Have a new type of product? Stake Your Wikipedia Claim

I have read various posts recently about ways to leverage Wikipedia when it comes to getting the word out about company and product info.  One or two suggested drafting entries defining the company in question.  This could work, however, according to Wikipedia:

… our notability policies and guidelines allow a wide range of articles – however, they do not allow any topic to be included. A particularly common special case of this is pages about people, companies or groups of people that do not assert the notability or importance of their subject, so we have decided that such pages may be speedily deleted

Let me suggest another method – one which might be less obvious but perhaps more interesting.

Especially for smaller technology companies that might  be breaking ground in emerging technology categories – or making a difference in (as of yet undefined by Wikipedia) segments of existing categories – why not start an entry under the name of the category?

(For a longer discussion about the relevance of technology categories in marketing and PR writing, see my post  Assume the Positioning. For my post about the importance of Google and Wikipedia to PR see A Publication of One ).

I have taken on clients recently who are doing really interesting work in areas of technology that are growing in importance, but as of yet the tech categories do not have Wikipedia entries.

To me, this seems like a yawning gap just waiting to be filled.  The PR plans advise that the clients show leadership by carrying the banner for the categories at large.  And what better way to do this than by literally defining categories on Wikipedia?

Of course, the entry needs to be written in a factual and neutral way – I am by no means advocating spamming Wikipedia or crafting an entry that hypes the client.  Even apart from a discussion of ethics, and violating the spirit of Wikipedia, from a practical standpoint there are legions of editors who would cut it back down to size and tone, if not brand the offender as a Wikipedia miscreant.

The gainsay would be indirect – via an entry that adds to the world’s knowledge on the category – and direct, because the client’s name could be mentioned in the body, and a link provided to the company’s definition in Wikipedia if this exists. 

Again, to be neutral you should include names of other competitors in the space as well.  And, unless you provide links to disinterested third party sources (white papers, articles) validating the space, the powers that be might not let the entry stand.

Having said that, there should be a distinct advantage to being the first to literally define the space – you get to insert your world view, highlighting for example the issues in the space that the client feels are important and uniquely solves.

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