Wikipedia To Check Poster Credentials, Are Employees Next?

Jimmy Wales and Wikipedia should have started the poster credential checking they announced to the Associated Press Wednesday, a little earlier, as part of their hiring procedure and the now infamous "Essjay" aka Ryan Jordan may not have been able to claim he was a professor of theology.

Jordan turned out to be a 24-year old college drop out who was given a job at Wales' for-profit venture, Wikia.

"Jordan's fraud came to light last week when The New Yorker published an editor's note stating that a 2006 Wikipedia profile in the magazine had erroneously described Essjay's purported academic resume. The New Yorker said a Wikipedia higher-up had vouched for Essjay to the author of the piece, Stacy Schiff, but that neither knew Essjay's real identity.

In addition to contributing thousands of articles to the sprawling Web encyclopedia, Jordan had recently been promoted to arbitrator, a position for trusted members of the community. Arbitrators can overrule an edit made by another volunteer or block people who abuse the site.

Jordan also was hired in January by Wikia Inc., a for-profit venture run by Wales. He has since been dismissed" AP reported.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.