Wikipedia co-founder to launch competing project

Larry Sanger, one of the founders of Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, is launching a new encyclopedia project he hopes will unseat Wikipedia as the go-to destination for general information online.

Wikipedia comprises articles largely written by a community of users. However, any visitor can contribute an article or modify an existing one on the Web site.

Like Wikipedia, the Citizendium, or "the Citizen's Compendium," will be a wiki project open to public collaboration, Sanger said. But, unlike Wikipedia, the community will be "guided by expert editors, and contributors will be expected to use their own names, not anonymous pseudonyms," according to its Web site.

"I've been frustrated that the direction Wikipedia has been traveling in since 2002, and my main complaints about it haven't changed since then," Sanger said. "For a long time I actually assumed that they were finally going to get their heads on straight and install a responsible approval process and grow to a greater level of maturity as a community, but it just hasn't happened. The failure of Wikipedia management to make meaningful reforms to meet libel problems and problems of reliability have basically reached a breaking point for me. I also saw an opportunity. There's a huge latent demand for an expert-guided Wikipedia."

The Wikimedia Foundation, the group behind Wikipedia, could not be reached for comment.

"One of the main reasons there is so much contention among the Wikipedia community is that people are constantly getting into these edit wars, where they simply can't agree on some particular point, and often the point turns on something quite substantive that an expert in the subject would be expected to know about," Sanger said. "So we're going to do an end run around such things by allowing editors to make decisions when issues of controversy arise. If the editors disagree as well, we'll have a dispute-resolution process for that."

"The Citizendium will begin by 'mirroring' Wikipedia's content, which its license, the GNU Free Documentation License, permits. Contributors will then be able to edit articles under the new system," according to the statement. Ultimately, the Web site intends to produce better content or replace the Wikipedia-sourced content, it said.

The pilot project for authors and editors will be invitation-only and will launch soon but may not be viewed by the public. Invitations to apply are on the Citizendium Web site. After initial work, the project will be opened to public view and to contributions by anyone who supplies his real name, a working e-mail address and a statement of commitment to the Citizendium's "social contract," or basic policies, according to the statement.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Linda Rosencrance

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?