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With the rise of social media, it's no surprise that online reputation monitoring has been a growth market. Knowing what consumers and customers are saying about you on the internet is extremely important.

Generally, sites like Twitter and Facebook get the most attention when it comes to reputation monitoring but there's another site that may be even more important for brands to keep an eye on: Wikipedia.

Wikipedia, the human-edited online 'encyclopedia', is often used as a go-to source for 'facts' even though it's often not the best source for them. It also has SERPs that most of us would kill for.

These two facts make Wikipedia a potentially problematic beast for brands. Just ask companies like Coca-Cola, Nike and WalMart, which have had to deal with Wikipedia attacks. Some brands finding themselves on the receiving end of criticism via Wikipedia have, naturally, alleged that misinformation has been promoted. In the worst case scenario, such misinformation is picked up but a reputable source, such as a newspaper, essentially turning fiction into fact.

So what can brands and prominent individuals do? A new service called wikiAlarm claims to be the first alerts service dedicated solely to monitoring Wikipedia pages and sending alerts when tracked pages are updated.

The process is simple: sign up, add the Wikipedia pages you want to track to your account and receive emails when updates are made to those pages. Email alerts detail that changes that were made to those pages, making it easier for recipients to determine if a change needs to be dealt with. Multiple recipients can be added to email alerts, making it easier for teams to manage the monitoring process.

Right now wikiAlarm is free, but I'd obviously expect some paid features to be developed if it gains traction. In the meantime, add it to the list of free and low-cost reputation monitoring tools that are giving brands the ability to listen to the good, the bad and the ugly.

Patricio Robles

Published 5 May, 2009 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2429 more posts from this author

Comments (2)

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Paul Wilkinson

As a long-time and regular Wikipedia editor, I use Wikipedia's watch-list to monitor changes to pages that I have an interest in, and there is also a facility to have an RSS or Atom feed of updates to the revision history of each page.

So, even if wikiAlarm did start charging for its services, there remain some free alternatives. Some may prefer to get alerts via email, but personally I find the watchlist perfectly adequate, though I have added some Wikipedia pages to my RSS feed so that I get rapid notification of changes to pages that I want to monitor closely.

over 7 years ago

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will.eye.am

wikinotify is dead. I was looking all over for an alternative and decided on changedetect...

almost 6 years ago

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