Does your organization have a Wikipedia entry? Start monitoring it now.

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If your organization is listed in Wikipedia, the community-edited online encyclopedia, congratulations. Quite apart from the virtues of collaborative editing, Wikipedia entries often rank at or near the top of Google search results.

Now break open your RSS aggregator. You're going to want to add a new subscription immediately... because nearly anybody could be editing your entry.

Here's what you do: navigate to your Wikipedia page. (Here's a shot from the entry about Wikipedia itself.)

Wikipedia screenshot

Click on the "history" tab, and you'll be taken to a page detailing every change that anyone has made to this entry, with the most recent at the top.

In other words, it's in the same order as a blog... and like a blog, this page has a news feed. If you're using a modern browser, you'll see an indicator in your address bar (and you can use your browser to subscribe to the feed). If not, just scroll down to the Toolbox on the left-hand side of the page.

Wikipedia toolbox block

The third item in that list offers you your choice of an RSS feed and an Atom feed. Copy the link from whichever one you prefer, and paste it into the aggregator of your choice.

(My setup: I use Firefox 2.0, and I've configured it so that when I click on the XML feed icon in the browser's address bar, it prompts me to subscribe to the feed using Bloglines. I already have a Bloglines folder dedicated to media and blog monitoring, and in it goes.)

Comments

Anonymous says

March 21, 2007 - 6:14am
Or, you could just watchlist the page, along with a dozen others that you would be interested in monitoring. The more people watch the articles, the better off Wikipedia will be!

Rob Cottingham says

March 21, 2007 - 12:00pm

I'd hoped someone would mention this! The watchlist feature is great... if you want to have one more #$%$ page to keep track of.

But not wanting one more page to keep track of is the original use case for RSS. And unfortunately, Wikipedia doesn't yet offer a feed for your watchlist. (If you're logged in, you'll find that page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Watchlist .)

So for those of us who live our lives through our news aggregators, finding our own workarounds is critical. Hence this tip. (I'd be thrilled, by the way, if Wikipedia made it obsolete. The MediaWiki API already allows it, and there's at least one third-party solution if you're comfortable with a] Python and b] alpha software.)

Spence says

March 19, 2009 - 9:50am

Rob, maybe I am completely in the dark here, but Wiki says explicity to not create pages that are about your company.

Rob Cottingham says

March 19, 2009 - 10:24am

Hi, Spence - Right, and I don't recommend doing that. But I do recommend keeping a close eye on any page that someone else has created about your organization.

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