The co-creator of Wikipedia, Larry Sanger, is all set to launch a new online social media encyclopaedia in direct competition to Wikipedia.
The new site, Citizendium, which goes live in a few days time, is supposed to balance the ‘anyone can edit’ principle with greater editorial control.
Wikipedia has long been criticised for a lack of impartiality and reliability, which Sanger hopes that Citizendium will address. Users can submit articles but the site will employ editors to authorise articles for publication, as well as a group of peacekeepers.
Citizendium’s website states: “We believe a fork is necessary, and justified, both to allow regular people a place to work under the direction of experts, and in which personal accountability — including the use of real names — is expected. In short, we want to create a responsible community and a good global citizen.”
Funding has come from an unidentified foundation, with free web hosting also being provided by another company.
It will be interesting to see how this shapes up, as Wikipedia started out with all the best intentions. Will the extra safeguards make for a more reliable online community information source?