December 19, 2005 4:00 AM PST

Wikipedia alternative aims to be 'PBS of the Web'

A new online information service launching in early 2006 aims to build on the model of free online encyclopedia Wikipedia by inviting acknowledged experts in a range of subjects to review material contributed by the general public.

Called Digital Universe, the project is the brainchild of, among others, USWeb founder Joe Firmage and Larry Sanger, one of Wikipedia's earliest creators.

By providing a service they're calling "the PBS of the Web," the Digital Universe team hopes to create a new era of free and open access to wide swaths of information on virtually any topic.

News.context

What's new:
Digital Universe, a new online repository of articles, will have two tiers: publicly written articles that are not certified by the experts as accurate, and those that are.

Bottom line:
The founders of Digital Universe say they're creating a unique online information resource that combines Web-based collaboration and scientific review. The challenge will be finding the money to back up an endless supply of no-cost and ad-free articles.

More stories on this topic

"The vision of the Digital Universe is to essentially provide an ad-free alternative to the likes of AOL and Yahoo on the Internet," said Firmage. "Instead of building it through Web robots, we're building it through a web of experts at hundreds of institutions throughout the world."

Their idea is particularly timely given recent questions about Wikipedia's accuracy and credibility. A frequently raised criticism of the constantly growing repository of information has been that the millions of articles created by a worldwide community of contributors are not verified by experts.

Of course, that has always been Wikipedia's modus operandi--that its articles are written and vetted by its community, not by an elite corps of Ph.D.s. Yet there are some who feel that while the site has a satisfying populist appeal, and may be on par with the Encyclopedia Britannica when it comes to accuracy, it still suffers from a lack of true accountability.

By including articles that have been approved by experts, Digital Universe will have such reliability, its founders say.

The problem that Firmage and his colleagues are trying to solve is finding a financially viable way to back up an endless supply of no-cost and ad-free articles written by the general public with review and certification by subject-area experts.

There have been previous attempts at this. In fact, Sanger and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales were behind the last major attempt, known as Nupedia. But that effort died when it failed to generate the kind of critical mass that Wikipedia has--more than 45,000 active users and nearly 900,000 articles in English alone--over the last couple of years.

Avoiding past pitfalls
But Firmage, Sanger and Digital Universe President Bernard Haisch think their project can avoid the pitfalls of its predecessors. They've created a system built around the idea of portals--one for each major subject area, such as climate change, energy, education, the solar system and so on. Each portal will contain many different kinds of resources.

"There will be a lot of resources of different kinds that are actually prepared by experts and the general public under the management of experts," Sanger explained. "So this would include an encyclopedia, but also public-domain books, participatory journalism, forums of various kinds and so forth."

While the Digital Universe will be free to anyone, it has a business model, Firmage said. The idea is that it will partner with nonprofit organizations including NASA, the American Museum of Natural History and U.C. Berkeley and sell Digital Universe-branded Internet service to their members. He said subscribers would pay no more than what they currently pay for Internet service, and would get the benefit of knowing that some of their fees are going to supporting the organizations, as well as the Digital Universe itself.

CONTINUED: Taking a jab at Wikipedia…
Page 1 | 2

73 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Not Another P-BS? No Thanks
"PBS of the Web", huh? Well, the P-BS we have now is a haven for
hate America first programming and left wing ideologues. Why do
we need another one? It's ironic that Wiki is filled with inaccuracies
and left-slanted material. Just like P-BS.

The time has long passed for P-BS to fold and Wiki to be ignored.
Neither can be trusted.
Posted by cjohn17 (268 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Brilliant beginning
Apparently these people don't realize that PBS has no credibility
with a large chunk of Americans, not to mention a usually
miniscule audience. Maybe the aspect of PBS these entrepreneurs
admire is its ability to suck up tax dollars.

(No, it isn't necessary to be a right-winger to think that PBS is
incredible, for the most part.)
Posted by nicmart (1829 comments )
Link Flag
Just go to you home page
If you think Wiki is left slanted why dont you stay on your homepage which obviously seems to me is www.foxnews.com
Posted by YankeePoodle (785 comments )
Link Flag
Another P-BS
--
The time has long passed for P-BS to fold and Wiki to be ignored.
Neither can be trusted.
--

that is really true ;-)
Posted by de domain (2 comments )
Link Flag
PBS is not GNU
PBS is not a true Non-Profit as it is owned and operated by over 300 so called 'public' TV stations unlike Wikipedia which is truley not focussed on money.
Posted by Blito (436 comments )
Link Flag
P-BS.. give me a break.. get an education!
Its amazing how when someones opinion differs from someone like you, they "hate America". PBS has some great shows. And just because you have an ignorant view on the world, doesn't make PBS "BS".

Do humanity a favor, educate yourself a bit before you make moronic statements. Jesus would then love you...
Posted by aSiriusTHoTH (176 comments )
Link Flag
So...
What public television really needs is the traditional right-wing antidote to alleged, veiled liberal bias: The Truth (i.e. open, unabashed, flaming right-wing bias). You can start Libertypedia, and publish authoritative smear-ticles on the wretched French, Michael Moore, the Hollywood elite, the librul media, and lots of other topics crucial to the future of America, this greatest country that ever was or will be, God's favorite country. Time's a-wastin'!
Posted by Ikthog (43 comments )
Link Flag
US voices of ignorance are about 50%
The US of A is a most remarkable country. The certified-ignorant people of this country, folks who don't know the earth orbits the sun and thinks dinosaurs existed simultaneously with humans, and STILL thinks that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction just prior to the 2003 invasion, are percents in the range of 30% to 50%. America is one of the few countries where you can be remarkably stupid and ignorant and still make a good living. America is one of the few countries in which hateful and crooked political actions are cheered as patriotic while honesty is smeared by the hordes of ignoramuses.

People who listen regularly to PBS are substantially better-informed on all such issues than the rednecks-at-heart who berate PBS. Even FOX News is starting to sound a little more honest lately, perhaps becoming disillusioned with the proven dishonesty of their former political heroes.

The reason the news often seems "left of center" is that newspeople (and Wikipedia contributors and academic people for that matter) are better-informed and less full of hogwash than rightwingers.
Posted by RavingEniac (57 comments )
Link Flag
It's an idea....
.... but any sort of group grope to create any collection of real
and imagined knowledge is going to inherently contain serious
pitfalls. Wikipedia failed in achieving key objectives because no
effective documentation control could be developed. In fact.
someone in charge had the dim bulb idea that Wikipedia would
be self controlling. For the most part, it probably is, but you
never know ant any given moment what parts are correct and
what parts aren't.

By comparison, EB's errors are fixed, and usually identified, with
corrections in the next edition. Wikipedia just wanders around
truth, or a round what is currently proposed as truth.

We already have Wikipedia. It probably is adequate for casual
information finding, and perhaps as a starting point for serious
research. No matter what, of course, Wikipedia information
needs verification before using it. But another version of
Wikipedia seems like a major waste of time and effort. Let's stay
with what we have. We already know what you can, and cannot
do with it.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
... which doesn't necessarily have to duplicate Wikipedia ...
Considering the general terms of the license under which Wikipedia material is published, there would be nothing to stop Digital Universe from providing something like a value-added or information-checked layer on top of (or behind - who cares?) Wikipedia. An interesting test of attitudes (on both behalfs) would be if the Wikipedia "community" would accept a shorthand for linkage from a Wikipedia article to a corresponding Digital Universe article. (Yes, I can see that there are not necessarily going to be direct matches of structure. There are nerds for sorting out that sort of thing.)
What benefits could "Digital Universe" take from linking to Wikipedia? Well, the presence of a wider range of articles, stubs etc on Wikipedia would be an obvious possibility - If DU doesn't have a reviewed article on a topic, possibly calling in the results of a google on Wikipedia for the serve terms AND tracking the frequency with which search terms are used, or WP pages come up during such searching would give a guide to the degree of public demand.
I watched Nupedia trying to take off, and I tried contributing myself, but the weight of the reviewing and copy-editing processes put off casual input. If I wanted to work hard at something like that, I'd also want to be getting paid for it. That's a circle that DU would have to square ; the Wikipedia solution ... is certainly not a circle, but I think it's got rather more sides, angles and loops than the normal definition of "square". (I contribute to Wikipedia too, and find it rather off-putting to have ignorant tubes come along and tell me that I know nothing about what has been my profession for 20 years.)
Posted by aidan_karley (5 comments )
Link Flag
Well, this is one approach...
Create entirely new online encyclopedias to incorporate expert certification...

Or, I suppose you could just add that feature to Wikipedia (and have a view last certified version option for articles).
Posted by kmslogic (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Look out for Microsoft!
Eventually Microsoft will figure out that the online up-to-the-
moment reference can be lucrative, and Encarta is the place to
make it happen. And Microsoft will add the credibility of "expert"
review. As the new Nature study suggests, no source is infallible,
but the oversight of specialists improves accuracy.
Posted by nicmart (1829 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sounds like SlashDot! --> Look out for Microsoft!
<SNIGGER>
Have you been taping together Bill Gates' shredded email again?
Posted by aidan_karley (5 comments )
Link Flag
Who needs a Phd. and Big Gov. on the web???
PhD and things like NASA are old hat on the Internet. The government complex doesn't rule here anymore. When you have entities like that controlling outcomes there is going to be a negative bias overall. Wikipedia may be biased here and there but even in contoversial articles like Bill O'Reilly and Nuclear Fusion you get strong balance troughout the article as to dissentions and dangers not found in Britannica. Not perfect though since I think they should put a timer or review by piers on that thing but nothing like 'government experts.' No thanks. Non-Profit is the future. You may think I am too liberal here but this is the way I see it now.
Posted by Blito (436 comments )
Reply Link Flag
PhDs are nothing to do with government
<<PhD and things like NASA are old hat on the Internet. The government complex doesn't rule here anymore.>>
The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is not awarded by governments. It is awarded by a body of people (usually with PhDs themselves, but not always) who are acknowledged by a high proportion of workers in a particular field to be very good or expert in that field, and that award is generally rubber-stamped by a university's governing body (again, not a government-controlled institution. At least, not in Europe and America.)
You get your PhD for doing competent original research in <whatever> field. Or occasionally for services to that field, typically teaching.
It is extremely difficult to get a PhD for incompetent research, undefended bluster, or sloppily-done work, because the majority of the people on the review panel would (a) spot the incompetence, (b) deflate the bluster or (c) have pointed out the problems in your research methods several years ago because they were in the people you asked for help when you started the project. The academic research community is a community just as much as the "Wikipedia community" is, and it has developed it's own mores over the 2 to 3 centuries that it has existed.
Governments very rarely try to interfere with this low level of academic life, because it simply doesn't matter to them. Also, academia has a tendency to get very prickly about interference from outside, which would make such interference unlikely to be successful, and potentially costly in terms of bad publicity.
<<Wikipedia may be biased here and there >> That's a bit of an understatement! The problem is that often Wikipedia is too accepting of vocal but just plain wrong claims, with inadequate fact checking. And people tend to accept description of incorrect, but strongly defended, positions in the mistaken belief that the sum of <probably correct> and <almost certainly very wrong> is likely to be closer to the truth than either position on its own. This may work in literary criticism, but it doesn't work in (to choose one of your examples) nuclear fusion. As a cartoon character (engineer) once said "We'd like to build our prototype in an uninhabited solar system, in case we have a learning experience."

<<you get strong balance troughout the article as to dissentions and dangers not found in Britannica.>> Given the question of the meaning of "balance" above, this is a fair point. Since most review articles in the likes of Britannica are written by people deeply involved in <whatever> field, then broad overview of a field, and it's relations to the rest of the world of knowledge can be hard to attain. I believe that this is what the "discussion" links on most Wikipedia pages are for.
<<Non-Profit is the future. You may think I am too liberal here but this is the way I see it now.>> Irrelevant. Possibly true, but irrelevant. Given the popularity of Wikipedia, it would be perfectly plausible for WP to morph into a for-profit advertising-funded site and continue on the same path as it is travelling now. It would take some good PR work, and a careful focus on maintaining public image, but it could be done. Witness Google. Equally, the Wikipedia concept could be applied in a commercial setting -we've considered it as a model for maintaining an "experience base" for some of our software products at work - and at $15k a license, we're not exactly doing that as a non-profit organisation.
BTW, given your claims to be rather liberal, you might want to check out "common ownership" company structures. Definitely for-profit, but equally definitely not an illiberal corporate structure. Actually, going CO would be a credible model for WP to go for-profit. Hmmm, that would stir up a fine hornet's nest if you said it in the right circles.
Posted by aidan_karley (5 comments )
Link Flag
Rubbish
This is about as confused a post as I've seen. The Internet has
made scholarship obsolete? That's a sad thought. More likely,
the public schools have made the respect for knowledge "old
hat." What, pray tell, has having PhD got to do with NASA? A
doctorate is disreputable because the government hires people
who have them? It also hires people who know how to drive cars,
so I guess the car is out, and people who eat at restaurants, and
those who read books, so away with those. Yes, let's chuck the
entire human race because NASA relies on human employees.

No reference is perfect. But one that relies on a anonymous
donors who may have no outstanding knowledge about the
topics on which they post is, by definition, less dependable than
one that features the content of topical specialists who, GASP!,
may even have PhDs.

Which makes better sense: eating at a restaurant where your
food is prepared by a group of strangers who are not employees
of the restaurant and whose cooking ability is unknown (much
less their names), or eating at one whose kitchen staff is
directed by a cook/chef with proven ability?

It looks like Americans are ready to proudly elevate ignorance to
a high art. Given that we have the lowest student test scores in
the developed world, I guess we have to lay claim to some areas
of expertise. Why not stupidity?
Posted by nicmart (1829 comments )
Link Flag
non profits the future?
Rerally??! I takethis as a positive view of"non profits" On whatplanet? as off late "non profits" have paid their CEOs salaries in the tens of millions plus expense accounts without limits all thewhile notistributingthe TAKE(there's no other decent term for that but "booty" is more apt for these pirates. GarvardUniversity, while one of theworld's finest institutionsof higher learnng andresearch continues to benefit from huge donations while sitting on a bank account with a 40 BILLION (US Dollars$$$) while food bank and soup kitchen havedried up.Have a look atthe annualcompensation of the CEO ofbtheUnited fund, of theMarch of dimes and compare to the much larger Salvation army's leader(It'll scare the magnitude of the scams will scare theliving dailight out of you!)
Posted by deylat2 (19 comments )
Link Flag
non profits the future?
Rerally??! I takethis as a positive view of"non profits" On what planet? as off late "non profits" have paid their CEOs salaries in the tens of millions plus expense accounts without limits all the while notistributingthe TAKE(there's no other decent term for that but "booty" is more apt for these pirates. Harvard University, while one of theworld's finest institutionsof higher learning and research continues to benefit from huge donations while sitting on a bank account with a 40 BILLION (US Dollars$$$) while food bank and soup kitchen havedried up.Have a look at the annualcompensation of the CEO oftheUnited fund, of theMarch of dimes and compare to the much larger Salvation army's leader(the magnitude of the scams will scare theliving dailight out of you!)
Posted by deylat2 (19 comments )
Link Flag
non profits the future?
Really??! I takethis as a positive view of"non profits" On what planet? as off late "non profits" have paid their CEOs salaries in the tens of millions plus expense accounts without limits all the while notistributingthe TAKE(there's no other decent term for that but "booty" is more apt for these pirates. Harvard University, while one of theworld's finest institutionsof higher learning and research continues to benefit from huge donations while sitting on a bank account with a 40 BILLION (US Dollars$$$) while food bank and soup kitchen havedried up.Have a look at the annualcompensation of the CEO oftheUnited fund, of theMarch of dimes and compare to the much larger Salvation army's leader(the magnitude of the scams will scare theliving dailight out of you!)
Posted by deylat2 (19 comments )
Link Flag
How many more stories on Wikipedia?
Several months ago it was all about the next virus. Now it seems everyday there is a story on Wikipedia.
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Nice to see anti-intellectualism alive and well
How nice to see that America's love affair with no-nothing militant stupidity is still steamy.

I had a forum argument about St. Paul the Apostle ended by being told I was totally wrong, witness the Wikipedia!!! It did no good to point out that the Wikipedia entry on Paul was written in 1899 by a Protestant minister.

The Wiki is worthless, for the simple reason that this service will remedy. It publishes opinions abd fantasy as fact, regardless of the source. Expertise is not a dirty word when you need brain surgery....

Wiki is no better than the advice given a demented friend of mine after she told one of her illiterate friends she had been diagnosed with emphysema. "That's just a fancy doctor word for lung cancer!"

So she called me hysterical, to say good-bye. Good-bye, Wiki. Your friends deserve you.

M
Posted by mickmca (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A little harsh..
...that's a little harsh. Yes, Wikipedia suffers the Tragedy of the Commons. What do you suggest? That the government step in and fund something? I'm sure that'll work out great.
Posted by lewissalem (167 comments )
Link Flag
Matched Britannica for accuracy
See <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4530930.stm" target="_newWindow">http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4530930.stm</a>
- Wikipedia matched (not "almost matched") Encyclopedia Britannica, that great source of articles, written by experts, for accuracy, at least in scientific matters. Where opinions and interpretations are involved, factual checking is not always possible.

But here's a fact. Credentials (the only test for "brain power") don't guarantee accuracy. And here's an opinion: a piece on St. Paul isn't necessarily disqualified because it was written by a protestant minister or because it dates back before the 1900s.

Aside from college Sophomores trashing the Wiki with digital grafitti that other people can correct or append their own opinions to, I've seen no problem with the Wikipedia to disqualify it as a research tool. One would be a pretty sloppy researcher to depend on any single source for all one's information, after all. Wikipedia is just another input, but in my experience it's a damned good one.
Posted by RetiredInMexico (12 comments )
Link Flag
anti-intellectualism?
Could you name the points of contention.there appear to be multiple references and a few viewpoints.


<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_of_Tarsus" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_of_Tarsus</a>
Posted by zed_awol (6 comments )
Link Flag
anti-intellectualism?
Could you name the points of contention.there appear to be multiple references and a few viewpoints.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_of_Tarsus" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_of_Tarsus</a>
Posted by zed_awol (6 comments )
Link Flag
Experts keep Wikipedia alive
Wikipedia's antielitist claims are hypocritical. Its hidden secret on technical areas is that some real experts brave the flak and the hordes of true believers to post there from time to time. Or at least spiff up some of the worst mistakes. Luckily, it is usually possible to tell when somebody who knows something has been by recently. Otherwise, it would be worthless.
Posted by pproctor1 (14 comments )
Link Flag
What expert?
What really makes someone an expert? We're still searching for this impossible dream: learning without discerning. Only now are schools starting to realize that they must teach children how to analyze a source and make more educated guesses about why it might or might not be a valid source.

If we're going to let someone else do the work for us, what will ultimately win out will be a collective process (like Wikipedia) with editors (like About.com) and a technological backend that's smart enough to give more weight to one thing over another, but on a constantly shifting basis measured both by the popularity/frequency of consultation and the relevance of current events (like Google).

And as long as government or academia are directly involved, there will always be people who distrust it, always be people who perceive a real or imagined slant.

And as long as we're talking about communications, it goes back to what we learned on day 1 of COMA123 my freshman year... 1+1=3. What I said, what you think I said and what we together take away as shared communication from the process.

As long as we allow someone else to do our thinking for us, it will always be a flawed process.
Posted by TV James (680 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Are you a creationist / ID supporter?
Maybe you're not, but you're using the same arguments that
"Intelligent Design" supporters are using -

"hey, it's all relative - all points of view are valid"

See the current print issue of Harper's for a story on this. The
flaws of this should be obvious.

You write:
"And as long as government or academia are directly involved,
there will always be people who distrust it, always be people
who perceive a real or imagined slant."

And there will always be people who think the earth is flat. Who
cares?
Posted by (12 comments )
Link Flag
Not more pledges >:-(
That's all we need..."If you make a donation to Digital Universe you will get this crappy Alan Jackson CD which will do nothing more than make your life more depressing and pathetic than it already is...". No thanks, I'll stick with Wikipedia :-)
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So that's what they meant!
I was wondering what they meant by saying it was going to be the
"PBS of the Web", because pbs.org _is_ the PBS of the web.
Posted by taznar (45 comments )
Link Flag
Good to have "Experts", but does a paper make an"expert"
I think it's good to have experts put their input in projects, but I don't think a "paper" should be the end all and be all. I have seen "experts" give out false information in the past, and I have seen where"everyday" people had more knowlege about somethings than the expert did.
Also,I'm not sure it would be as popular, because everyone and anyone can submit info to Wikipedia, while a service which makes it a point to be like"Pbs" is already asking to fail.When I go to Pbs, its for British Comedy, and Dr Who, shows that entertain me. I don't go there for most opera and programs which I think will bore me because the people that host them seem asinine.
I think an all "expert" Wikipedia would be the same way.
Especially in the areas I'd be most interested in"Video Games". Someone can call themself an expert, and talk about the mechanics of the game and pick the game to death...but to me, an expert is a person who has played a game, and "lives it" as if it was a way of life. I would rather read an entry from someone who says "The town of Yargos is located on the edge of the Paladial Mountains. There You will find Magiana, a valuable addition to your party." Than to read" The game system utilizes the ram compressor,and will store 30% more ram than it's predecessors"says Dr. Vergil Climmons of the Tras-Tech Institute (both just examples)I don't want to know the technology used most times, I just want the back story for the game;)
Posted by ralahinn1 (52 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wikipedia not public
Also, Wikipedia is nothing like PBS as it's not a
'public' entity. It's supposed to act like Open
Source where it is public and private but very
transparent and Interet friendly. PBS is more
communist and not really Non-Profit anyway.
Posted by Blito (436 comments )
Link Flag
Why focus on the degree?
Apparently there are many people -- especially among the
Wikipedians -- for whom a PhD is as mysterious as a neutrino. A
person earns a PhD for years of specialized study. The recipient
does not ordinarily devote years to this pursuit so that a piece of
paper may be obtained. The piece of paper is evidence that the
person has, in the view of the academy, successfully completed
his study. It is not always the case that a person with a PhD is a
valuable source of information about her specialty, but she is
more likely to be so than someone who did not undertake the
study, and who is an expert only in his own estimation.

The battle is, as the Wikipedians rightly argue, a battle over the
democratization of knowledge. Unfortunately, they also argue
that one person's knowledge is no better than another person's.
The dumbing down of America is now an ideal rather than a
liability.

The Chinese students, hungry for real knowledge, will eat the
lunch of hapless and ignorant American students who don't want
to be bothered with facts. A tip of the hat to America's public
school teachers for convincing most people that impressions
and feelings are the basis for education.
Posted by nicmart (1829 comments )
Link Flag
No it didn't
It was considerably worse - and the study only at science stories.
Most of Wikipedia isn't science, it's half-assed fan drivel - so you
have to be a true believer, or have very low quality standards, to be
impressed.

But to each his own.
Posted by (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No it didn't
It was considerably worse - and the study only at science stories.
Most of Wikipedia isn't science, it's half-baked fan drivel - so you
have to be a true believer, or have very low quality standards, to be
impressed.

But to each his own.
Posted by (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Cutting out the middle man
It sounds like Digital Universe will be re-creating Wikipedia and
than adding another level to it. That's a waste of effort. Let
Wikipedia be what it is and have an online encyclopedia with
articles by certified experts as a stand-alone creation. Why have
publicly-contributed articles vetted by experts when you could
have articles in their area of expertise written by the experts
themselves?
Posted by Marc Myers (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It amounts to the same
It still doesn't produce perfection, but in references that have
articles written by experts, the articles are still reviewed by other
experts. It is critical to have a "middle man" to do peer review.
Posted by nicmart (1829 comments )
Link Flag
Much Ado
Talk about taking much ado about nothing and running with it.

1. So if a so-called expert doesn't agree with something does it make it wrong? Not even in science do all the experts agree on the details of much. And the more social/cultural topics that have been in the news even more so. Say there is something that is well known but the "experts" choose to deny it or pretend it isn't happening/happened. They can just veto the subject? We all know OJ did it, whether he was found guilty or not, for example. Censorship it sounds like.

2. How many experts? Can just one say an article is good, even if he/she is wrong?

3. The thing about community created things is they end up with everything in there. Stuff an expert may overlook or not think is important or not be what he/she wants to slant it to (his own agenda). And everyone has their pockets of info, no expert knows or thinks of everything.


It just smacks of something getting blown out of proportion in the news and someone else seeing an opportunity they want to take advantage of before people come to their senses.

Experts are not infallible. Experts have agendas. Experts keep secrets. No source is infallible. There should be several sources before you come to a decision about anything.

Just use a little common sense!
Posted by kxmmxk (320 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Parents need to make these decisions for young children
Parents really do need to be alerted to the propaganda being skewed by pro-pedophile admin at Wikipedia. Pro-pedophile point of view that is reverting good edits of neutral scientific links and references and to give biased definitions is not hardly neutral and not encyclopedic style that prmotes trust. Young children need not be exposed to Wikipedia before parents see for themselves whether the risk of exposure to inappropriate content is there. Wiki is only as safe and accurate as the last admin edit.
Posted by intelec (3 comments )
Link Flag
link
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikinews_talk:Story_preparation/Wikipedia_class_action_lawsuit_linked_to_possible_earthquake_charity_fraud/Wikipedophilia" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikinews_talk:Story_preparation/Wikipedia_class_action_lawsuit_linked_to_possible_earthquake_charity_fraud/Wikipedophilia</a>
Posted by zed_awol (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Links for parents and people who care about children- Wikipedophilia.com
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.wikipedophilia" target="_newWindow">http://www.wikipedophilia</a>

and

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.perverted-justice.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.perverted-justice.com</a>

and read the latest Wiki articles on [[Pedophilia]] , [[sexual abuse]] , [[child sexual abuse]] , [[child pornography]] and [[age of consent]].

Go see for yourselves!

Wiki is only as good as their last edit.
Posted by intelec (3 comments )
Link Flag
Backgound check
Your original sources have the problems.

See Baou Inc., Greg Lloyd Smith,
Officewire, Kestrel trading
Posted by zed_awol (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
B is for broadcasting - and nobody's doing it yet
Nobody on the internet is doing true public-broadcasting. Blogs come close (for some definition of broadcast), but true public broadcasting on the internet will come from the video providers like <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.vobbo.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.vobbo.com/</a> who allow you to share not only text, but live/recorded video, quickly and easily, without installing any software.
Posted by (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Pay for information?
For some reason people are missing the beauty of Wikipedia, anyone can access it no matter what class or culture they are from - plus they can do it spontaneously and instantly. Obviously there is a problem with falsifying information, but I would take the chances with getting false information (and confirm it with a google search or go to the library if it was that important) before I would ever pay a subscription. Why? Not because I'm cheap, but I'm a busy college student who doesn't have time to rush to the library everytime I'm curious about something, and I'm too poor to pay another internet subscription.
Posted by w1234cj (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
UFO entries in this encyclopedia?
we all might enjoy:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://dmoz.org/Society/Paranormal/UFOs/People/Firmage,_Joe/" target="_newWindow">http://dmoz.org/Society/Paranormal/UFOs/People/Firmage,_Joe/</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.disinfo.com/archive/pages/dossier/id307/pg1/" target="_newWindow">http://www.disinfo.com/archive/pages/dossier/id307/pg1/</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://skepdic.com/refuge/firmage.html" target="_newWindow">http://skepdic.com/refuge/firmage.html</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.geocities.com/saufor/otherpapers/joefirmage.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.geocities.com/saufor/otherpapers/joefirmage.html</a>
Posted by vaxorcist (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I can'tbelieve the ignorance!
it seems to methatextremeright wingers, IE people who lways agree withthe fascists/neo nazis in the currentwhite house bash thelastbastion of journalistic truth in america:PBS. the reason is verysimple:Theycannot stand the lightoftruth andon theother hand lacks the intelligence to discern between the evenness of treportng by let's say Jim Lehrerandthe terrorism by Arab supporter, the late Jennings who regarded Yassir arafat as justlydeserving of hisNobel Peace prize, disregarding his building thefirst Arab terrorists networkm andthe first attack on Americans: the achile lauri incident:I mustguess thatPeterthough that pushinga 70 yearoldman in a wheelchaitr ioverboard shouldbe rewarded with both respect and a Peace prize.'N'uf said!
Posted by deylat2 (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Space key
Not a big fan of the 'space' key, are we?

You may find that when you use it to seperate words, your posts are more legible.
Posted by (402 comments )
Link Flag
I can'tbelieve the ignorance!
it seems to methatextreme right wingers, IE people who always agree withthe fascists/neo nazis in the currentwhite house bash thelast bastion of journalistic truth in america:PBS. the reason is verysimple: Theycannot stand the lightoftruth andon theother hand lacks the intelligence to discern between the evenness of treportng by let's say Jim Lehrerand the terrorism by Arabs supporter, the late Jennings who regarded Yassir Arafat as justlydeserving of hisNobel Peace prize, disregarding his building thefirst Arab terrorists networkm andthe first attack on Americans: the achile lauri incident:I mustguess thatPeter though that pushinga 70 yearoldman in a wheelchaitr ioverboard shouldbe rewarded with both respect and a Peace prize.'N'uf said!Vaia con Dio Benito w.Bush!
Posted by deylat2 (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I can'tbelieve the ignorance!
it seems to methatextreme right wingers, IE people who always agree withthe fascists/neo nazis in the currentwhite house bash thelast bastion of journalistic truth in america:PBS. the reason is verysimple: Theycannot stand the light oftruth and on the other hand lacks either the intelligence orthewillingness to discern between the evenness of treporting by let's say Jim Lehrerand the terrorism by Arabs supporter, the late Peter Jennings who regarded Yassir Arafat as justlydeserving of hisNobel Peace prize, disregarding his building thefirst Arab terrorists network and the first attack on Americans: the achile laure incident:I must guess thatPeter though that pushing a 70 yearold man in a wheelchaitr ioverboard shouldbe rewarded with both respect and a Peace prize.'N'uf said!Vaia con Dio Benito w.Bush!
Posted by deylat2 (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hey guy, chill out...
Take a deep breath and get you composure back. Then look around
carefully and see if you can figure out which way reality was going
when you made your left turn....
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Sounds like a cool idea!
I wish Digital Universe all the best. Heck, Wikipedia will most likely cite material from it. I doubt that it will ever have an article on Exploding whales, however...

One question is: will it cover opposing points of view than the PhD editors?

I'll certainly be reading the site with a great deal of interest.

Ta bu shi da yu
Wikipedia administrator
Ta bu shi da yu
Posted by ta bu shi da yu (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
More on the Wikipedia Alternative
I would like to follow-up on the excellent piece by Larry Sanger.
I am Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of Earth, one the first
major initiatives of the Digital Universe. Larry Sanger is the
Senior Editor for Policy and Governance for the EoE.

The EoE will cover the environment of the Earth broadly defined,
with particular emphasis on the interaction between society and
the natural spheres of the Earth. Many of the contributors will
have Ph.Ds because they are the experts on many of the relevant
topics. However, a Ph.D. is not a universal requirement to be
qualified as an expert. Topics related to the environment will
also cover law, policy, consumer issues, social issues, and
ethics, where experts will be drawn from many different
quarters, including those outside of academia. I expect a very
diverse array of contributors.

All material in the EoEand all material maintained by Digital
Universe stewardsis free to the public and free of advertising.

How is the EoE different than Wikipedia?
1. Virtually anyone can add, delete, or change content in
Wikipedia. In the EoE, this privilige is restricted to individuals
judged by their peers to be experts in their fields according to
the Encyclopedia's governance policy.
2. Content on Wikipedia usually is determined by the equally-
weighted voices of all those who want and choose to contribute.
The EoE is part scholarly-democracy and part rigorous-
meritocracy. Democratic in the sense that many content and
governance decisions are made with input from many diverse
scholars. But the EoE is also a rigorous mertiocracy in the sense
that important, overaching editorial decisions are made by the
Senior Editors and the Topic Editors and applied to each and
every article.
3. In Wikipedia there is a view that the involvement of experts is
unnecessary. The EoE is based on the premise that input from
experts is essential to produce trustworthy information.
4. Authorship in Wikipedia is anonymous. All work in the EoE is
attributed to the individual doing it.
5. Changes to Wikipedia articles are viewable by the public
instantly. Changes to the EoE are viewable instantly by
participants, but article versions must be approved by a Topic
Editor prior to being published to the public web site.
6. Erroneous, misleading, medicore, out-of-date, or slanderous
material on Wikipedia has gone undetected for months. The
restricted access nature of the EoE author's wiki in combination
with the content review process significantly reduces the
opportunity and means for bad entries to start in the first place,
as well as the length of time they could go undetected.
7. There is no overall, coherent organization of articles in
Wikipedia. EoE articles are organized according to a logical
taxonomy developed by experts.
Posted by cutler (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
What is wrong with uncensored articles???
MY OPINION ON CENSORSHIP BY WIKIPEDIA OR ANYONE ELSE.

I don't want any "experts" telling me what opinions or articles are okay for me to read (or write).

Why can't *I* be the expert on my own material.

This is nothing more than the way the mainstream media spins and slants the news and refused to run anything that they can't use to manipulate the public. LET ME READ ANYTHING I'M INTERESTED IN AND DECIDE WHAT TO MAKE OF IT.

Anything else is Unamerican and stupid.

Who are these experts - does them sitting in a University or thinktank somewhere qualify them to tell me what information to post or access - I think not!

I can imagine anything anti-illegal alien, 911truth, anti globalism to not make it there. We need a complete uncensored place for US experts to post whatever we want to and people can make up their minds about it. If they are offended. TOUGH.

John Hansen majorjh@socket.net

John Hansen majorjh@socket.net
Posted by MajorHart (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.