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MyWikiBiz is a wiki directory that allows people and enterprises to write about themselves. The brand began as a service creating Wikipedia articles for paying corporations, which ended when the owner of MyWikiBiz was banned from Wikipedia. The current site at MyWikiBiz.com uses a version of the MediaWiki software. The MyWikiBiz directory currently contains over 36,000 pages of content about corporations and individuals, mostly imported en bloc from other directory sources.Template:Fact The business is headquartered in West Chester, Pennsylvania.[1] The site was founded by Gregory Kohs, a market researcher.[2]

According to its main page:

MyWikiBiz is a new directory where you can author your legacy on the Internet. We think you are notable, even if Wikipedia has rejected an article about you or your enterprise as being “non-notable”. With MyWikiBiz, you create a beautiful, reader-friendly page that will get picked up by Google, Yahoo!, and MSN Search engines.[3]

Professor Jonathan Zittrain of the Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society discussed the case of MyWikiBiz in his book The Future of the Internet - And How to Stop It.[4] Gregory Kohs appeared on Attack of the Show! on January 25, 2007, and discussed MyWikiBiz.[5] Heise Online expressed a suspicion that while MyWikiBiz’s “attempted corporate infiltration” of Wikipedia was discovered, MyWikiBiz was not an isolated case.[6]

History of the siteEdit

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Gregory Kohs and his sister started the MyWikiBiz venture in Pennsylvania in July 2006, initially as a paid editing service, writing content for inclusion in Wikipedia and other community-edited sites.[7][8] The idea came from Wikipedia’s "Reward Board", where interested parties would offer cash rewards or gifts to create or improve Wikipedia articles.[1]. MyWikiBiz’s tiers of service were priced at $49, $79, and $99 per article.[1] Kohs stated MyWikiBiz would only produce legitimate Wikipedia articles that conformed to the necessary policies.[9] No official Wikipedia policy prohibited paid-for contributions at the time.[10] Kohs argued that there were tens of thousands of companies and nonprofit organizations unrepresented on Wikipedia.[11]

Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales called the commercialized editing "antithetical" to Wikipedia’s mission,[1] and "absolutely unacceptable".[12] Wales blocked Kohs from editing Wikipedia.[4] Brian Bergstein of the Associated Press compared Kohs’ situation to that of Rick Jelliffe, a technical writer approached by Microsoft to edit Wikipedia articles for pay.[13]

In August 2006, Wales issued a "mutually beneficial" compromise[14] where he encouraged MyWikiBiz to author and post content on a GFDL-compliant section of MyWikiBiz.com, which could then be scraped by non-paid, independent editors into Wikipedia and other GFDL sites.[4]

In October 2006 Wales again banned Kohs from Wikipedia, and cautioned any business from using its services. According to Kohs, the result of this was for MyWikiBiz to go into "hibernation"; although still operating, the site is currently acting solely as a wiki for people and corporations to author their own wiki articles, with no transferral to Wikipedia. Kohs maintains a belief that everyone, even editors with commercial interests should be able to contribute to Wikipedia.[4]

Centiare alliance and takeover Edit

In late October 2006, Kohs formed a partnership with the owner of centiare.com which resulted in Kohs promoting and marketing a wiki-based directory at Centiare.[12][15] When Centiare’s owner opted to pull the plug on the site, Kohs negotiated a transfer of the entire contents of Centiare.com to MyWikiBiz.com.[9]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit


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