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Sanger to Take Wraps Off Wikipedia Alternative: Citizendium

     
7:55 pm on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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In just six years, Wikipedia has mushroomed into one of the Web's most astonishing successes, with 1.7 million articles in English alone. The downside is that the free encyclopedia has its share of errors and juvenile vandalism, and sometimes the writing is incomprehensibly arcane...

...To Sanger who was present at the creation of Wikipedia (in fact, call him a co-founder, although that, like many things within Wikipedia, is disputed) its charms seem to outweigh its warts simply because it has no competition...

...This week, Sanger takes the wraps off a Wikipedia alternative, Citizendium. His goal is to capture Wikipedia's bustle but this time, avoid the vandalism and inconsistency that are its pitfalls.

Sanger to Take Wraps Off Wikipedia Alternative: Citizendium [news.yahoo.com]

This should be interesting!

8:20 pm on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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interesting - perhaps
8:36 pm on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Great... another site that will soon rank above mine for my keywords.
9:23 pm on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Great... another site that will soon rank above mine for my keywords.

If you site is good enough then it will be referencing your website!

9:40 pm on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I like their design, so different
10:54 pm on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If you site is good enough then it will be referencing your website!

Doesn't matter if the links are nofollow and in a low visible sector.
12:27 am on Mar 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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In the months since the Citizendium began, we have created and borrowed many articles

Borrowed?

12:30 am on Mar 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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On the road to failure... I can't even remember the name long enough to type it into a browser.
12:41 am on Mar 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The name doesn't quite roll off the tongue, does it?
1:10 am on Mar 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If it's not going to be a "real" -- i.e. citable and academically sound -- encyclopedia then I just don't see the demand for this. It looks like what they want is to be more authoritative than Wikipedia, but is that aiming high enough?
1:21 am on Mar 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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In the UK one of our top entrepeauners is Richard Branson. He originally created Virgin Music that launched "Tubular Bells" (Soundtrack to Exocist) and signed such bands as "The Sex Pistols" and "The Rolling Stones" before selling to concentrate on transportation. He later set up V2, the new Virgin Music. Howether he was never able to repeat the initial success.

I think wikipedia mirrors that. I think it was an absolutely brilliant idea and anything that follows will be extremely difficult to establish.

[edited by: Keniki at 1:28 am (utc) on Mar. 26, 2007]

3:20 am on Mar 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Ken, I've seen my share of one trick ponies as well. But, in marketing and communications, building on the success of another is a proven model.

This website you're on at the moment proves that Citizendium has merit. You're a new member here, but if you post enough you'll run into the mods who will keep you on the straight and narrow. WW has built a very useful resource using volunteers.

Richard Wright wrote a book called NonZero. He attempts to make the case saying that human progress is built not everyone winning and that mankind (and even much of nature) has in its being a desire to be helpful to others.

I do agree with others, however, that I'll never learn to spell Citizendium. How do you say it: Sit-I-zen-de-um? Bah.

3:24 am on Mar 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Wright's book, I should have said, suggests society is built on everyone winning. I have a misplaced "not" in my post above. Sorry.
12:30 pm on Mar 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Well I had to Google the name to find the site, and then thought I would check it out - looked at Deconstructivism followed a link in the article to be informed that I had tried to edit the "article" and should become a member.

I followed a link at the bottom of the article and found a website with Adsense saying that they were currently re-designing their site.

A good start to using Citizendium - I think not!

How does Google view re-using articles from wiki and similiar sources?

12:47 pm on Mar 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Competition is good, but having been to the cit... website its such an obvious clone designwise it'll turn people off. They should have tried a completely different, more vibrant look and feel
4:47 pm on Mar 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Its not even a good clone, it looks worse than Wikipedia!
4:59 pm on Mar 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Oh good. Another clone of a site that is based around summaries of other people's research.

Wikipedia is basically duplicate content: all of its articles are supposed to be referenced from other more authoritative sources. Quite often, that means it's nothing more than a rehash of the information you can easily find on the rest of the web. And if Wiki wasn't at the top of every single SERP, this original information would be that much easier to find in the first place.

Excuse me, I need to go buy my fish a bicycle...

7:20 pm on Mar 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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wow, just what we need. the wiki scraper site to end all others.
8:37 pm on Mar 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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They should've called it zendium...
11:12 pm on Mar 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What's most striking to me: how did they manage to get their story into yahoo AND webmasterworld? There is a lot to learn from this, for sure.

nerd.

12:12 am on Mar 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Bzzzzt!

The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading.

That's I got from any link on the front page. Not very impressive at all right now. How can I put this.... buy yourself some bandwidth.

1:19 am on Mar 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hi Weeks,

You maybe right I certainly wish Citizendium the best of luck. I think the fact Wikipedia needs competition is valid. I just wonder what happened to "encarta" and why they didn't take a leaf out of wikipedia and open the thing up.

12:17 pm on Mar 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This deserves repeating, in my view:

What's most striking to me: how did they manage to get their story into yahoo AND webmasterworld? There is a lot to learn from this, for sure.
3:51 pm on Mar 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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how did they manage to get their story into yahoo AND webmasterworld? There is a lot to learn from this, for sure.

It's simply riding the coattails of Wikipedia, which is the flavor of the month. It seems like you can't go a week without some minor Wikipedia article causing a controversy which makes it into the mainstream press (e.g. Sinbad reported dead).

The site will also be Slashdotted soon, if it hasn't been already, because they love to argue Wikipedia over there as well.

1:52 pm on Mar 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The design is nothing short of.. uninteresting and the name.. why not eCitizendiumPediaOnlineBestestWikiEver.org it amounts to about the same.
I'm facinated that companies or individals with some coin can throw it behind something that has no elagance. I rarely use Wikipedia at this point, maybe as a second or third source, so one can hope that they will be a tad more reliable, but still. Citizendium?