Miss A Columnist

Andrea Rodgers is the Founder of Miss A (AskMissA.com), which covers the intersection of charity and lifestyle for 1.5 million unique readers annually. Based in Washington, DC, Miss A has a presence in 21 U.S. cities with 30 editors and hundreds of writer. Andrea was inspired after 9/11, and became heavily involved in Washington’s charity circuit in an effort to give back to the community. At the core of the Miss A brand is Andrea’s personal belief in the positive power of volunteering and charity — not only to benefit those less fortunate, but to improve the individual, business or brand that gives their time, money and energy to a cause. AskMissA.com serves as a technological platform which connects editors, writers and readers around this core belief and shines a spotlight on the best nonprofits, charity events, cause marketing campaigns and philanthropic & stylish people, businesses and brands to inspire others to get involved.

Andrea Rodgers is a member of the Vogue 100, a hand-selected group by Vogue magazine of 100 influential decision makers and opinion leaders across the country known for their distinctive taste in fashion & culture. She has been featured in Vogue, W and Allure, CNN, Fox News, NOS Dutch Public Broadcasting, TV Tokyo, France 24, Alhurra, USA Today, Washington Post & Politico.

My Memorial Day Weekend: More Wiki Than Tiki


Rather than spend my Memorial Day weekend at a Tiki bar, I am instead exploring Wiki. I decided to teach myself how to create a page on Wikipedia. Some may say that it isn’t appropriate to create your own Wikipedia page, but I have had Wikipedia experts tell me it’s actually best. For better or worse, I’ve received press attention over the years, so I knew I had some references to support my writing.

Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit, but there are editors with varying degree of power who police the website. I wasn’t sure if I would meet the “notability” criteria, or not, but being a closet geek I thought it would be fun to explore. A Veteran Editor III who displays a  Silver Editor Star on her Wikipedia User page made the ruling that I am in fact notable. Now a Senior Editor who displays a Platinum Star on his Wikipedia User page has put in a proposal to delete my article. It’s fascinating to watch how all this works. Stay tuned!

I wanted to make mention of the fact that I am the granddaughter of someone who was knighted as Grand Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands for his contributions to civic institutions and heroism during World War II as part of the Dutch Resistence. In 1994, the Dutch honors system was extensively revised to create a more democratic system, disconnecting the level of the honors from rank and social status. Unfortunately, one thing I learned about Wikipedia is that all references must have an internet link. The Dutch newspaper dated March 5, 1987 couldn’t be used as a reference, and therefore that tidbit about my personal life was removed from my Wikipedia page. So much for trying to give my grandfather some internet immortality.

Another thing I’ve learned is that there are Wikipedia vandals who will go to your page and change information. Someone changed my date of birth, and made all kinds of other derogatory changes. I was happy to discover that Wikipedia has a number of new developments in place to thwart these vandals. Wikipedia police quickly changed back the information on my page. Aiding the Wiki police is Virgil Griffith, a Cal Tech grad student. Virgil put his hacking talents to good use by creating WikiScanner to create greater transparency for Wikipedia’s editing process. This online software tool that analyzes and identifies anonymous edits made to Wikipedia entries. It actually gives you the name of the person associated with the particular IP address.

I think this weekend confirms the fact that I am a nerd, but I don’t care. I’ve really enjoyed learning about Wikipedia. It’s a tool that many people are using in Public Relations. Not surprisingly, many Congressional offices are using Wikipedia for political purposes, too. I really appreciate all the help I’ve received from my Twitter and Facebook friends who responded to my Tweet about Wikipedia.

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