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MyWikiBiz, Author Your Legacy — Thursday December 05, 2013
|Slogan||Author Your Legacy|
|Founder||Gregory J. Kohs|
|Headquarters||[[City:=West Chester|West Chester]], [[State_Name:=Pennsylvania|Pennsylvania]], [[Country_Name:=United States|USA]]|
|Key people||[[Key_Person1:=Gregory Kohs|Gregory J. Kohs]], CEO
|Industry||[[NAICS_Code1_Title:=Internet publishing and broadcasting|Internet publishing]]
[[NAICS_Code2_Title:=Independent artists, writers, and performers |Independent artists, writers, and performers]]
|Products||See complete services listing|
|Owner||Gregory J. Kohs|
489 Lake George Circle
West Chester, PA US 19382-2188
[http://www.mywikibiz.com www.mywikibiz.com] [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Email]
|Reference||Year End: 12/31
Entity: [[Entity_Type:=Sole proprietor|Sole]]
MyWikiBiz is a wiki directory business that allows people and enterprises to author their own legacy on the Internet. The brand began as a service creating Wikipedia articles for paying corporations, which is a service still available today. However, the primary focus of the project is an Internet publishing site at MyWikiBiz.com that uses a semantic web version of the famous MediaWiki software. The MyWikiBiz directory currently contains over 60,000 pages of user-generated content about corporations and individuals. The business is headquartered in West Chester, Pennsylvania, with its web server in California.
According to its main page:
MyWikiBiz is a new directory where you can author your legacy on the Internet. We think you are notable, even if Wikipedia has rejected an article about you or your enterprise as being "non-notable". With MyWikiBiz, you create a beautiful, reader-friendly page that will get picked up by Google, Yahoo!, and Bing Search engines.
Why use MyWikiBiz?
MyWikiBiz suggests several reasons for contributing content to its directory. Unlike traditional encyclopedias, editors who are legally responsible for the entity they are writing about may "protect" their advocate point-of-view, without fear of someone else altering their content. Editors may also earn money at MyWikiBiz by creating a page, embedding Google AdSense ads within it, and keeping 100% of the revenues generated from that page's advertising. Page owners may also advertise and sell their products and services on MyWikiBiz. Contributors who are more interested in the community-edited dynamic of an encyclopedia like Wikipedia can do so with any topic that is not about a legal entity, such as "Jupiter" or "chess".
The genesis of MyWikiBiz was not as the current wiki directory of names and businesses. Rather, it began as an idea in April 2006 to write encyclopedic content about businesses, in exchange for reasonable payment.
Gregory Kohs and his sister started the MyWikiBiz venture in Pennsylvania in July 2006, initially as a paid editing service, writing encyclopedic content for inclusion in Wikipedia and other community-edited sites. Tiers of service were priced at $49, $79, and $99 per article. Kohs stated his intention to make neutral, sourced content, and expected the general public to continue altering and improving the articles he created. Although no official Wikipedia policy prohibited paid-for contributions, and although Wikipedia endorsed cash-for-editing via its Reward Board, Chairman Emeritus of the Wikimedia Foundation Jimmy Wales first called the commercialized editing "antithetical" to Wikipedia's mission.
However, in August 2006, Wales issued a "mutually beneficial" compromise  where he encouraged MyWikiBiz to author and post content on a GFDL-compliant section of MyWikiBiz.com, which could then be scraped by non-paid, independent editors into Wikipedia and other GFDL sites. Over the course of late 2006, financial conflicts of interest became regulated under Wikipedia's new conflict of interest policy. In October 2006, despite there being little reason to do so, Wales aggressively reversed his earlier compromise with MyWikiBiz, banning the account from Wikipedia and cautioning any business from using its services. Days later, Wales issued MyWikiBiz a trademark violation complaint, but the legal threat was ignored, as it had no basis in actual law.
Ever since 2006, Mr. Kohs has continued a low-profile paid editing service that targets Wikipedia content. His clients range from individuals (e.g., artists, authors, journalists, and lawyers) to corporations worth a billion dollars or more.
Centiare alliance and takeover
In late October 2006, the owner of Centiare.com reached out to Kohs to form a partnership that resulted in Kohs promoting and marketing the alternative wiki directory at Centiare. This effort gained strength through early 2007, but ultimately began to fade. When Centiare's owner opted to pull the plug on the site, Kohs negotiated a transfer of the entire contents of Centiare.com to MyWikiBiz.com in December 2007. Thus, MyWikiBiz has undergone a substantial re-branding and re-purpose from its original mission.
The current brand
MyWikiBiz has achieved substantial gains in registered users, original articles, and visitor traffic since its re-launch in January 2008. While site traffic is predominantly U.S.-based, there is a global reach, especially into Europe and East Asia. A few pages on the site are published in Spanish, in German, and in Latin.
As with any new website, growing traffic to the site depends on search engine relevance, inbound links from other authoritative sites, and word-of-mouth. MyWikiBiz has received a substantial amount of attention in the press, in books, and on blogs. The domain is on course to render over 200,000 page views in its first year since the wiki launch. Web analytics site Alexa.com rates MyWikiBiz site popularity (reach) about on a par with familiar sites like DailyIowan.com, BudLight.com, and PhiladelphiaZoo.org. Thus far, it is clear that MyWikiBiz is appealing to more and more visitors over time.
Article within Wikipedia
Wikipedia articles about MyWikiBiz have gone through several stages of creation, deletion, and resurrection. In 2007, an old version of the article failed to assert sufficient notability, but because many more sources had appeared by August 2008, one Wikipedia administrator named "Neil" believed that his rewritten version of the article met all the necessary criteria: being neutral, reliably sourced, and asserting notability. A few Internet trolls who inhabit Wikipedia attempted to block the article's publication, but level heads prevailed, and the article persists on Wikipedia. MyWikiBiz promptly issued a press release to commemorate the accomplishment. Traffic from Wikipedia to MyWikiBiz witnessed a dramatic increase, thanks to Neil's efforts.
A word cloud
The website Wordle.net allows users to imagine text in an artistic way, with more frequent instances of words being represented by larger fonts. The following image is a look at MyWikiBiz as a concept defined by its description on the site's own Main Page.
- MyWikiBiz press and reviews
- Original press release
- MyWikiBiz's Wikipedia contributions
- MyWikiBiz's Wikipedia block log
- Re-launch press release
- Biographical wikis press release
- "Idea of paid entries roils Wikipedia" Brian Bergstein, Associated Press, January 24, 2007.
- Mainstream media story Over 150 publishers pick up the AP story
- "Wikipedia Blocks a Pay-for-Play Scheme", Brock Read, The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 24, 2007
- "Editing for hire leads to intervention" Wikipedia Signpost. August 14, 2006.
- "Wikipedia-Artikel, die man kaufen kann", Von Mathias Peer, Die Welt, August 24, 2006
- "Wikipedia Controversies: Victims of Wikipedia.... or Wiki Whiners?", Dan Tobias, Dan's Political and Controversial Site
- "Account used to create paid corporate entries shut down" Wikipedia Signpost. October 9, 2006.
- The Future of the Internet Book by Jonathan Zittrain, Yale University Press, 2008.
- Maps and aerial photos
- Read a 3-page presentation by Gregory Kohs about the advantages of a semantic web wiki directory (requires PowerPoint).
- Semantic web expert, Harry Chen, discusses our software implementation with "MediaWiki Opens for Business".
- IdeaGrove was the very first blog to profile Centiare, with a story entitled "Move Over Yellow Pages".