|Type of business||Privately held company|
Type of site
|Key people||Gregory Kohs (CEO)|
|Registration||Optional (required to edit pages)|
Gregory Kohs and his sister started the MyWikiBiz venture in July 2006, as a paid editing service, writing content for inclusion in Wikipedia and other community-edited sites. Kohs charged between US$49 and US$99 for articles. At the time, though it was widely known that Wikipedia was used by corporations and public relations firms, such contributions were often hidden, only to be discovered later. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales expressed opposition to the idea of a paid editing service.
A few days after MyWikiBiz was launched, the site's user account was blocked by Wales on the grounds of "paid editing on behalf of customers". It was one of the few such blocks personally by Wales in Wikipedia's history. Wales viewed the problem as one of "conflict of interest and the appearance of impropriety arising from editors being paid to write by the subjects of the articles". He and Kohs reached an agreement, under which Kohs could create "Wikipedia-like" articles on his site and that they could then be "scraped" to Wikipedia by Wikipedia editors. The agreement soon unraveled, and Kohs was blocked from editing Wikipedia.
In his book The Future of the Internet – And How to Stop It, Jonathan Zittrain said that Wales believed that MyWikiBiz had been "spamming Wikipedia with corporate advertisements rather than 'neutral point of view' articles", but also that MyWikiBiz persuaded some Wikipedians to lower objections to an article merely because of its source.
The Chronicle of Higher Education said "it's hard to feel too bad for MyWikiBiz," and that "if the encyclopedia is serious about gaining acceptance from academia, surely it has a vested interest in dissuading companies from paying to improve their presence on the site."
- Bergstein, Brian (2007-01-24). "Idea of paid entries roils Wikipedia". NBC News/Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- Peer, Mathias (2006-08-24). "Wikipedia-Artikel, die man kaufen kann (Wikipedia articles that you can buy)". Die Welt (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- Noisette, Thierry (2006-08-11). "Wikipedia, nouvel enjeu de relations publiques (Wikipedia, a new issue of public relations)" (in français). ZDNet. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
- Zittrain, Jonathan (2008). The Future of the Internet – And How to Stop It. Yale University Press. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-300-12487-3.
- Read, Brock (2007-01-24). "Wikipedia Blocks a Pay-for-Play Scheme". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
- "Centiare on the heels of Wikipedia". press release. 2007-01-05. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- Sebastian Ryszard Kruk; Bill McDaniel; W. William D. McDaniel, eds. (2008). Semantic Digital Libraries. Springer. p. 58. ISBN 9783540854340. Retrieved June 3, 2013.