn't include a link to the site in question.
      • Re:Hmm (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by Gordonjcp (186804)
        Hah, nice try. It is obvious that *your* post is a part of that same viral marketing ploy.
        • Hah, nice try. clearly you are trying to muddy the waters so that your viral marketing ploy is more difficult to root out.
    • by Namarrgon (105036) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:00AM (#13319919) Homepage
      This [wikipedia.org] is the original, disputed article, and clearly is not factual. The majority of votes [wikipedia.org] were against keeping this article, on the grounds that it was advertising, and fiction presented as fact.

      This [wikipedia.org] is the current article, completely rewritten by a third party, which now describes the game rather than a character in it and takes care to present itself as a description of a piece of fiction, with many references to related discussions. Most people seem willing to keep the updated article, despite some lingering accusations of advertising.

      There are other [wikipedia.org] article(s) that are still written from the fictional context of the game, and are likely [wikipedia.org] to be deleted.

    • Self Promotion (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Monday August 15, 2005 @06:42AM (#13320221) Homepage
      NPOV is far from the only guidelines at Wikipedia, though. There are two other issues... Self Promotion and Original Work.

      Now, it is true that a creator or someone involed can often be a good source of information. I write for a few entries in such a position. However, I've also authored what I thought werea few good factual entries, but rightly (it took a bit of pride swallowing to admit) removed (as original Works, not self promotion).

      If you are self promoting, the entry will be wiped out. For instance, you cannot make a personal entry. Just because you as Joe_Blow include factual information, doesn't mean you are a "significant person" to be put in an encyclopedia.

      Second, you may have a great theory for how the universe started or a unifying theory of all things. Unfortunately, if you are not published elsewhere first, and get some level of recognition, do not post it to Wikipedia. Instead, post it to Wikibooks or elsewhere. If you get some recognition, gain some sources that site you, then you can move it over to Wikipedia (provided you either A) present it entirely as NPOV or B) Segregate your opinion into one section, and provide another section and openly encourage others to present arguements against).

      The original (and this current) seems like advertisement... still. This is info you find on the game's site, not Wikipedia. Is Wikipedia going to do an entry on games barely over a week after release now? Unless it has even some minor social impact, it should be deleted... and that's where my vote is going. Scrap it, and tell the BBC to go pay for its advertising on Google like everyone else. It got free press from /., so, good job for their PR team, now it's time for them to quit screwing around with the legitimacy of earnest sites like Wikipedia.

      I've voting deletion.
  • by deminisma (703135) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:41AM (#13319862)
    That'll really teach those BBC punks!
  • by Approaching.sanity (889047) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:41AM (#13319865) Homepage
    Please, Wikipedia is maintained by everyone. And not everyone is an advertiser. A few hours, maybe a few days and everything will be stable again.

    A bit of sensationalist nonsense is all.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:52AM (#13319895)
      Thats all very well, but the article isn't about Wikipedia so much as the BBC. It was the Beeb that put up the fake article about a fake dead pop star.

      It was also a BBC man (from their own network IP range) that put up the fake Boy*Up (?) article too. Although he says he acted alone and not on behalf of the BBC, what are the chances of a BBC man putting up an article connected to a fake BBC website coincidentally? Pretty slim.

      Sure it and a few others were spotted pretty quickly, but the big story isn't the vandalism, its that the BBC did it.
      • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:57AM (#13319911) Homepage Journal
        It was the Beeb that put up the fake article about a fake dead pop star. Its that the BBC did it.
        A BBC employee did it. That's not the same thing as "The BBC" doing it, or the suggestion that it was BBC policy. (Do you really want to go back to the time where everyones email had "Not speaking for my employers" pasted into the signature)
        • by SecretAsianMan (45389) on Monday August 15, 2005 @06:28AM (#13320187) Homepage

          A BBC employee did it. That's not the same thing as "The BBC" doing it

          When you are an employee, during work hours, you are a representative of your employer. Your public actions will have some impact on the public image of your employer. It is the burden of the employer to hire employees whose actions will not damage the public image of the employer.

          • by Anonymous Coward
            Hey, everyone! Let's get drunk and naked and do some blow off a whore's back! And kill defenseless baby animals!

            Shhhh, don't tell anyone I work for Microsoft.
          • by Bastian (66383) on Monday August 15, 2005 @07:09AM (#13320288)
            When you are an employee, during work hours, you are a representative of your employer. Your public actions will have some impact on the public image of your employer. It is the burden of the employer to hire employees whose actions will not damage the public image of the employer.

            That's all well and good, and I agree with you about it, but it does not mean that a BBC employee's actions are automatically the BBC's actions as well.

            If it turns out that this employee was doing this for fun rather than for work, the BBC's screw-up wasn't abusing Wikipedia, the BBC's screw-up was not keeping a tight enough leash on this person. Is different, it is.
            • it does not mean that a BBC employee's actions are automatically the BBC's actions as well.

              Actually, that's PRECISELY what it means. When you work for a company, and you perform an action using company resources, on company, time, the company has performed that action. How could it be anything other?

              Does it mean that a solitary employee's actions are representative of a company's POLICY? No.
          • The issue at hand is whether or not the BBC initiated a viral marketing campaign. It didn't. End of story, it doesn't matter what employee editted the story from The BBC on or off work hours.
        • BBC Policy Clarified (Score:3, Informative)

          by ear1grey (697747)
          I contacted the BBC to ask for clarification on the events and received the unequivocal response [boakes.org] that:
          the BBC would never use Wikipedia as a marketing tool.
        • Do you really want to go back to the time where everyones email had "Not speaking for my employers" pasted into the signature)

          Yes. At least then all the fraudulent marketing sock puppets on slashdot would be more legally accountable for their actions. As it is now they can mouth any bullshit and claim it's a personal opinion. Truth in advertising needs more legal teeth.

          ---

          Don't be a programmer-bureaucrat; someone who substitutes marketing buzzwords and software bloat for verifiable improvements.

    • by Spacejock (727523) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:16AM (#13319950) Homepage
      A bit of sensationalist nonsense is all.

      What, here?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:43AM (#13319869)
    WHAT are these "editors doing" ?!
    on the linked boingboing-article:

    Update: 5PM Sunday -- reader Mike Harris says,

            The article has now been totally rewritten by a user named Uncle G to factually report on the game.

    The corresponding discussion page now includes mea culpas from persons responsible for two of the bogus entries. One of them, "Jon_Hawk," identifies himself as someone unaffiliated with the BBC who just digs the game.

            Please do not use my edits to slander the BBC. If this were part of a viral campaign, the grammar of the article would almost certainly be better. I suspect the article would have been created at the same time as the game started also. Jamie Kane was mentioned on several blogs on Friday - did not one of you consider it was created by someone who reads such things? I'm nothing more than a student. I'm sincerely apologetic for purposefully omitting the true nature of Jamie Kane.

    But the other, "MattC," identifies himself as a BBC employee:

            I created the Boy*D_Upp page from inside the BBC network on Friday evening after stumbling across the Jamie Kane entry linked from the Pop Justice forums. My action was in no way part of an orchestrated marketing campaign on behalf of the Jamie Kane project team nor was it intended for my page to be attributed to the BBC, which has been implied. It was nothing more than common garden vandalism for which I am sorry.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:34AM (#13319985)
      It was nothing more than common garden vandalism for which I am sorry.

      So it was you who trashed the Blue Peter garden, you unspeakable bounder.
    • I had a look at the original page [wikipedia.org] and decided this all smells a bit fishy...

      Jon_Hawk doesn't explicitly say he is unaffiliated with the BBC, in fact the only provable claim he makes is that he is a student. Big deal, like many companies, the BBC employ students.

      Even if this isn't a case of viral marketing, I am sure it must happen, as of the BoingBoing correspondents says: I do work at a company that uses Wikipedia as a key part of online marketing strategies...

  • Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:47AM (#13319878) Homepage Journal
    Happens all the time, and has done to a greater or lesser extent since 2001.

    It'll be clear in about a week, which is how long wikipedia's processes (and there are plenty of applicable processes) tend to take.

    Nothing to see here...
  • And in other news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by myowntrueself (607117) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:48AM (#13319883)
    Online news and discussion forum 'Slashdot' has apparently been used in an almost cleverly self-referential viral marketting ploy.
  • by Jarnis (266190) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:49AM (#13319884)
    Why are people overreacting?

    Wikipedia is Working as Intended(tm) - someone posts a bullshit viral marketing article, and it gets edited to be a proper article about the game.

    Anyone can put bullshit to Wikipedia. Anyone can edit said bullshit. Anyone repeatedly abusing their ability to post or edit will see their ability to do so removed - by their peers. Ultimate peer review system. End result is usually positive - like in this case.

    It's pointless to get worked over a 'bogus' Wikipedia entry. Wait 48 hours and look at it again, and most likely the wheels have turned and it's either nuked or edited.
  • wikipedia problem (Score:4, Interesting)

    by slashdotnickname (882178) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:51AM (#13319893)
    Not to gang up on wikipedia but as anyone else spent time doing random page jumps? I was surprised how many self-serving pages are out there, often looking like resumes for people of seemingly little fame or encyclopedic value... not to mention the suspiciously POV pages authored mainly by one author.

    Seems like there's a larger problem out there that wikipedia needs to address. Certain aspects of human nature (coupled with the security of relative anonimity) are going to be tough to filter out from such an open project like theirs.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 15, 2005 @05:55AM (#13320124)
      You make the argument that wikipedia is filled with self-serving pages which to some extent, I will concede is true, but you have failed to describe why this is wrong. Their existence hurts nothing. If you looked them up, then they must be of at least some importance.

      In addition I take cause with your phrase of "an open project like theirs". As an open project it is ours. If you find a page that you feel has a problem, edit it. If you find a page that doesn't cover both sides of an issue add your side to it.

    • Seems like there's a larger problem out there that wikipedia needs to address.

      That statement falls into the same category as ones starting with, "the government should" or "the open-source movement should". Anybody can be a part of Wikipedia. Don't say, "they" should do something about it. Say "we"! The editing interface is just one click away.
  • by rsmith-mac (639075) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:52AM (#13319898)
    Just so we're clear here, by the time the article was posted on Slashdot, it was corrected as to be a proper writeup on the game itself, instead of being a false article based on the game. You can see the original viral entry [wikipedia.org] from the article's history however if you want to see what the initial fuss was about.
  • Although what the BBC has done seems calculating and self-interested, it doens't seem so unlike the folks that fill up the Wikipedia with the Star wars entries about every single character under the sun(s), and not just the coolest ones [wikipedia.org].

    And now that I think of it, perhaps the Star Wars money-machine has paid fanboys (or fed them info) so that they could go out and write up that stuff. I know I spent hours poring over it.

    Regardless, by the time this is over, I think the BBC's name will be "bukkake". No
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Wow. a informal article about bukkake. All bow for the mighty wikipedia!
    • StarWars? Heck, there are entries for every single of Digimon.
    • by mdarksbane (587589) on Monday August 15, 2005 @09:24AM (#13321028)
      But that's what's so useful about Wikipedia. I can pull up a reasonable summary of almost any random crap likely to come up in conversation and have a general knowledge of it and related subjects, as well as links to find more information.

      It gives a basic coverage of subjects that you'd normally have to look in very specific types of literature for, assuming you could even figure out what category of encyclopedia you'd need.

      If I need to know what an M1 is? easy, as well as other weapons of the era. What about who Lilith was? No need to know that I have to look under religious studies (or, more specifically, the apocryphal book of Enoch, in the extra-biblical Jewish mythology). Heck, as the parent demonstrated, the term bukkake, which almost no one who doesn't live on the internet has ever heard of, is quite reasonably explained.

      All these terms are from diverse areas and decently obscure, but you'll find them quite easily in wikipedia alongside "All your base are belong to us," the Tree of Sephiroth, and every pokemon character ever caught.

      So, I say, the more entries the better! I hope all those star wars characters are on there, because they aren't going to be anywhere else someone's likely to look for them.
  • Note the talk page:
    "Crappy marketing. Get rid. --4bnormaldotcom 10:01, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
    Viral marketing, delete --MisterBijou 14:05, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
    Delete. Shame on the BBC. --Uttaddmb 15:17, 14 August 2005 (UTC)"

    Note the group think. jsut like slashdot: there is only one thruth, and spam is not one of them. But note that this article can be merged into a fine description of the game. Deletion should not be part of this. (redirect: fine: delete why?
    • Note that it was rewriten after those comments and wasn't very useful before that.
    • by Shaper_pmp (825142) on Monday August 15, 2005 @07:54AM (#13320483)
      Just a thought, but how do you tell the difference between "groupthink" and "a bunch of intelligent people who've independently reached the correct opinion"?

      Obviously, not all opinions are equal - everyone's entitled to their own one, but "I think all black people should be rounded up and deported" should obviously be given less credence than "I think 1 + 1 = 2".

      Therefore certian opinions are more "correct" than others - they more accurately reflect objective reality, or have a more rational/logical base.

      If lots of intelligent people agree on a particular conclusion, it could just be because that conclusion's the right one. Or at least, the best one suggested yet.

      In this example, Wikipedia is supposed to be an impartial, factual resource, or at least as close to that ideal as possible. Marketing (and especially covert marketing) has exactly the opposite agenda, by definition - it's inherently biased, since it's sole purpose is to convince you that something's great or true, regardless of its actual quality or veracity.

      An objective, factual article on the reality game is still advertising it - it's still spreading awareness and propagating the meme. Given this, if/when a company is proven to have pissed in the communal well for private gain, I'd consider it appropriate to remove all content directly related to said spam, since even a factual article left behind still represents some benefit to the company.

      The lesson here is simple: Submit good, factual content and it'll stay, bringing some small benefit both to Wikipedia (additional content) and your company (subtle, low-key advertising). Attempt to subvert Wikipedia by spamming or posting biased articles, and have the entire meme you're trying to push excised from the site. This way Wikipedia wins ("no content" is better than "deliberately misleading content"), and your company loses (no advertising whatsoever, even low-key factual articles).

      Ok, in this case the deletion request was posted before the re-write, and the submitter turned out (apparently) to be a private individual rather than an "official" BBC employee, but I think the principle is sound - when spammed, delete the spam page complately, and subsequently accept re-writes if they're deemed impartial enough, taking into account any connection between the spammer and the new submitter.

      Sorry - I know that doesn't fit in with the standard trendy "site X is t3h suXX0rZ! T3hy i5 t3h gr0uP7h1nK!!!111!!!1one!!11!1" whinge, but I'd like to think that's because it's maybe slightly closer to objective reality... ;-)
  • by davmoo (63521) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:55AM (#13319907)
    This is not the least bit surprising.

    Every time a new technology or a new way of doing something appears, someone else figures out a way to possibly abuse it and make a buck with it. That's how the world operates.

    • by munpfazy (694689) * on Monday August 15, 2005 @05:05AM (#13320040)
      >Every time a new technology or a new way of doing something
      >appears, someone else figures out a way to possibly abuse it and
      >make a buck with it. That's how the world operates.

      Usually, I'd agree with you.

      But this seems to be the exception, in two ways.

      The first (and less interesting) is that it wasn't actually an organized marketing ploy at all, assuming the two posters are to be believed. (It would certainly seems rather un-BBC-like if it were, and news if only for that reason.)

      But, what's really interesting is that it failed. Unlike virtually every other medium out there where marketing agreements and dinner party handshaks force thinly disguised adverts on the audience, here's a case where an information delivery system proved so robust that within days it annihilated even a barely visible and seemingly harmless attempt at marketing.

      In a world where television journalists hawk movies and products, newspapers add bylines to industry press-releases and ink them without so much as a word change, and public radio hosts are forced to recite advertising copy, it's incredible to find a forum which not only avoids active advertising deals but ruthlessly attacks at the first sign of marketing infiltration.

      Score one for wikipedia.
  • Sure it was the BBC? (Score:5, Informative)

    by orzetto (545509) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:57AM (#13319913)

    Looking at the page history [wikipedia.org], one finds that the original author is a certain Jon Hawk [wikipedia.org], who claims not to be a BBC employee [wikipedia.org], and with quite a few spelling mistakes too. He has also a few other contributions to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org], so maybe this page is all work of a fan and not of the BBC.

    However, it is true that this page [wikipedia.org] (in the history of related article Boyd*Upp) was written [wikipedia.org] by someone operating out of IP 132.185.240.121, corresponding to webgw1.thls.bbc.co.uk.

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:57AM (#13319914) Homepage
    Really????
    I can't believe it!
  • by Anakron (899671) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:00AM (#13319920)
    The original article didn't mention that it referred to a fictional character. For those who missed it, here's the original text:

    James Kenton Kane (born 22 October [wikipedia.org] 1982 [wikipedia.org] - 2005 [wikipedia.org]) better known as Jamie Kane was a British [wikipedia.org] pop musician [wikipedia.org] and was a member of boyband [wikipedia.org] Boy*d Upp [wikipedia.org].

    After the band split up, Kane launch a mildy successful solo career. He appeard on the covers of Top Of The Pops [wikipedia.org] magazine and NME [wikipedia.org].

    Kane was the subject of several scandals in his last year.

    Kane died in a helicopter crash of the coast of the Netherlands [wikipedia.org].

    External links

    Official site [jamiekane.co.uk]
    Fan site www.jamierules.co.uk [jamierules.co.uk]

  • No news is bad news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by djkitsch (576853) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:04AM (#13319928)
    I'm sure it's occurred to many other Slashdotters, but this is probablly the best kind of press Wikipedia can get.

    This, along with the London bombing coverage [wikinews.org] in Wikinews [wikinews.org] last month, is an excellent example of the power and self-healing of MediaWiki sites.

    You can rant and rave about misuse, and I agree, but this is evidence in favour when the critics talk about how a community-edited encyclopedia can never be a reliable information resource.
    • by daniil (775990) <evilbj8rn@hotmail.com> on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:45AM (#13320006) Journal
      It also highlights some of the problems with community-edited encyclopedias. First, if you look at the article history [wikipedia.org], you'll see that it's been edited something like five hundred times in the course of the past three days, vandalised in many cases (I wonder if the last ones were due to the Slashdotting?). Secondly, he overwhelming reaction of the community to the creation of such an entry about a fictional character seems to be "Delete! Delete!" which is really stupid (it's a lot wiser IMO to keep it in its current state, noting the controversy over the creation of the entry).

      These two problems are really just different sides of the same coin: the first reactions to practically any news will be irrational. On news sites that allow the users comment on the news, there'll always be a billion people screaming bloody murder over anything, instead of giving it a couple of moments' thought. And the reactions to negative news are always the same: throw them to jail! Banish! Destroy! The same thing happened with this Wikipedia entry. Someone read about it on Slashdot and quickly vandalised it, thinking (well, not really thinking) that they'd be doing the community a favour by this. Of course the entry was restored just as quickly, but this doesn't make the problem -- that people do not realise that there are other ways of dealing with problematic things than just "shooting" them -- disappear.

      • IMHO it does the oposite. As I see it the article underwent rapid editing in an atempt to make it factual and NPOV, and was completely rewriten to bring it to it's current state (the 'delete' comments are before that, it wouldn't have been a big loss). Both obvious atempts at vandalism have been undone under 2 minutes.
  • by br00tus (528477) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:07AM (#13319934)
    Wikipedia says all over it that anyone can edit and that it is not a "reliable" source, so this is not a big deal.

    I see the larger problem with Wikipedia in that it is run by a millionaire, Jimbo Wales, who has said he manages it according to the philosophy of Ludwig von Mises. And the powers-that-be who have a hand in shaping rules, what content gets in, which users get banned, follow on some level from this.

    While anyone can contribute, in a democratic fashion, there is a counter-force to this, in the same manner that the US is a democratic republic, with a counterforce of an authoritarian financial hierarchy, with landlords and tenants, moneylenders and debtors, company owners and workers. In the same manner, while anyone can contribute to Wikipedia, the "cabal" as they themselves mockingly call it, headed by Jimbo Wales, and with his various lieutenants in Arbcom (the Arbitration Committee), on the Mediation Committee, as bureaucrats, as admins, exercises a great deal of change over things, and points in the direction things will go.

    There is a project on Wikipedia whose premise is that the English Wikipedia users are mostly from England and its former colonies and they have a certain view of the world. Plus demographically the users are generally people like me, white male professionals from the US and whatnot. Wikipedia says it is "neutral point of view" on topics like Palestine and Israel, the US vs. the USSR and that sort of thing, but that's BS. But anyhow the "counetring systematic bias" project mainly works on things by spending time writing articles about stuff most white male professionals from the US don't spend much time thinking about, like culture in Burundi and stuff like that.

    Wikipedia does very well in it's top categories of mathematics and science, because most everyone is on the same page about these things. Wikipedia completely falls apart in terms of neutrality with things like the John Kerry and George W. Bush pages. They are not neutral. And it has not gotten better, and I am not Panglossian about the worsening situation, unlike the Wikipedia core group. It is obvious to me that the main categories that experience massive edit wars and fights like history and society, will eventually break off into different wikis. The most hardcore John Kerry people will go to one of the wikis, the most hardcore Bush people will go to another wiki. Then these groups might draw more people. This has already happened to some extent. And I tell people - don't bang your head against a brick wall. See how these things will not work out for you on Wikipedia, then go check out a wiki encyclopedia run by either a conservative (wikinfo [wikinfo.org]) or by liberals (dkosopedia [dkosopedia.com] or Demopedia [democratic...ground.com]). And if all you're interested in is looking up articles on Wikipedia in quantum mechanics [wikipedia.org] - well then, you'll probably be happy with Wikipedia. And I'm sure all the non-political people would love to see all the fanatic Air America listeners and Fox News watchers leave (actually that's being mild, communists and fascists are the real ends of the extremes that exist on Wikipedia).

    • Bias (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Stalyn (662) on Monday August 15, 2005 @06:00AM (#13320132) Homepage Journal
      Wikipedia has bias but what human institution doesn't? At least with Wikipedia we can see it at such a large scale one could actually examine it in great detail ( dissertation perhaps ). Anyway my point is the key is not to eliminate bias ( which might be impossible ) but to recognize it. I think Wikipedia teaches us all that lesson.
    • Wikipedia does very well in it's top categories of mathematics and science, because most everyone is on the same page about these things.

      sure. [wikipedia.org]

  • Nice (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Icephreak1 (267199)
    Well shit, now that the Wikipedia entry has been Slashdotted, I bet the game's producers are beyond giddy. Perhaps the game's producers submitted this Slashdot story to begin with.

    - IP
  • Why (Score:3, Interesting)

    by smallguy78 (775828) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:16AM (#13319948) Homepage
    If it's an 'online alternate reality game' what benefit would there be to the BBC, in having a viral marketing campaign? There's no advertising revenue gained from attracted a lot of new (mostly nerds) to their website.
    • by BenjyD (316700)
      The BBC still has to justify its existence and funding to government and to the public, who pay for it. Viewing figures and page impressions give them evidence that their output is still worthwhile.
    • ARGs are advertising.
  • by blyloveranger (525451) <<blyloveranger> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:17AM (#13319951)
    I think my favorite part of the article is when someone says:

    .I've marked the Boy*d Upp and Jamie Kane articles on Wikipedia for deletion. Hopefully this will teach people that Wikipedia isnt the place for viral marketing.

    Since I can only imagine how many more people have seen the wikipedia page and heard about the game, after people started making a big deal about it and writing articles about it. I can only imagine what all viral advertizing firms are thinking. Damn, well I guess we can't use wikipedia to try to gain recognition for our product, because if someone notices, our pages will get slashdotted then no one will be able to view them, because too many people will be viewing our product... Oh, wait...

    Despite that, I am still not sure what the big deal was in the first place. It was just good fun, and didn't really harm anyone. What is wrong with a wikipedia page about a fake artist, as far as some people are concerned (see earlier slashdot article about mmorpg) there actually is/will be no difference between reality and what is found on the internet, so in those terms the BBC is actually ahead of the game.
    • If I were a "viral marketer", I'd look at the results of this. Sure, the game achieved a sort of notoriety from the fake Wikipedia article. But that's certainly countered by the fact that very few Slashdotters are fourteen year old girls (their primary demographic), and those few fourteen year old girls are the next generation of geek chicks, probably not ideal candidates for playing some airheaded game about a fake boy-band.

      Meanwhile, they've brought their game to the attention of the Script Kiddie B
    • What is wrong with a wikipedia page about a fake artist, as far as some people are concerned (see earlier slashdot article about mmorpg) there actually is/will be no difference between reality and what is found on the internet, so in those terms the BBC is actually ahead of the game.

      What I see could be wrong about it is that the people that let other people write reality like this would have less of a leg to stand on when they complain about "W's" revisionism or the revisionism of any company or government.
    • "Damn, well I guess we can't use wikipedia to try to gain recognition for our product, because if someone notices, our pages will get slashdotted then no one will be able to view them, because too many people will be viewing our product... Oh, wait..."

      Yeah - the first few times it happens it'll be News, because it's an overt attack on what aims to be an impartial information resource. After a couple of attempts it'll hopefully cease being news, and each new spam article will just be quietly disposed-of, wi
  • OMG (Score:2, Funny)

    by Michael_Munks (869444)
    It's infected slashdot.
  • by citizenc (60589) <cary@glidedesi[ ]ca ['gn.' in gap]> on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:41AM (#13320002) Journal
    It's interesting to start at the original entry [wikipedia.org] and then progress through the various versions. You can really see the Wiki editorial process at work.
  • Change indicator (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Frans Faase (648933) on Monday August 15, 2005 @05:11AM (#13320049) Homepage
    Wikipedia should introduce a "change indicator" that uses background colours to indicate which parts of the text of an article have been modified (deleted) in the past ten days.
    • Wikipedia should introduce a "change indicator" that uses background colours to indicate which parts of the text of an article have been modified (deleted) in the past ten days.

      They already have the history tab on every page, which does a much better job than any simple background-colour scheme would. Moreover, any such coloration of text backgrounds would make busy pages, such as on breaking news stories, hideously unreadable.

  • ... that the fan site [jamiekane.co.uk] is fake, because it doesn't look like my 12-year-old sister made it using 1997-vintage Geocities Page Builder (cf a lot of other fan sites out there).
  • by wikinerd (809585) on Monday August 15, 2005 @05:43AM (#13320100) Journal
    ...you are free to come to my wiki JnanaBase [jnanabase.org] which has only one policy: You are free to do whatever you want within the minimum possible legal and decency limitations. The goal of the project is to document all information that exists in the universe, thus creating a copy of our brain (we will later organise and manage all that information with some special software [wikinerds.org] we develop). Yes, you can write an article about your business or even a biography for your dog, as long as the information is useful and accurate. We created this project as an alternative to Wikipedia because we believe that there should be no limits in information.
  • Sad news ... Jamie Kane, dead at 23

    I just heard some sad news on a news podcast - boy band singer Jamie Kane was found dead in a helicopter off the Dutch coast this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly a British icon.

  • Linking to Wikipedia (Score:5, Informative)

    by PhilHibbs (4537) <snarks@gmail.com> on Monday August 15, 2005 @06:01AM (#13320134) Homepage Journal
    When submitting a Slashdot story, please consider linking to a specific page revision (from the History page), rather than to the normal article link. This way, Slashdotters visiting the site need not be subjected to pages full of pictures of penises. This article was only vandalised three times today, and none were terribly obscene, but it's happened in the past and reducing the impact of trollish behaviour should in turn reduce such behaviour.

    This is not official Wikipedia policy, just a suggestion from a Slashdotter and a Wikipedian.
  • Update: No its not (Score:5, Informative)

    by AceJohnny (253840) <jlargentaye&gmail,com> on Monday August 15, 2005 @06:21AM (#13320172) Journal
    Extra Extra! Read all about it! [boingboing.net]

    Actually, it seems to be more of a case of fanbase going wild. From the article:

    I'm Rob, the Senior Producer on the Jamie Kane game. A couple of people have emailed the BBC asking for an official response to the Jamie Kane/Wikipedia thing. If you guys still have space for it, would you mind adding in the following, as there seems to be some confusion:

    "Just to confirm, the BBC would never use Wikipedia as a marketing tool. The first posting was simply a case of a fan of the game getting into the spirit of alternative reality a little too much. The follow up posting was made by a fan of the game who happens to work for the BBC and was made without the knowledge of anyone in the Jamie Kane Team or BBC Marketing."
  • this thread points out the need for a wiki archive; on historical/scholarship grounds this aritcle should not be deleted into nothing, but deleted into the archive - or am i unaware of, say, the wiki snapshot, that takes asnapshot of thew ikipedia every 15 minutes..
  • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2014@virtual-estates.net> on Monday August 15, 2005 @07:32AM (#13320363) Homepage
    A profit-driven corporation -- maybe. But for people-owned BBC to do anything remotely unethical? No way!..

    Gebyy zl oruvaq...

  • The only thing I found interesting about this whole mess is the reference to wikipedia being slashdotted...and then the pageview reports comparing wikipedia to slashdot.

    Holy crap! I had NO idea that Wikipedia was getting that much traffic.

    One month comparison http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details? &range=1m&size=medium&compare_sites=slashdot.org&y =p&url=wikipedia.org [alexa.com] and a two year comparison, http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details? &range=2y&size=lar [alexa.com]
  • Good (Score:2, Funny)

    Not to turn this into "flamebait" or whatever you kids are calling it nowadays, I am no huge fan of Wikipedia. I'd much rather have a resource that's peer-reviewed and professional, i.e. no sources/ "facts" from the general population. Sure, a free resource of info is all well-and good, but this allowing everyone and their brother to edit articles is unacceptable.
  • Interesting (Score:3, Funny)

    by jonoton (804262) on Monday August 15, 2005 @07:45AM (#13320435)
    That the same day the BBC have an article about wikipedia....

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4152860.stm [bbc.co.uk]
  • Via BoingBoing.net:

    Rob Cooper, the Senior Producer on the game, writes in with the following:

    I'm Rob, the Senior Producer on the Jamie Kane game. A couple of people have emailed the BBC asking for an official response to the Jamie Kane/Wikipedia thing. If you guys still have space for it, would you mind adding in the following, as there seems to be some confusion:

    "Just to confirm, the BBC would never use Wikipedia as a marketing tool. The first posti
  • Hey, these jerks abused wikipedia, huh? To market their product?

    Yeah, lets FP a story with a link to the ad on Slashdot! That will teach them!

    See how many visitors you get now! Abusers.
  • I say good. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by _aa_ (63092) <j.uaau@ws> on Monday August 15, 2005 @08:22AM (#13320629) Homepage Journal
    Anyone can modify a Wiki, and anyone who thinks a Wiki is some perfect document free of unsavory influence is a dullard. I would be more concerned if marketing DID NOT find it's way into a Wiki. Look around you. Right above me as I type I am bombarded with logos and ads and OSDN navigation bars (or I would be if they wern't disabled or AdBlocked). Marketing is so much a part of our lives, there would be something wrong with the openness of Wikipedia if marketing did not find it's way inside.

    I hate ads as much as the next guy, but you're not going to stop this practice by broadcasting it on /. for every tom, dick, and harry to read. Just mark it for deletion and move on. It appears the BBC didn't really sanction this, but, now that marketers have seen the kind of press this has gotten, they're going to be all over it now. And then it will become ineffective and they'll move on to something else. It won't ruin Wikipedia anymore than subscriptions ruined slashdot.
  • Can you imagine that something like this would happen on /.? People just posting a story to get hits to their own website?

    Luckily the editors here are paying attention and will never let such a thing happen and if it would happen, that person would NEVER be able to submit a story again.
  • Is anyone actually surprised by this? Wikipedia is a nice resource and all, but it's anything but a defacto standard for information. I understand that institutional encyclopedias are subject to bias, but Wikipedia is subject to wild innaccuracy because of how easy it is to edit it's content in an arbitrary way. Which is worse?

    In order to remove potential innacuracy you'd have to have restricted contribution. I'm assuming this is by an editorial staff used to review submissions by the public. So, in the en
  • It would be hilarious if someone wrote up a Wikipedia article on the great BBC marketing campaign of 2005. With links to the existing fictional articles.

One of the chief duties of the mathematician in acting as an advisor... is to discourage... from expecting too much from mathematics. -- N. Wiener

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