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January 24, 2007

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Seems like the Wow now has already begun in Australia, and Im not talking about the popular online game. A couple Microsoft and Australia stories to bite into this morning. The first involves Australian author Rick Jelliffe who was... [Read More]

Comments

Abe Sultan

Hi Don,

From my understanding Microsoft wanted to contract Rick Jelliffe to add his opinion to the article.

Here is the quote directly from Jelliffe's blog:

"So I was a little surprised to receive email a couple of days ago from Microsoft saying they wanted to contract someone independent but friendly (me) for a couple of days to provide more balance on Wikipedia concerning ODF/OOXML. I am hardly the poster boy of Microsoft partisanship! Apparently they are frustrated at the amount of spin from some ODF stakeholders on Wikipedia and blogs. "

I don't think it was wrong at all but like all other Microsoft news it was taken out of perspective to portray the evil ruller.

You can find the entire article here:
http://www.oreillynet.com/xml/blog/2007/01/an_interesting_offer.html

Juha

I think it's good to hear the other side of the story, as silence is often construed as admitting guilt.

That said, The Age was probably justified in labelling Microsoft's counter-spin negatively, although "doctoring" is too strong a word - as far as I know, Jelliffe didn't put anything into Wikipedia, so how can it have been deemed "doctoring"?

Steve Morsa

I hadn't thought about this before, Don; but it does seem to be the case more and more as the importance of headlines grows in this Internet-connected age...makes me think that what we need is that old saw about contracts, but updated for today's world:

The headline giveth, and the body copy taketh away.

Ben Langhinrichs

Don,

I have to say that while some of the news stories about the Microsoft Wikipedia thing have been overly sensationalistic, it is also pretty clearly "spin" to call this a "seemingly innocent request". While I agree that Microsoft as a corporation would have been unlikely to approve such a stupid move, it wasn't particularly innocent. A person from Microsoft was offering to pay, as in cash money, to have an "independent" reviewer make revisions to the Wikipedia article. I think I have read you yourself point out that you have to follow the money back, and the chances that this money was offered without an expectation for a certain perspective is ridiculous.

So, dismiss this as done by a rogue employee if you like, but don't try to spin it as an innocent move. It hardly takes a sophisticated PR group to figure out that paying somebody else to post something "independent" is not acceptable.

- Ben

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