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Home » Wikipedia’s reach seems “unstoppable” states new book

Wikipedia’s reach seems “unstoppable” states new book

by | Feb 13, 2024

By Josh Greene, CEO of The Mather Group

My newest book is out: Wikipedia for Business 2024: The Rules & Latest Developments that Businesses & Communicators Need to Know to Succeed. To kickoff the New Year, we updated the book with our team’s findings on what has been working well, how Wikipedia and AI work together and what you might need to change for the future in regards to Wikipedia.

Here is a sneak peak at the introduction:
As this article says, “Wikipedia is the place Earthlings go to tell and/or read the story of our world.” The online encyclopedia is an amalgamation of current facts, historical biographies, strange places, confusing terms, scientific occurrences, and more. It receives billions of visitors every month, is referenced in news articles, by smart assistants like Siri and Alexa, is consistently a top search result on Google – and is a significant powersource for AI.

2023 was really the year that people realized Wikipedia isn’t only important as an online encyclopedia. While we’ve shared this over the last several years, in 2023, it started to make the news in a big way. People are understanding that Wikipedia is important as:
 One of the most important training models for generative AI
 One of the most referenced sources on Google’s search results
 One of the most overlooked ways to enhance or otherwise impact SEO

We talk about the repercussions of these elements in more detail in chapters two and three: Wikipedia and AI and SEO and Wikipedia.

The fact is we’re only seeing Wikipedia’s reach grow. It seems unstoppable even by unintentional measures such as the Online Safety Bill introduced in the U.K. this year. While some worry that the bill could block Wikipedia, it likely won’t. All government parties have expressed a desire for a flexible, “future-proof” bill, and most experts believe an exemption will be provided for Wikipedia.

So, as far as Wikipedia’s concerned, it isn’t enough that it’s used by Google, Bard, Siri, Alexa, ChatGPT, researchers, teachers, medical professionals, and journalists. There’s still more world for it to influence and it isn’t stopping. In fact, it’s now showing up in TikTok. TikTok “discreetly introduced” Wikipedia snippets into its search results so now, when users click on the snippets, they are redirected to Wikipedia.

Why should you care? A survey (same source) showed that 74% of Gen Z internet users use TikTok as a search engine. That’s 74% of people born between 1997-2012, those who are currently 11-26, some of whom have purchasing power and/or the ability to influence the adults in their lives. If you have any interest in marketing and selling to that audience, be aware of what they are learning on
Wikipedia.

All this means that while Wikipedia is a unique platform, it can and should be part of your long-term strategies for brand growth. Working with it isn’t straightforward – COI tags abound for the unaware – but it shouldn’t be ignored.

That’s why I create this book every year. There’s always something new to learn about Wikipedia.

Some new way it’s making the world of online reputation management interesting. I hope that instead of simply reading this book, you really use it. Show it to colleagues. Highlight it. Dogear pages if you have a hardcopy. Return to it again and again and again. As always, if you want to talk more, give me a call at (703) 623-4490.

If this intrigues you, I am happy to send you a free copy of the book! Just shoot me a message at [email protected]. 🙂

About the Author

Capitol Communicator and sponsors host various guest postings on relevant topics of interest to the advertising, marketing, public relations and media professional community that Capitol Communicator serves.

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