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Wikipedia: a blessing and a curse

Submitted by on Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Sometimes being a thought leader is frustrating. OK – it’s often frustrating. I usually know how to be patient, or recognize what is happening so I can make some sort of sense of stuff going on. But this time I’m stumped. This time Wikipedia has me totally flummoxed.

Given that I have developed a decision facilitation model that is  being used in sales called  Buying Facilitation™, and that people are starting to use the phrase regularly, I kinda thought that putting up a generic page of text about it would help folks define it properly.

I worked hard to make sure it sounded like other models – no reference to me until the reference section where I first linked to other’s articles, and including bullets, definitions and usage. Truly no bias, just hard data. But because I entered it, I’m being told there is a bias (automatically??) and they won’t allow it to remain up. I assume that if anyone else wrote the exact same thing, it would have been allowed.

Instead of giving them a service, I now have to go around them. There is so much interest in the model (finally!) I thought that it might be helpful, if not informative, for those who are seeing the term around and want a real explanation. And who best if not me!

If anyone else has had the same problem, please let me know what you did to get around it.  I’m stumped.

sd

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  • http://www.virtualmeetingcoach.com The Virtual Meeting Coach

    The problem is likely tied to the fact that you have registered the term as a trademark and you own the mark. That makes anything you say about it advertising and WIKIPEDIA doesn't carry ads of any kind. It might help if you remove the registration and any reference to yourself as an “owner” of an idea. Ideas can't be owned. (US laws allow us to trademark words as brands but then they're no longer ideas, they're brands. All this stuff is crazy making for me, personally. ) If it's important to you to “own” the term, I'm guessing you're going to keep having trouble with this.

  • Damian

    Have a 3rd party or non affiliated person enter the data

  • http://sharondrewmorgen.com sharondrew

    what do you recommend i do re (R) which is an actual mark? i don't even use my name on the article – just put a book i've written at the end of the references. i just discuss the model as a model with no ownership.

    what i need to 'own' is the definition, as people are suddenly (after 20 years of use) discovering the term and using it out of context and with the wrong wrong definition. i have coined many other terms (like decision facilitation) that the world is now using and i'm happy. but with Buying Facilitation(R) it's vital that the real definition doesn't get lost. it's my covenant, my responsibility and my brand. once people start defining term accurately, i can walk away – and frankly, i've been exhausted by the whole process as a spiritual being who knows she's just the puppet. But if i drop the ball now, i will have lost 20 years of work and more importantly, the world won't get to recognize a new skill set for the sales field.

    i'm absolutely delighted to have folks use the term correctly without me (a few organizations have been advertising for Buying Facilitators which is SO cool. but for the definition, i have a responsibility.

    what you may not know is that i had the term up on wiki for about a year, and only NOW has it become a problem. interesting, right? when it didn't carry any weight, it was fine. now that folks are beginning to use the term, it's not. odd…

    Sharon Drew Morgen | 512-457-0246
    http://www.dirtylittlesecretsbook.com
    http://www.newsalesparadigm.com
    http://www.buyingfacilitation.com
    http://www.sharondrewmorgen.com

  • http://www.virtualmeetingcoach.com The Virtual Meeting Coach

    I hear your frustration, Sharon Drew, and I empathize with your desire to keep things clear in a conversation you've begun that has a game-changing foundation. I'm not an attorney (TG!) so I'm in no way qualified to talk about the ins and outs of intellectual property rights. What I do understand is that the new terrain we're in – where you have introduced a new model for thinking about sales and other kinds of change – won't support you “educating” about your model in a non-commercial/public space as long as you hold the model as a brand. You get to “pay” to build up your brand recognition with this blog and other commercial activities you choose to engage in (including commerce you give away). Now that your brand is being used more in “conversation,” if you want to steer or manage the conversation, you get to invest your time and money clarifying the definition of “your” model. And that's a commercial activity. In the end, you can't do anything about people using the term “correctly” because you've put it out there as a product and consumers get to use things any way they want to.

    Think “Kleenex” and the entire spectrum of “tissue” knock offs. I'm sure the designers of Kleenex never intended a tissue paper to be used to wash windows. It's not designed to do that very well at all. Another disposable paper product is more appropriate for that function. But some people do wash windows and mirrors using Kleenex (or another tissue knock off). The window washing isn't going to be particularly high quality (lots of little bits of paper stuck on the surface, lots of streaking, probably not much grease removed) but it works well enough that some people think they did the job and are satisfied with the results.

    Now that you've put the model out there, you get to sell books and give speeches about it. And continue blogging about the best use (according to you) of the model, but consumers get to do what they please with what they consume from you. And Wikipedia is not the place to have the clarifying conversation about the highest and best practice of “buying facilitation” because either those are just TWO English words stuck together that have an unarguable meaning or they are a symbol for a model you created and promote a very specific practice of. In the latter use those two English words are a brand that you've staked out a turf around and you get engage in a commercial conversation that is about advocating and defending a string of behaviors that you promise people will get a certain results from engaging in – if they perform those behaviors “correctly.” If not, well, then they're misusing your model – your product.
    Kind of like washing windows with Kleenex.

    I hope that the time I've taken to articulate this distinction is of some value to you. I get a lot of value from your thinking and have enjoyed your books. And I'm quite certain that I don't now – and may never – understand or use your model “correctly” because the complexities of your thinking and the complexities of helping individuals and groups to make change using your “model” of your thinking are simply too numerous to manage like you would – because I'm not you. It's okay with me that I'm not doing it “correctly.” In the end, you can continue to offer clarifying suggestions to people, but you can't DEFINE the skill for anyone but yourself.

    Again, I offer my thoughts here because I respect and appreciate your contribution to our collective thinking about how to most effectively, quickly, and respectfully help others get more of what they want more of.

    I help people get more of what they want out of interacting with others using virtual meeting tools. I have a model for that, too, and I sell a little book about it on my blog just like you sell your book here. I coach and speak about how to most effectively use my model, too. But I can't make people use it “correctly.” And I can't register my “brand” and also use the encyclopedia to “define” it.

    Gotta go coach someone live about how to use my model… Ciao!

  • http://www.virtualmeetingcoach.com The Virtual Meeting Coach

    I hear your frustration, Sharon Drew, and I empathize with your desire to keep things clear in a conversation you've begun that has a game-changing foundation. I'm not an attorney (TG!) so I'm in no way qualified to talk about the ins and outs of intellectual property rights. What I do understand is that the new terrain we're in – where you have introduced a new model for thinking about sales and other kinds of change – won't support you “educating” about your model in a non-commercial/public space as long as you hold the model as a brand. You get to “pay” to build up your brand recognition with this blog and other commercial activities you choose to engage in (including commerce you give away). Now that your brand is being used more in “conversation,” if you want to steer or manage the conversation, you get to invest your time and money clarifying the definition of “your” model. And that's a commercial activity. In the end, you can't do anything about people using the term “correctly” because you've put it out there as a product and consumers get to use things any way they want to.

    Think “Kleenex” and the entire spectrum of “tissue” knock offs. I'm sure the designers of Kleenex never intended a tissue paper to be used to wash windows. It's not designed to do that very well at all. Another disposable paper product is more appropriate for that function. But some people do wash windows and mirrors using Kleenex (or another tissue knock off). The window washing isn't going to be particularly high quality (lots of little bits of paper stuck on the surface, lots of streaking, probably not much grease removed) but it works well enough that some people think they did the job and are satisfied with the results.

    Now that you've put the model out there, you get to sell books and give speeches about it. And continue blogging about the best use (according to you) of the model, but consumers get to do what they please with what they consume from you. And Wikipedia is not the place to have the clarifying conversation about the highest and best practice of “buying facilitation” because either those are just TWO English words stuck together that have an unarguable meaning or they are a symbol for a model you created and promote a very specific practice of. In the latter use those two English words are a brand that you've staked out a turf around and you get engage in a commercial conversation that is about advocating and defending a string of behaviors that you promise people will get a certain results from engaging in – if they perform those behaviors “correctly.” If not, well, then they're misusing your model – your product.
    Kind of like washing windows with Kleenex.

    I hope that the time I've taken to articulate this distinction is of some value to you. I get a lot of value from your thinking and have enjoyed your books. And I'm quite certain that I don't now – and may never – understand or use your model “correctly” because the complexities of your thinking and the complexities of helping individuals and groups to make change using your “model” of your thinking are simply too numerous to manage like you would – because I'm not you. It's okay with me that I'm not doing it “correctly.” In the end, you can continue to offer clarifying suggestions to people, but you can't DEFINE the skill for anyone but yourself.

    Again, I offer my thoughts here because I respect and appreciate your contribution to our collective thinking about how to most effectively, quickly, and respectfully help others get more of what they want more of.

    I help people get more of what they want out of interacting with others using virtual meeting tools. I have a model for that, too, and I sell a little book about it on my blog just like you sell your book here. I coach and speak about how to most effectively use my model, too. But I can't make people use it “correctly.” And I can't register my “brand” and also use the encyclopedia to “define” it.

    Gotta go coach someone live about how to use my model… Ciao!