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A Better Wikipedia?

March 26, 2007

There’s a new contender in the “free wiki-style encyclopedia” arena. In fact it just publicly launched this week!

Citizendium, a “citizens’ compendium of everything,” is an experimental new wiki project. The project, started by a founder of Wikipedia, aims to improve on that model by adding “gentle expert oversight” and requiring contributors to use their real names. This definition is shown on the main page of Citizendium.

Reading through various pages on the site I found interesting tidbits of information. They devote a page entirely to Why the Citizendium Will (Probably) Succeed, more properly titled “Why Citizendium Will Surpass Wikipedia!” The page focuses on the differences between Citizendium and Wikipedia and answers objections wikipedia fans threw at them, which they do a nice job meeting every objection.

The “anyone can edit” model used in Wikipedia is being refined by Citizendium to avoid the vandalism and defamation Wikipedia has experienced. Citizendium requires all users to register with their real names, if they do – then they can contribute. And as an added layer of protection, they have editors who approve each user and each posting. Each of the editors are required to have an academic background in a particular area of expertise.

So have you checked out Citizendium yet? What do you think of it so far? If you haven’t I recommend you check it out, then come back here and give us your feedback!