Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Education The Internet

Citizendium After One Year 150

Posted by kdawson
from the 3,200-articles dept.
Larry Sanger writes "Citizendium, 'the Citizens' Compendium' — a free, non-profit, ad-free, wiki encyclopedia with real names and a role for experts — has just announced that it's celebrating the one-year anniversary of its wiki, an occasion for which I wrote a project report. Make up your own mind about whether 'we've made a very strong start and an amazing future likely lies ahead of us.' We have been the subject of a lot of misunderstanding, but we've still proven a lot, such as that a public-expert hybrid wiki is consistent with accelerating growth and leads to high quality, or that eliminating anonymity helps remove vandalism. Signs are good that we are starting into a serious growth spurt. Might the Web 2.0 umbrella be expanded to include real name requirements and roles for experts? It's looking that way."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Citizendium After One Year

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @08:26PM (#21178491)

    Might the Web 2.0 umbrella be expanded to include real name requirements and roles for experts? It's looking that way.
    You can have my anonymity when you pry it from my cold dead hands!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mrbluze (1034940)

      You can have my anonymity when you pry it from my cold dead hands!
      This is a good comment, it's not off-topic, and is indeed the reason why many experts will choose not to contribute to a wiki that reveals their identity.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Just tell us who you are and where we can find you and we'll be right over with a crowbar!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by owlnation (858981)
      I wholeheartedly agree. The fundamental problem with "experts" in the wiki-sense is that they are self-appointed. And invariably self-aggrandizing.

      Citizendium has the advantage, perhaps, that it's clear from the start that there is a hierarchy. At least potential cabals are the more transparent.

      Wikipedia is rife with cabal-ery, and in many cases admins are deeply involved in that. This has been exposed time, after time, after time, after time, after time, all the way to the top - and even then it's pr
    • by MoxFulder (159829)
      Citizendium seems to me to be a solution in search of a problem...

      We already have a widely-used free encyclopedia that a lot of people see as reliable, broad, and timely... or at least a good enough combination to be useful: Wikipedia.

      When I heard about Citizendium, I expected that the articles it produced would be very thorough, thought-provoking, and clearly written. But I'm pretty disappointed. Take a look at the article "Biology [citizendium.org]", for example. It meanders through a lot of history and philosophy of bi
    • by DavidD_CA (750156)
      The above post was made from 39.210.95.83 on 2007-10-30 17:26.

      A reverse lookup shows that it belongs to one Stephen Andrews who lives at 2092 North Hunter Blvd in Reno, NV.

      Please leave your anonymity on your door step when we come to collect it. Resistance is futile. You will be ousted.
  • Wikipedia (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nlitement (1098451) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @08:31PM (#21178519)
    Compare both wikis' articles on "tennis":

    Tennis is a sport played between either two players ("singles") or two teams of two players ("doubles"). Players use a stringed racquet to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court.
    Citizendium

    Tennis is a game played between two players (singles) or between two teams of two players (doubles). Players use a stringed racquet to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court.
    Wikipedia

    Just an interesting note. Also, Wikipedia had started out as Nupedia, based on the same idea as Citizendium. In the end, it's really up to the end-user to weed out bad information.
    • And.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by djupedal (584558) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @08:41PM (#21178567)
      Citizendium: Wikipedia

      Wikipedia is a peer-directed project to create a group of online encyclopedias in every major language. Founded in 2001, Wikipedia grew exponentially in its first 4 to 5 years. It is the world's largest encyclopedia project and one of the most popular sites on the Internet.[1] The English-language Wikipedia is the world's largest single wiki and contains more than two million articles.

      ========

      Wikipedia: Citizendium
      Citizendium: The Citizens' Compendium

      The Citizendium homepage in Firefox
      URL http://en.citizendium.org/ [citizendium.org]
      Commercial? No
      Type of site Internet encyclopedia project
      Registration Optional (Required to edit pages)
      Available language(s) English
      Owner Larry Sanger
      Created by Larry Sanger
      Launched October 23, 2006 (pilot)
      March 25, 2007 (public)
      Current status Beta

      Citizendium (pronounced /stzndim/ "a citizens' compendium of everything") is an English-language online wiki-based free encyclopedia project spearheaded by Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia.[1][2] The project aims to improve on the Wikipedia model by requiring all contributors to do so with their real names, by strictly moderating the project for unprofessional behaviors, and by providing what it calls "gentle expert oversight" of everyday contributors. A main feature of the project is its "approved articles", which have each undergone a form of peer-review by credentialed topic-experts and are closed to real-time editing. The project was first (late 2006) envisioned as a complete "fork" of the English Wikipedia,[3] but the project abandoned that idea prior to its March 2007 public launch to emphasize its own original articles. As of October 2007, the project had over 3,000 articles.[4]
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Citizendium *might* (and I do stress might) be able to get the balance right. Wikipedia has a lot of positives - but with one big negative. It burns through good editors... and there are endless bad editors and trolls.

      Wikipedia is a fucking nightmare to work on unless you have endless patience with red tape, and/or friends who are admins, or you are working in some obscure area that no-one else cares about.

      If Citizendium can add a *sensible* amount of respect for expertise to settle arguments and control

    • Re:Wikipedia (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jd (1658) <imipak@y a h oo.com> on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @08:49PM (#21178619) Homepage Journal
      Both encyclopedias would be wrong if that is the only definition, as that only defines one form of Tennis. There are actually multiple variants of the game - no great surprise given that it's actually quite an old sport. One of the problems with any "flat file" article within an encyclopedia is that it cannot possibly include all of the relevant context. It can only include a small fraction and refer/link to related information in the hope that the reader compiles all of the important links in their mind into one meta-article. This rarely happens - very few humans have the memory or time to create a world-view perspective on something, then eliminate the extraneous.

      Ideally, then, you'd want the encyclopedia to do this. You'd specify what you want to know and some information about what sort of context would matter. This would mean a system with far smaller article fragments, which could be compiled into actual articles on demand. It would also mean a system with far more sophisticated natural language processing ability and superior weak natural language AI than currently exists, so don't expect a meta-encyclopedia any time soon.

    • ... In the end, it's really up to the end-user to weed out bad information. ...

      A lot of the wikipedia's success is because it's a lot easier to revert or delete than to create.

      And because there are more people who want it to be right than want it to be wrong.

      • In the end, it's really up to the end-user to weed out bad information.

        That's really the root of the whole endless question cycle on Wikipedia (and wikis in general), though, isn't it? An end-user doesn't necessarily have the knowledge to weed out "bad information"; the most common usage scenario for an encyclopedia is, after all, to look up information you don't have. Vandalism will often be obvious and most of us will be suspicious of anything that's too badly written, but well-written, authoritative-sounding information on Wikipedia on a subject that you or I don't really

  • Real Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rakishi (759894) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @08:32PM (#21178529)
    uhhhmm...how about no.

    Are you going to require SS, driver's license or passport numbers as well? After all my high school alone had 50 Chans in it, for example. I mean if you want people to be accountable you need to tie their identity to a person and a name does not tie to a person. A name ties to many people quite often.

    However if you're not blessed enough to have a generic name that means that anyone can find everything you ever did under your real name. Anything online (and often even not online) you use your real name for is possibly tied to you, irrevocably and forever. This is the real world, not some fantasy world where everyone is nice and happy and non-prejudiced. People are petty and selfish and biased. I don't want to lose a potential job because some HR person decided they don't like my hobbies. Neither do I want to find myself in jail because some idiot policeman or prosecutor decided that my hobbies make me guilty of some crime (lots and lots of cases of innocent people getting shafted for being in the wrong place or time).
    • by E++99 (880734)
      Uhhh... I can't help but wonder what your hobbies are, that you think some "idiot policeman" is going to throw you in jail for. Bicycling? Parcheesi? Stamp Collecting?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Uhhh... I can't help but wonder what your hobbies are, that you think some "idiot policeman" is going to throw you in jail for. Bicycling? Parcheesi? Stamp Collecting?

        I can easily imagine a police officer under certain circumstances deciding that someone whose hobby is playing D&D (or other FRPG) is guilty of a crime. Or to take another example, I could see a policeman going: "You go to Renaissance Faires in costume (correct terminology would be garb). You wear a sword as part of that costume. One of your neighbors was killed with a sword. You must be the killer." Never mind that the sword that you wear as part of your garb is a never sharpened western style sword a

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by McFadden (809368)

        Uhhh... I can't help but wonder what your hobbies are, that you think some "idiot policeman" is going to throw you in jail for.

        How about going to watch soccer?

        From the Observer (British Newspaper):

        Tickets to a Manchester United game found during anti-terrorist raids sparked fears of a suicide attack on Old Trafford. But they were for an old match and had been kept as souvenirs by the suspects, who were fans of the club.

        The revelation will lead to further criticism of the operation which led to th

    • My user name on Wikipedia (and Citizendium) is my real name. My first edits to Wikipedia were on neo-Nazis and Scientology. Somehow I remain employed. I wonder how that is.
      • Re:Real Names (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Rakishi (759894) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @09:08PM (#21178773)
        Oh joy, someone who can't understand an argument based on possibilities and sees the world as only black or white.

        First of all I never said I'd get fired but that I may lose a potential job or a potential promotion or a potential networking ooprtunity. Those weeding out employee resumes google their names and who knows why they may not like someone.

        I gain pretty much nothing from using my real name in many online situations. Nonetheless I may lose quite a bit by doing so. Or I may not but I'm slightly paranoid.

        If you want to use your real name for something then you are free to do so right now. If you don't want to then you're free as well. That's how I prefer things.
        • by jlarocco (851450)

          What the hell do you do on the internet that's so "dangerous"? I'm trying to see your side, but I'm really struggling. If you're posting legitimate content (eg not trolling), who cares if your future employer finds it? What're they gonna say? "This guy strives for accuracy and correctness, let's keep looking"? or maybe "This guy is a little too knowledgeable"?

          Even if they discriminate against you, who cares? Do you really want to work for somebody who wouldn't have hired you because they disagree w

          • by Rakishi (759894)
            "Dangerous"? No I simply don't assume that people don't judge others for the most inane of reasons. We usually can't help it, how we perceive people depends on tons of essentially inane reasons. I support the war in Iraq, I oppose the war in Iraq, I support Bush, I oppose Bush, I support gun control, I oppose gun control and the same things on hundreds of other topics. Maybe you contribute to topics of competing companies? Maybe you contributed a lot to topics about bi-polar disease. Maybe it was bondage. M
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        My user name on Wikipedia (and Citizendium) is my real name. My first edits to Wikipedia were on neo-Nazis and Scientology.

        Considering you can be put in jail [nytimes.com] for thinking the wrong thoughts in certain countries in Europe, I would be very, very careful what you write on those subjects.

        This is not theoretical -- people can, and are, put in jail for writing the wrong things in supposedly free countries in Western Europe.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ed Avis (5917)
      That's exactly the point. If you're not prepared to stand by your contribution under your real name, and have it be part of the public record that you wrote it, then you can't add it to Citizendium. (You can of course post on thousands of other websites such as this one.)

      IMHO, using your real name isn't so much about hard accountability, having someone to sue, or other legalistic FUD. It's more about setting an appropriate atmosphere for discussion, where you remember that the Internet is a part of the r
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rakishi (759894)

        It's more about setting an appropriate atmosphere for discussion, where you remember that the Internet is a part of the real world rather than separate from it, and that online discussion is a conversation between real people and not avatars or cyber-personalities.

        You assume that this makes a discussion better, I say it may make it worse. Historically a lot of writing has been anonymous or quasi-anonymous. Also there is reputation as within any single forum or discussion board or wiki (or across many in some cases) there are reputations attached to people's usernames. There is as a result accountability IF you value such a thing.

        When I debate online I don't see names but only arguments. If I knew these people I couldn't help but be biased yet online I can't be. Like

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I was among the first people to sign up for Citizendium. I was tired of all the cabals and "offence is a good defence" followers on Wikipedia. And to tell you the truth, removing Anonymous access is a big deal - you are contributing under a login name. Because, in all seriousness, you ARE going to write something which will be read and taken seriously by hundreds of thousands of people, and will probably be sold on a CD, and will be copied all over the internet and so on. It is just responsible to be credit
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Anonymity is about writing and, as the above poster points out, it's as old as writing itself. In fact, in the older literatures, specifically in early Chinese, it was considered low class and arrogant to sign ones name to a work of literature.

        The people who get upset about anonymity tend not to be those who are not really interested in the text itself but rather in the politics of the text.

        Let me provide a topical example that doesn't speak directly to annonymity but can be seen as a lesson on this topic.
    • Re:Real Names (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mgrivich (1015787) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @09:05PM (#21178747)

      Anything online (and often even not online) you use your real name for is possibly tied to you, irrevocably and forever. This is the real world, not some fantasy world where everyone is nice and happy and non-prejudiced.
      http://www.xkcd.com/137/ [xkcd.com]
      • by Rakishi (759894)
        Amazingly being quasi-anonymous online let's me both prevent annoying excessively-sensitive people in RL and let's me express my thoughts without bounds.

        Also idealism attached to your real name is great, it caused two of my grandparents to get a government sponsored all expenses paid trip to Siberia and another to die relatively poor. And they were the lucky ones from that generation.
        • ... Also idealism attached to your real name is great, it caused two of my grandparents to get a government sponsored all expenses paid trip to Siberia and another to die relatively poor ...

          You should be proud that they actually stood up for what they believed in, despite those consequences. Anonymity is an essential tool in certain situations, but if we were all anonymous, all the time, there would be no change. The work of Thomas Paine and others was done specifically to incite idealistic reaction, whi
          • by Rakishi (759894)

            You should be proud that they actually stood up for what they believed in, despite those consequences

            Fighting for your beliefs is pointless if you fail horribly in the end and achieve nothing, or as my grandparents did aid your future enemy. There are plenty of sheep to die for the cause when needed, I prefer to get a gun as they do so I can shoot the wolf.

            Anecdotally, I think that anonymity on the internet is, to a small extent, playing a role in my generation's lack of motivation both politically and socially. When you are so used to being able to spout off your opinions without fear of repercussions (just as I am doing right now, ironically), you tend to end up complacent and reluctant, and to avoid confrontation when the same type of situation occurs in meatspace.

            You could argue that it also let's people more effectively question their own ingrained environmental values with a lot more freedom. Activism requires a somewhat fanatical and blind devotion to a cause even if reality doesn't agree with you. Harder to

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jjohnson (62583)
      I see: because perfect accountability is impossible, no attempt at accountability can ever succeed, even partially. It's just not possible for there to a cumulative effect that raises the overall level somewhat, even if there exist failures of its accountability scheme.
  • Only Way Way Way Smaller and Your Contributions Can And Will Get Shitcanned by Anyone Who Signed Up Pretending That They are an Expert in That Subject!

    Mmm, catchy!

    • Your Contributions Can And Will Get Shitcanned by Anyone Who Signed Up Pretending That They are an Expert in That Subject
      And this is different than Wikipedia how...?
  • Oblig (Score:2, Funny)

    by Kingrames (858416)
    I am intrigued by your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

    My name is Anonymous Coward, I'm just posting anonymously.
  • The whole point of wikipedia was to create a large body of knowledge, and putting everyone on equal footing did just that. Being able to take the "large body of knowledge" and give it expert vetting is going to be a slower process, but
    • by JoshJ (1009085)
      Wow, something went wrong there. That should read "but it should be worth it in the end".
    • by Daimanta (1140543)
      ...but the overall quality will be higher compared to Wikipedia.
      • by JoshJ (1009085)
        Yeah, that's what I was trying to get at. In the short term it'll have lots of holes because it's a slower process than what Wiki had, but in the long term it'll be better quality than Wikipedia. Seems like a win-win situation to me.
        • by Smauler (915644)

          I'm curious - if you think that in the long term it'll generally have better quality articles than those on wikipedia, after a year, it should definitely have at least a few. Are there any?

          I'm not denigrating Citizendium or attempting to here, just asking if if there are really better entries there.

  • we've still proven ... that eliminating anonymity helps remove vandalism.
    It certainly helps when there's no articles to vandalize and no members to do the vandalizing.
  • no, not yet anyway (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @08:52PM (#21178645) Journal

    Might the Web 2.0 umbrella be expanded to include real name requirements and roles for experts? It's looking that way."
    That doesn't have any more of a chance than Slashdot doing that. The only thing that I can see causing the entirety of the "Web2.0" projects adopting such a system is through new restirctive laws passed by many governments across the world. Proably under the guise of preventing terrorism or some other nonsense.
    • Web 2.0 (Score:2, Insightful)

      I don't know if it is just me, but I get turned off the moment I come across any reference to "Web 2.0". For some reason, this raises the snake-oil and marketeerspeak warning flags in my mind.
      • yep, buzzwords like "web2.0" are just code for "vaporware" or any eqivalent
      • by owlnation (858981)

        I don't know if it is just me, but I get turned off the moment I come across any reference to "Web 2.0".

        Yes, agreed. As far as I can see Web 2.0 -- and most especially Wikipedia, and Citizendium too for that matter -- only exist because "search" is really not good enough for most people's needs.

        It's been 10 years since Google, and what innovation has happened since then? Nothing much.

        If search worked as desired you could go straight to the primary sources of data and not need to have it filtered a

        • by Rakishi (759894)
          So instead of a relatively open process you want your knowledge biased by a search engine that is supported by ads and uses an unknown algorithm to give back results?

          Also I don't have time to read tons of primary sources when looking up some random topic for fun and analyze their importance. If I read wikipedia to know the 20 year history and time line of DC comics I do so because I don't WANT to have to read those 20 years of history.
  • Who? What? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by allcar (1111567) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @09:04PM (#21178741)
    I'm afraid I had never heard of "Citizendium" until I RTFA. And that, it seems to me is the biggest problem that it faces: Wikipedia is ubiquitous, whilst Citizendium is obscure.
    In addition, Wikipedia now has enormous scope. On almost any topic, I can feel confident that Wikipedia will have something to say. In spite of what many detractors will say, Wikipedia is usually informative and reasonably accurate. It should not be= seen as definitive, but it ia frequently a useful starting point. Citizendium has a long way to go before it can make such claims.
    Whilst writing this, I could not help thinking about the fictional comparison between the entries for alcohol in the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and the Encyclopedia Galactica [uni-tuebingen.de]. That led me to check what each of the sources had to say about Hitchhikers itself. See for yourself: I think we have a clear winner!
    Don't get me wrong. Citizendium sounds like a great idea and I hope it is successful. It may be that they would be better off not trying to compete so directly with Wikipedia and to aim for a different niche. In that case, I think it's a shame that the article spent so much time addressing the inevitable comparisons.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by cow_2001 (632994)
      Right, Citizendium should aim for "The Definitive Resource On Everything" niche instead of "The Usually Informative And Reasonably Accurate But Not Definitive, Although It Is Frequently A Useful Starting Point, Resource On Everything" that Wikipedia currently inhabits...

      Yuval Langer.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by interiot (50685)
      Heck, of the top 20 [wikimedia.de] most viewed articles on Wikipedia, the following are missing from Citizendium:
      • #3: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
      • #4: Naruto
      • #5: Guitar Hero III
      • #9: Harry Potter
      • #10: Halo 3
      • #11: Transformers (film)
      • #12: Heroes (TV series)
      • #13: Vanessa Hudgens
      • #14: Luciano Pavarotti
      • #15: Bleach (manga)
      • #17: 50 Cent
      • #18: Sex positions
      • #19: World Wrestling Entertainment
      • #20: Sex (PC terms like homosexuality, AIDS, contraception, etc. are mentioned, but any sort of anatomy isn't there... possibly d
      • by pokerdad (1124121)

        Heck, of the top 20 most viewed articles on Wikipedia, the following are missing from Citizendium:

        I had never seen the list you linked to before, but it is just a ton of Slashdot articles waiting to happen:

        • Wii ranks higher than xbox, ps3
        • Halo 3 ranks higher than Bioshock
        • Global warming ranks higher than Bush
        • SSBB ranks higher than GTA IV
        • Masturbation ranks higher than porn

        Not that these topics or any of thousands of others you might generate this way are particularily interesting, but come on, this is Slashdot. Hey, if we can get two articles on Wiki forks on the same day, I can't believe that s

      • To quote literally from their family friendly policy page: family friendly policy page [citizendium.org]:

        Probably, we will not have graphic depictions of the sex act or photographs of human sex organs [...]

        That seems like a rather tainted idea of "family friendly" to me. When child that becomes interested in sexual topics (and inevitably, they will), and decides to use an online encyclopedia to learn more about it, on Citizendium they will find that any images related to the subject have been purposefully kept off the site. The message is clear: sex is bad, why else would images of sexual organs be kept off a site meant to

  • by davejenkins (99111) <slashdot@dav[ ]nkins.com ['eje' in gap]> on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @09:50PM (#21178995) Homepage
    The problem with citizendium is the basic premise that the masses aren't "qualified" to contribute. This is what made the wikipedia so much fun-- all of us dilletantes had a place to put in our smattering of knolwedge about history, geography, or punk rock. But only a minority of the population graduates college, and an even smaller minority have the advanced degree in place to be a qualified 'authority' to speak authoritatively on a given subject. Citizendium depends on this minority, and frankly wikipedia is migrating the same direction.

    As a result, the masses are moving toward what they know: TV shows, pop culture, and fictional universe wikis. The Lyric wiki [lyricwiki.org] is 6th on the http://wikindex.com/ [wikindex.com], and the TV wiki [tviv.org] is 13th overall. World of Warcraft, Star Trek, and Battlesar Galactica are bigger than many non-european language wikipediae.

    People go where they feel smart. When citizendium makes things tough, only the tough will remain.
    • The problem with citizendium is the basic premise that the masses aren't "qualified" to contribute. This is what made the wikipedia so much fun-- all of us dilletantes had a place to put in our smattering of knolwedge about history, geography, or punk rock.

      A lot of knowledge is available to the masses that doesn't require higher education. The problem is when people start contributing "information" when they 1) have none of the real world experience/knowledge needed to contribute useful knowledge. 2) FU

    • Citizendium isn't trying to create a feel-good community where everyone feels smart, they're trying to create a compendium of knowledge. They want only the tough to remain, basically, because they're working from the premise that the tough can contribute much better information than everyone else.
      • They want only the tough to remain, basically, because they're working from the premise that the tough can contribute much better information than everyone else.

        In other words, "the basic premise that the masses aren't 'qualified' to contribute". And the point is that premise is wrong. Most issues don't need an expert to contribute positively. You don't need a PhD to correct a typo or start a basic article. Experts are only really necessary to sort out the nitty-gritty details when everything else is already pegged down. Citizendium had a chance with the initial plan to create a running fork of Wikipedia. Take the 90% that doesn't need an expert and finely polish

    • As a result, the masses are moving toward what they know: TV shows, pop culture, and fictional universe wikis. The Lyric wiki is 6th on the http://wikindex.com/ [wikindex.com], and the TV wiki is 13th overall.

      IME, TVIV is less complete and up to date than Wikipedia itself. Compare the articles on last week's episode of House on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] and TVIV [tviv.org]. As for the Lyric Wiki... I'd be surprised if they actually have permission to post the lyrics to popular songs. Meanwhile, Wikipedia manages some very detailed articles [wikipedia.org] on popular songs without including the lyrics themselves. (That song happens to be on the front page of Lyrics wiki at the moment.)

    • "The problem with citizendium is the basic premise that the masses aren't "qualified" to contribute."

      I'm sorry, but this is wrong. It's even in TFA.

      I'm honestly getting a big FUD vibe from /. here - oh noes, real names! Citizendium will be a failure just like that other site that uses real names, Facebook! Oh noes, Wikipedia is already too big, it'll never be a credible source of information like Wikipedia is - or Encyclopedia Britannica is, or Encarta is, or mass media was, or, or, or...

      It's an ambitious i
    • Wikipedia is useful to get a first idea of what we are looking for, and then go to an expert's site and read the real stuff. If Citizendium can be of the latter, it's good.
  • I thought it said "Circumcision after one year!"
  • Curious if there was any religious bias in pages, I looked up evolution. There I saw the following odd sentence:

    Fossils are xxxx.

    Citizendium uses the same history tracking as Wikipedia, so I was able to go back many version to find that this was originally:

    Fossils are critical evidence for estimating when various lineages originated.

    There may be more instances of vandalism to Wikipedia, but I've never seen such a blatant example last through so many edits.

  • Myth debunkery (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Larry Sanger (936381) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @10:37PM (#21179311) Journal

    A lot of the sort of negative comments above were anticipated and shown to be myths in TFA, right here [citizendium.org].

    Also, hey, think of this. On the one hand, (1) I have nothing whatsoever against anonymity online; there is a right to anonymity online. But (2) I also think that certain projects--like encyclopedia projects--can greatly benefit by requiring people to identify themselves. If you bring yourselves to realize that (1) and (2) are compatible, maybe you anonymity advocates won't be so hostile to CZ.

    In short, I don't think that the right to anonymity requires that you have the right to be anonymous everywhere. You have the right to have sex with other consenting adults, too, but you don't have the right to have sex with other consenting adults everywhere. (Hey! Get off my car!)

    • Oh please (Score:3, Insightful)

      by svunt (916464)

      In short, I don't think that the right to anonymity requires that you have the right to be anonymous everywhere. You have the right to have sex with other consenting adults, too, but you don't have the right to have sex with other consenting adults everywhere. (Hey! Get off my car!)
      You have built a hotel with a sign out front saying "NO FUCKING", and now there are bugger all guests. Now there's a surprise.
      • RRRRT! Thanks for trying, no prize. More uninformed remarks based on little more than your personal biases. Really, if you're going to reply, at least have the sense to read the debunkery [citizendium.org].

        You seem to think that projects like Wikipedia just instantly spring into existence. Well, they don't; they take time to build. Wikipedia certainly took time--I ought to know. But, on your view, if there aren't instantly Wikipedia-levels of participation, it means there are no participants at all.

        Wikipedia also s

        • by stdarg (456557)
          "Bugger all" does not mean "absolutely zero". Try looking it up [google.com]. I think it's pretty clear that the OP was saying that if you didn't have the non-anonymity requirement, you would have substantially more users. It's all speculation but your remarks as uninformed and personally biased as anybody else's.

          The analogy of a hotel with a sign that says "no fucking" is actually pretty good. Not only does it prevent people who want to have sex from staying at the hotel (i.e. people who want to be anonymous editors),
          • Sorry to disappoint, but I do know what "bugger all" means, and my response was perfectly aimed: the phrase "bugger all" has the implication that we have virtually no one contributing, or not enough to matter. This is false, and obviously so, to anyone who is actually familiar with the facts about the project.

            Sez you: "You're stuck with the people who don't care about their own anonymity and don't care about anybody else's either." Correct on the left conjunct, not on the right one. I care about people

    • Citizendium claims 3300 articles. After a year, only 39 of these [citizendium.org] are "approved" articles ... expert approval being their unique selling point. Far from exhibiting accelerated growth, Citizendium's own statistics shows a year's worth of uniformly flat growth [citizendium.org].

      After one year, Wikipedia - which did not have the distinct advantage of being able to lift content wholescale from, err, wikipedia, had 21,000 articles [wikimedia.org].

      Again, despite it's touted experticity, it still has barking mad articles such as Jake the Explainer [citizendium.org]
      • Well that was unexpectedly funny. Thank you very much. Choosing a dog, indeed.
      • Sorry, i am out of points, so i cannot do it myself.

        Larry has invested so much clout in this project he will defend it till the end, no matter much much it sucks.
        German wikipedia had a very similar case: Mr. Fuchs, an ex-moderator and oppinion-troll (is main idea was "TOO MANY ARTICLES! DELETE DELETE DELETE". To explain his idiocy: For him, the only notable movies are those who won academy awards...). Well, his wikiweise looks the same like this now: After 2 (or so) years, 50% of the edits are now done by 4
        • by Raenex (947668)
          Hmm, I have mod points, and I was going to mod this guy up, but I really hate the mod commanders. Oh well :)
  • So do you have to be a citizen to contribute to this project? I take it illegal aliens aren't welcome. What about legal aliens who have yet to become citizens?
  • I am sorry but slashdot is probably the only place I actually read the word "citizendium", one year later I only find wikipedia links everywhere, and no single citizendium link. And I browse the web a lot.
    • by swordgeek (112599)
      It's a different project, with a different focus. It's not going to ever become as much of a populist phenomenon as wikipedia, partly because wikipedia was _first_. However, there's a place for it, and it's doing well on its own terms.
  • Who dares to publish criticism of Scientology with their real name?

    Basically ANY sufficiently controversial topic will be unreliable when anonymity is lost.

    Religion, believes and cults are the obvious examples, but there's a lot more topics that stupid people get aggressive about.
    • You realise of course that plenty of critics of Scientology, e.g. me, write under their real names.
  • At least, that's the perception one gets. Looking at their main page, there are no non-English articles. And what about their name? "Citizen" is English. Yes, "Wiki" is Hawaiian, but it has been adopted by other languages as well. Wiki is "wiki" in Finnish as well, whereas "Citizen" is "kansalainen". "Wikipedia" is a lot more universal word languagewise than "Citizendium" is. Not to mention it being a lot easier to pronounce. Again: Wikipedia is "Wikipedia" in Finnish, what would Citizendium be? I have no i

Help stamp out Mickey-Mouse computer interfaces -- Menus are for Restaurants!

Working...