Mike Sullivan, Chief Marketing Officer at Alliance Virtual Offices, has started a campaign to clean up the definition of ‘virtual office’ to provide better understanding of the sector’s origins.
The emergence of the World Wide Web brought about many distinct and dramatic changes. Chief among them is the way in which individuals seek to quench an insatiable thirst for information, which is both helped and hindered by the evolution of search engines and the phenomenal amount of information they have placed at our fingertips.
Immediate access to information brings instant gratification. But every pro has its con, and in our desire for speed we have inevitably left the door wide open for imprecision.
Questionable research, inaccurate information, and thinly veiled promotional material disguised as neutral evidence, is rife – even on supposedly impartial sites such as Wikipedia. This, as we well know, is the website on which many knowledge-thirsty users land in order to grab quick definitions of any given subject – including an understanding of the ‘virtual office’.
Unfortunately, and despite the best efforts of volunteer content editors, Wikipedia is riddled with inaccuracies and covert advertorials. Given that virtual office operators invest heavily in marketing and work hard to educate prospective clients on the benefits of virtual offices, an incorrect entry on ‘trusted’ sources like Wikipedia is incredibly damaging.
So what can be done?
Mike Sullivan believes he has the answer. As the Chief Marketing Officer for Alliance Virtual Offices, he understands the uphill struggle facing virtual office marketers – and he’s laying the blame at least partly at the feet of online marketers. In many cases, fallacies and “sloppy writing mirroring sloppy thinking” have brought about confusion as to what a virtual office really is. Adding to that, the widely published history of the sector itself is also largely incorrect.
“I have marked up the Wikipedia page as it currently exists and we count about 200 problems,” he says, in a blog post published on Alliance Virtual Offices.
In it, Mike seeks to rectify past inaccuracies and ‘clean up’ online content: “Let us not simply curse this darkness; let’s light a candle. Since Wikis are collaborative, let’s collaborate and see if we can improve upon the Wikipedia definition by developing a more genuine, transparent, balanced view of what a virtual office is.”
“Why not join us?” he adds. “We’ve already gotten the Wikipedia page partially re-written (but not public yet), and we’re trying our darnedest to be neutral. Those who want to join us, please let us know. Those who want to play games, please go elsewhere.”