Sanger to Fork Wikipedia into Citizendium

Larry Sanger, first editor-in-chief of Wikipedia, announced yesterday his plans to fork the project into a competitor to Wikipedia called The Citizendium. Sanger describes it as “an experimental new wiki project that combines public participation with gentle expert guidance.”

The Citizendium will take all of Wikipedia’s current articles (allowed under the rules of the GNU Free Documentation License) and edit them under a new model that differs substantially from the model used by what Sanger calls the “arguably dysfunctional” Wikipedia community. “First,” says Sanger, in explaining the primary differences, “the project will invite experts to serve as editors, who will be able to make content decisions in their areas of specialization, but otherwise working shoulder-to-shoulder with ordinary authors. Second, the project will require that contributors be logged in under their own real names, and work according to a community charter. Third, the project will halt and actually reverse some of the ‘feature creep’ that has developed in Wikipedia.”

Sounds like an interesting experiment. I am an administrator at Wikipedia, and I think I’ll sign up on the Citizendium as well…

[via Nick Carr]

UPDATE: Clay Shirky has written an analysis of what he sees as “flawed assumptions” behind an expert-focused version of Wikipedia, and Larry Sanger responds in kind.

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