Citizendium, the new wiki project from Larry Sanger (one of the co-founders of Wikipedia) launched publicly yesterday. Citizendium is a lot like Wikipedia, but with more emphasis placed on responsibility and the policing of content--two things arguably lacking in Wikipedia. Before you can contribute to Citizendium, users must apply for access, and it's not just a casual name and e-mail address; you actually have to provide your real name and sell yourself to the service's content cops in 100 to 500 words.
The site's content is managed and controlled by community moderators called "constables." After being screened and chosen even more carefully than ordinary contributors, constables are given the power to manage user submissions and general content. Constables aren't paid or given compensation for their services, it's purely a volunteer gig. Likewise, contributors receive nothing besides the prestige of creating and editing content for the service.
There are just more than 1,000 entries on the site. This pales in comparison to Wikipedia's 1,700,000 plus, but Citizendium just launched. Wikipedia's been live since early 2001.
Citizendium is an interesting experiment (a term coined by its founders, not me). It's too early to say whether or not it will become a serious competitor to Wikipedia. To my mind, Citizendium is setting itself up for problems.… Read more