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Eugen Tarnow


Wikipedia Entry for Lotus Notes Is Nothing but a Commercial?

Eugen Tarnow  June 11 2011 09:01:02 AM
I was browsing through Wikipedia not too long ago, and I discovered that in the entry for Lotus Notes was inscribed this alert: “This article is written like an advertisement. Please help rewrite this article from a neutral point of view.” Written like an advertisement? How so? Reading through “IBM Lotus Notes,” I saw nothing but dry and neutral explanations. There was even a sizable criticism section and mention of the system’s possible demise! Perhaps the entry was a poorly written article in general, but I didn’t see any bias or value judgments, just lots and lots of technical details.  

At first, I thought this might have been the work of Lotus Notes’s competitors attempting to make any non-negative discussion of the system untrustworthy. Why was there no such criticism leveled at the Wikipedia entries for Outlook and Gmail? They contain the same type of language and information, the same detailed discussion of features and versions. I proceeded to delete the alert from the Lotus Notes entry and assumed that would be the end of it.  

A few weeks later, I looked backed and saw the alert had returned. Checking the entry’s discussion section, I saw a bunch of self-righteous stuffy Wikipedians, some of whom were Lotus Notes professionals themselves, criticizing the page on the basis of bias. Were we reading the same page? Where is the use of opinionated adjectives in “IBM Lotus Notes?” They’re the biased ones, obsessed with this over-used open-source scholarship to the point that they’re just as much in their own world as ivory tower pedants!

Perhaps I’m being too harsh on them, though. Perhaps these Wikipedians, in reading matter-of-fact descriptions of Lotus Notes, were so awed by the system’s objective capabilities that they assumed Lotus Notes was too good to be true. Perhaps they would think any objective discussion of Lotus Notes with its many features and capabilities was biased. Would not an objective discussion of heaven still make you want to go there? These Wikipedians might be even more in awe if they heard about Lotus Notes archiving and Lotus Notes Discovery solutions like ReduceMail Pro.

As a private citizen, I love Wikipedia for finding tidbits, but, for whatever reason, it is a corrupt regime. Maybe I have no choice but to join it. Maybe I will begin looking honest problems with the entries for Gmail and Outlook on my Wikipedia accounts. Not that I blame Microsoft or Google for libeling Lotus Notes’s entry, but I realize more and more that in business, fair is fair.
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