Can I contribute to wikipedia?

I came across some of the Flash related entries at wikipedia this weekend, and, as I know a bit about Flash, I began to correct and add some info. However, as I thought about it, I realized that some people might not like the fact that I, a Macromedia employee, was editing and contributing to Macromedia related entries. I was concerned that people would be concerned that since I was from macromedia that any info I added would display a bias.


I have tons of info I could contribute (especially about past versions of Flash), but before I do, I wanted to get some thoughts about my contributing.So:Can I contribute to Flash related entries at wikipedia?Specifically, I have been watching the ActionScript, Macromedia Flash, and Macromedia Flash Player entries (I created the Flash Player entry). I understand concerns about potential abuse or bias, but it seems to me that one of the strengths of wikipedia is that any misinformation can be quickly corrected. So what are you thoughts? Anyone know of any other companies contributed to entries that they have an interest in?You can view my list of contributions here.Btw, if you are not sure what wikipedia is, you can find a good article discussing it here and can find some more info here.Post any thoughts in the comments section.

22 Responses to Can I contribute to wikipedia?

  1. Juraj Betak says:

    Interesting question. I’ve been contributing some factual information on commercial products I’ve worked on in the past as well.I don’t think that this is objectionable, as long as you limit yourself to factual information and nothing confidential or sensitive is revealed.I think the ball is in Wikimedia’s court. They are well aware that quality of their contributions is an issue; something every open community has to address effectively at some point.

  2. PaulC says:

    It depends on which hat you wear while you’re doing it. If you approach it as a developer and expert providing factual information, go right ahead.If you approach it as a cheerleader or holding the company line, then no. Stay objective, and I don’t see an issue.

  3. Ryan Guill says:

    I do not think it is a problem as long as you are sticking to factual information and not opinions, which do not really belong in an encyclopedia anyway. You can’t bias a fact, and if you do put something there that is questionable, then its going to be removed or edited anyway. I defiantely don’t see anything wrong with you correcting fallacies in the texts. Personally, I would rather see information from the source than guessing from an outsider.

  4. zeh says:

    I really like these contributions. I’ve noticed wikipedia has been lacking a bit on the subject, but I could never bring myself to add much.As per the stuff you added, they’re factual and personally I don’t see a problem with a company employee adding them. As long as you’re not splashing them with ads or opinions (as in “fL4Sh 1S rULeZ!”) I don’t think any wikipedian would have a problem.

  5. Jason Gill says:

    I think that’s the point of wikipedia isn’t it? Those who have the knowledge are encouraged to put it in there. You have the knowledge, put it in there. Part of the problem with wikipedia is that it can’t be used as a reliable resource in school papers etc. for obvious reasons, but if you could say “yeah this came from wikipedia, but the author is a macromedia employee” then it would be that much more reliable to site as a source.I’d actually feel MORE comfortable reading the info from a macromedia employee than from some shmo that I’ve never heard of, even IF there were some cheerleading involved.

  6. zeh says:

    Aw, what the hell, it’s a slow day, so I’m just adding a bunch of more information. Changes so far herehttp://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Contributions&target=Zeh

  7. Mike says:

    I’d rather you did it than someone who has a very negative view of flash or is just trying to recreate any of the potted history they found elsewhere on the web! So long as you’re objective I don’t think anyone would mind… (well, someone always minds…)ps. corrected some typos for you 🙂

  8. Yes, provided you offer some kind of cavaet indicating that you’re an employee of Macromedia. Might be tough to do given Wikipedia’s structure, but at least to reference that fact within your profile.

  9. Jim Ray says:

    I think transparency is a fine thing – I have no problem with you writing about Flash, Mike, provided people can see your edits and know who you are. Wikipedia allows you to build a user profile page (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Mikechambers&action=edit )that you might fill out with some relevant personal info so that folks who use Wikipedia can see who’s editing the info.

  10. Roberto says:

    no need to indicate who you are, there’s no problem about posting as long as you stay NPOV.

  11. aardvark says:

    I agree with the majority thus far. Having a Macromedia employee contribute insider facts is ok and good. Plus, creating a profile would be most courteous.

  12. Greg Hamer says:

    I second Ryan Guill, zeh, Jason Gill, Roberto and aardvark. In fact I just finished reading this in depth profile on the inner workings of wikipediahttp://wired.com/wired/archive/13.03/wiki.html My conclusion from the article is, um, it’s a wiki. You just do it. That seems to be the only “rule”. Just do it. If it gets “reverted” it gets reverted. If not, then I am sure the world will be a better place ’cause you are truly a decent guy Mike 😉

  13. mohsen says:

    HELP ME !I want how can i used the marcromedia file in my weblog .please contact me .thanks and have a nice day.im waiting !

  14. mohsen says:

    not forget contact me !!!!im waiting.I want know how can I use………evreyone know help me .thanks

  15. Hi,My opinion is that your contributions are a very good way to promote Macromedia products, but as an employee I would prior have an “discussion-agreement” with someone of the communication department, because some hierarchicals can have paranoïacs or stupids reactions.

  16. > I was concerned that people would be concerned that since I was from macromedia that any info I added would display a bias.People might suspect bias in your opinions or in statements regarding other company’s products, but for Flash-specific factual information, that should not be a problem.My only concern is that you are doing something other than fixing bugs in Flash when there is so very much bug-fixing to be done. Get back to work, Mike! ;)Update: Speaking of Macromedia bugs that desperately need to be fixed, your comment system *STILL* barfs up its “Your comment could not be submitted due to questionable content” message when I use *MY GIVEN NAME*. Seriously, you people need to be smarter about substrings; the presence of those three particular consecutive letters in a string of text are *NOT* sufficient reason to suspect that it is spam or off-topic or whatever else you are afraid of.

  17. gwint says:

    Honestly, when I came across the Flash entry for the first time, I thought, “Mike Chambers could do a good job at cleaning this thing up.” So there you go.

  18. Personally, I think the fact that you are concerned enough to ask the community is an indication of your itentions. And I don’t think *having* to provide your profile would be required as long as your information is, as stated many times in these comments, factual.If someone was contributing under a name we didn’t know and provided very useful, exact information, why would we care who the person actually is?I think it should be the job of anyone contributing to such a resource to take a moment of reflection as to whether they are reporting the best, non-biased information they can.

  19. mike says:

    Maybe you could put something in there on this strange and pretty scary takeover by Adobe….You could get in there early and say that the flash player was under 1Mb before they got hold of it, or that Flash MX managed to load in less than a week until Adobe added their dreadful reading/loading/initialising fonts bulk code to it. Or that flash paper was actually giving light at the end of the tunnel to the 99% world population that think PDF’s are more of a scourge to the web than animated gifs ever were….Maybe I could just put a plea in there to Adobe asking them to leave their shabby programmers well out of macromedias products, you know just in a vain attempt to keep decent software going…*sigh*

  20. voice of reason says:

    Hey where’s the comments on the adobe stomp-over? Surely Adobe are not too scared already? (mikes comments above are very like the comments I have heard from the professional world since the announcements – I agree fully) (Although I think they really should be worried, should the deserting Macromedia programmers story/stories/direct-from-horses-mouth be true)Anyway – Tim Bray – http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2005/04/18/Adobe-Macromedia – that’s a real important story and someone at MacroDobe should say something – personally I think he is a buffoon but don’t you think that after years building up very steadfast and loyal developer support you should do something about people spelling the death of flash? I think you should. But hey! What do I know? Just let Adobe kill off your job and mine. 🙁

  21. I started listing info concerning previous version on the wikipedia article after speaking with David Emberton concerning the history of Flash. The funny thing was when I first added that category someone kept deleting it. If you look back at the article history you will see I would make changes and then they would disappear.Please go ahead and add to it! It is limited and I was hoping someone could clarify certain items concerning the differences between each version of Flash going back to 1.0.

  22. Tom 7 says:

    Yes, please add information. It would be best if your user page reflected where you come from (for revision historians), but the very idea of NPOV is that it doesn’t matter who wrote it.