Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Citizendium: A Peer-Review Wikipedia?

A new online wiki encyclopedia named Citizendium (sit-ih-ZEN-dee-um) was finally unveiled on March 25th. The project, started by Larry Sanger (Interesting. I had to use a Wikipedia entry for Sanger since one does not exist on his new service), aims to improve on Wikipedia's model by adding "gentle expert oversight."

The site states that the "project is expert-led, not experts-only." Contributors are referred to as "authors," not editors. Most of the current authors lack advanced degrees with many lacking a degree. All entries require the contributors to use their real names.

To get involved one must first register as an author. Editor applicants must send a CV but the project asserts that one can get involved as authors relatively quickly. Authors then can join the project forums and contribute their thoughts and ideas.

Citizendium is very late to the market. Despite its flaws, Wikipedia already has the brand recognition and the user base. Citizendium will need to come up with some interesting innovations besides using the real names of contributors in order to separate itself. Besides, it doesn't bode well that they needed to use a phonetic pronunciation when promoting their name. Sphere: Related Content

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