In June 2010, public radio station KCRW hosted a discussion about whether Wikipedia could retain its status as “the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit” and still ensure a high standard of accuracy. William Beutler appeared on the show to provide his perspective as an active contributor to Wikipedia. His fellow participants included Andrew Lih, author of The Wikipedia Revolution; Julia Angwin, Senior Technology Editor of the Wall Street Journal; and Lee Siegel, a culture critic for the New York Observer.
In 2011, William Beutler partnered with marketing automation company Eloqua and design firm JESS3 to create “The Grande Guide for Wikipedia”, a short guide to help marketers understand Wikipedia. (The “Grande Guide” is named for the length of time it should take to read: roughly the time it would take to drink a grande size coffee.) The content of this particular guide is aimed at giving marketers an overview of the online encyclopedia, debunking myths and providing information about best practices and common mistakes to avoid. It includes a glossary of key terms, key policies and guidelines and links to resources. Key takeaways include: Wikipedia shouldn’t be seen as an avenue for marketing; always follow the site’s guidelines; don’t be afraid to engage with the community.
To mark Wikipedia’s 10th anniversary in January 2011, William Beutler executive produced and wrote the script for “The State of Wikipedia”, a short web video by the creative agency JESS3, narrated by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales. The video explored aspects of the online encyclopedia from the number of articles, to the religion of its editors (more Pastafarians than you’d think!) and how it came to be in the first place. As of early 2012, “The State of Wikipedia” has more than 140,000 views on YouTube.
In January 2012, William Beutler was the featured guest on C-SPAN’s hour-long interview program, “Q&A”. In his interview with Brian Lamb, Beutler discussed his experiences both as a volunteer editor of Wikipedia and as a Wikipedia consultant to companies and organizations. He also talked about the basics of how the site works and demonstrated making an edit. The interview gives a background to Beutler’s views on the value of Wikipedia and the importance of its volunteer community.