Monday, March 26, 2007

Wikipedia's new competitor: Citizendium

Larry Sanger, (disputed) co-founder of Wikipedia, with Jimmy Wales, is unveiling a new project. Citizendium is intended to improve on what Sanger (and many others) see as shortcomings in Wikipedia. Citizendium will still be free, non-profit and open to anybody to edit or contribute, but citizendians will need to use their real names. And Citizendium will be reviewed by academic experts for correctness.

Citizendium begins with a copy of Wikipedia, but it has been undergoing editing:

A fork of Wikipedia is allowed under its "copyleft" license that lets anyone use its content as long as they are equally generous with their output.

In other words, Sanger could cut the vastness of Wikipedia and paste it into a new site, then put it through his own meat grinder, complete with rules about real names and expert review.

Last year, Sanger began organizing Citizendium as a fork of Wikipedia. He raised $35,000 from a foundation and a private donor.

Citizendium has been operating in a limited manner that ends with this week's official launch. Its volunteer base numbers roughly 900 authors and 200 editors. The site has 1,100 articles, with 11 "approved" by editors, meriting them a green check mark. Volunteers can revise any article, though already-approved entries are labeled as separate "drafts" while they're being rewritten again.


The link in the title to this post will take readers to an article from the Associated Press that ran in the Boston Globe today. I am especially charmed that the article features a photo of Sanger posing in a library, with 2 stacks of books (actually, they appear to be bound journals).

1 comment:

Evorgleb said...

We've been talking about Citizendium over at Highbrid Nation. Personally I use Wikipedia a lot and I don't see anything knocking it off its top spot. The features that make Citizendium better may just be the features that keep it from having the same sucess as Wikpedia. There can only be one. Who will it be?