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On: October 3, 2010
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About Marte Lindstrom
I am born and raised in Oslo, Norway. I have been studying at the University of Bergen in Norway, and I finished my bachelor degree in Media Studies in 2006. I have also been so lucky to be an Erasmus- exchange student in Rome, where I took courses in political science and European history. I have been working for some years, mainly as a consumer consultant. I recently decided it was time to learn some new tricks, so I went back to school.


After being asked to write a Wikipedia article I soon realised that the challenge would not be related to the technical side of things, but rather to coming up with a topic. It was difficult to think of a topic that  is not yet part of the over 3.4 million articles that make up the English version of Wikipedia. Sitting in my kitchen thinking about the assignment I decided to make it simple, to write about something close. And noting was closer to me at that time than the sofa I was sitting in, the Klippan sofa from IKEA. Hurrying back to my computer I became quite upset when I found out that there was already an article about it. Browsing through the Norwegian version I saw that the topic was available, and I decided to switch languages. Most of the links listed as sources in the English article led to deleted pages, so I chose to write my own article instead of translating  the English one. A Google search gave me some hits from online newspapers, and I based my article on those. Reading through the finished article I thought it had a bit of a promotional tone, but I published it anyway although it is written in the guidelines of Wikipedia that;

“all information about companies and products should be written in an objective and unbiased style.”

Checking on my article the next day I saw that it had been moved to the category furniture by a patroller, but there were no comments about the content. To make the article more visually appealing I took a picture of my own sofa, uploaded it, and placed it in the article. Struggling to find out how to place the picture in the top right corner of the page, I turned to some tutorial videos to figure it out. When I checked back on the article a few minutes later, another patroller had arranged the picture for me, but still no comments on the actual article. After this there has been no activity on the page. To spice things up for the assignment I decided to send an e- mail to IKEA to ask for a picture, comments about the article and/or some supplementary information about Klippan, the sofa. I am still waiting for an answer.

Update 16.10.2010

Almost two weeks had past since I wrote to IKEA, and I did not think I would get an answer. But when I checked my inbox yesterday I  had recived an e- mail from Kristian Willanger, communication advicer at IKEA. My main question was for comments on the trend of product and business reviews written by consumers on independent web sites, such as Wkipedia, and to what degree IKEA would go in and correct, update or communicate where possible.

Willanger is, as I suspected, stating that they have not contributed to the Norewegian Wikipedia article about IKEA (although they have been accused for doing so on the discussion page of the article). They do, however, pay attention to what is written about the company. He goes on saying that if they would go in and change or add something it would be according to information that is already published on their own web site.  He can also inform us that;

 “we (IKEA) do not engage actively to influence or control our reputation” 

An interesting comment coming from a communication advicer…

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