Monday, May 11, 2009

wikiAlarm sends email alerts when your Wikipedia pages are edited

Anybody who contributes to Wikipedia wishes to keep track of the articles they contribute to, watching for changes and edits. Wikipedia has a feature called “Watchlist” that allows a user to do so. A logged user can add pages to their watchlist and see any changes made to these during a given time period. But the problem with watchlist is that there is no notification system, and so you have to keep checking the watchlist from time to time.

wikiAlarmLogo

wikiAlarm is a new online service that comes really handy. It allows you to keep track of up to 5 Wikipedia pages and any changes or edits made to these pages will be notified to you via email. wikiAlarm monitors the watched pages every hour and email updates are sent as soon as a change is detected. So at worst you will learn about the edit an hour late. Time is vital because if any anonymous user vandalizes your pages you would want it restored as soon as possible. If the inaccurate information isn’t removed quickly it can be quoted by journalists and bloggers leading to the serious problem of Wiki Circularity.

This is what happens in Wiki Circularity

  • A competitor or upset former customer edits your Wikipedia page to say something bad about your company.
  • Left unedited for a few weeks the information is picked up by a lazy blogger or journalist doing research for a story.
  • The story then appears on a well known blog or website & the author doesn’t mention they researched the story on Wikipedia
  • When you find the inaccurate article and try to edit the information on Wikipedia you find that the Wiki moderators refuse to remove it
  • To add insult to injury the Wikipedia page is updated to include a link referencing the inaccurate blog or newspaper article

Wiki Circularity is real and it happens often than you think.

wikiAlarm can send you email notification containing full information on the changes as well as the IP address of the person making the changes. You can even add multiple email addresses to be notified. I’m not sure why the number of watched pages is restricted to only 5 particularly since there is no mention of any Pro or paid plans where you can increase the limit. Besides, their home page say “unlimited pages”.

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