Wikipedia Inventor Now Wants to Bury It

The internet equivilent of taking your ball and going home is to repurpose content and start up elsewhere.


Larry Sanger, the controversial online encyclopedia’s cofounder and leading apostate, announced yesterday, at a conference in Berlin, that he is spearheading the launch of a competitor to Wikipedia called The Citizendium. Sanger describes it as “an experimental new wiki project that combines public participation with gentle expert guidance.

How will the new project differ from Wikipedia?

More accountability, mainly. No anonymous editing, and experts will rule the project.

Brian O’Hanlon makes a very good point in that thread, a point all web marketers should take note of:

This notion, that wikipedia is a replacement for real encyclopedias, that blogs are replacements for journalism, and so on. These are all about setting goals too high. The barrier is too high. The only way web concepts can work, is if they aim for a new kind of customer – a customer who wasn’t in the market for encyclopedias, journalism etc before. It shouldn’t be about replacing traditional structures per se. But the whole online community has gotten carried away, with this idea of a total revolution. Which is a pity really. Janor Lanier was correct, the rise of wikipedia has in fact, been too fast.”

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