Wikipedia Versus Citizendium

Citizendium has now opened its content to public viewing, ushering in a new wave of Citizendium publicity and debate.

Dueling Missions

I’ve been interested to compare these two dueling mission statements…

Larry Sanger’s recent essay, Why the Citizendium Will Succeed,
and Wikipedia’s balanced response, Wikipedia:We Aren’t Citizendium.

My Non-Neutral Point of View

As I read Wikipedia:We Aren’t Citizendium, the Wikipedia community is either open to adopting Citizendium policies or already addresses Citizendium’s concerns (feel free to vehemently disagree in the comments – I understand this is a nuanced issue 🙂 ).

Citizendium’s largest issues with Wikipedia, as I understand it, are credentialism and vandalism – both of which are being heavily discussed on Wikipedia. Personally, I’m confident that updating these policies on Wikipedia will take less total work hours than writing a new encyclopedia from scratch.

Larry Sanger has offered more than a bit of criticism of Wikipedia and Jimmy Wales over the years. I can’t help but feel that if Larry had directed his energy and influence towards improving Wikipedia policies from within, his job would have been much easier than starting a brand new encyclopedia.

The goal is the democratization of all knowledge

That was the original goal, as I recall. To compile world knowledge into a single source. Creating two encyclopedias, two foundations, and two userbases seems redundant.

The whole world should participate in and have access to this new democracy of knowledge. Not just an elite corp of experts and “constables.” If Wikipedia’s 1.7 million articles prove anything, it is that everyone is an expert in something.

I believe we should work with Wikipedia. It’s not perfect, but it is a democracy. If something’s truly not working, we can change it.

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One Response to Wikipedia Versus Citizendium

  1. mwoodsh says:

    we had a discussion today on the value of wiki’s in a scholarly setting. ideas?

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