Wikipedia War Over the Social Media Agency
Over the past week I’ve literally been in a “Wikipedia War” over an article that I had submitted about the evolving definition and role of the Social Media Agency.
Now, before I explain the course of events I’d like to explain that my rationale for this article was not to plug Ignite, but rather to shed some light on what a social media agency is, how it is different from advertising agencies and PR agencies, and to start a list of “true” social media agencies, including firms like Crayon, Shift, Gold Group and The Social Media Group.
However, probably a month after I created this article the post was flagged and nominated for deletion because it appeared as “spam” and appeared to have a “lack of credible sources “. After this first warning, I took a hard look at my post and even looked to the current Wikipedia post for “Advertising Agencies” as reference. Surprisingly, the two posts were very similar in nature. A top level view, followed by sources and links to agencies.
So not exactly knowing how to make it appear less like spam, I decided to beef up my sources, add a few more agencies to the list, and try again.
That’s when I got the following message:
“Please familiarize yourself with Wikipedia policy on reliable sources. Blogs are especially mentioned as not reliable sources……Also, please stop adding links to agencies to the page. Wikipedia is not a link directory – and Wikipedia is not a soapbox for advertising.
As of now, there are no sources whatsoever about Social media agency. And I fail to see the notability of that term, it is used by some blog posts – in blogs that seem to be advertising said agencies. If you want, we can have deletion discussion of the article.”
After this note, I decided to start a deletion discussion of the article – hoping to continue to improve my article and appease this Wikipedia warrior. However, I didn’t get the chance. Despite my rationale and my questions for clarity in my deletion discussion, my article was abruptly deleted. You can no longer find “Social Media Agency” on Wikipedia.
I know that Wikipedia has its own culture. That’s been made even more abundantly clear during this adventure. There’s a growing battle in Wikipedia between the “deletionists” (folks who believe that the bias toward new entries is to delete them unless they can prove their value) and the “inclusionists” (folks who believe server space is cheap and there’s no harm with a definition that only comes up when someone actively searches it). Clearly, I’m an inclusionist. I love the hubris of the deletionist: “I fail to see…” Yes, clearly you do.
Despite what the Wikipedia warrior believes, social media agencies are real. Ford Motor Company just hired one and awarded it their “global social media account.” But according to the Wikipedia warrior, they are writing checks to a fiction.
So I’d like to know your thoughts – do you think there should be a post on Wikipedia covering the “Social Media Agency”? Would you find it helpful and informative, or would you also view it as spam?