RationalWiki:What is going on at Citizendium?
|Citizendium, with our rolling reports of the happenings there. We report, you decide which entries are worthy of thumbs up and down! If you are contributing for the first time please read the instruction manual. For older entries, have a look at the archives.
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 What is going on?
 May 2013
|4||Here's a very creationist-like argument: Because Wikipedia has problems, something like Citizendium is needed to replace it.|
Alright. You know what? Let's look at the real problem with the pronunciation guides taking over Citizendium: They're full of stupid, basic mistakes, which make them unfit for purpose. Let's follow up on a few days ago, and just cover all the remaining problems in "Apostrophe",img which we already began to fix.
This is probably a horribly indulgent post, but I think the point comes out only by holding something up for example. These are not good articles, and yet make up probably a good third of edits on Citizendium at the moment.
|2||Citizendium knows there's a problem with failure to approve new users, citing this page as the source for the reason behind the problem. As far as can be seen on any public board, however (edit if this is wrong), not a thing is being done about the problem. This encyclopedia is no more! It has ceased to be! Its expired and gone to meet its maker! If they hadn't nailed it to the web, it'd be pushing up the daisies! THIS IS AN EX-ENCYCLOPEDIA!!|
|2||Is this really what passes for encyclopedic |
Oh, also, ironically enough, given snarking about people's poor punctuation, the article ends with a punctuation error: a full stop outside the quotation mark, where the quotation is a complete sentence that should end with a full stop. Edit: Now fixed, although the fix adds a new error: ...used to open (") or close (') direct speech: one does not use single quotes to close direct speech opened with a double quote. Edit 2: Fixed again. RationalWiki: About the only actual proofreading being done on Citizendium anymore.
|8||Go back and read the first entry for May, where Hayford came over to our Wiki to explain that, while they say they publicly thank people and don't, they privately thank them, which is enough. Apparently not: One of the April donors has just edited the Monthly Donor Honor Roll to credit himself.img|
|5||One interesting thing from the three-edit day was a talk page message alerting me to one of the most complex templates I've ever seen, meant to handle a very simple purpose: English spellings/Catalogs/Masterlist, and variants, all of which call the English spellings template. It has some functionality, highlighting the letter being discussed, though not enough functionality, since it misses out punctuation marks it's also meant to link together. It's an awful lot of convoluted code for something that Wikipedia handles gracefully with the automatic "mark the page you're on" functionality the wiki code has built in.|
|3||It's time for the grand return of only three edits to Citizendium on one day!img|
|7||While Citizendium may fail as an encyclopedia, it's still a great place to make a page advertising something you wrote,img (Page history)img or for making an article solely to complain about somethingimg that annoys you.img Given how poorly written the image description is one wonders why this excuse for banning wasn't invoked. Good thing for the author that there are no active constables.|
|11||Sandy Harris, on the CZ forums: As I see it, the CZ-as-a-better-WP project has rather clearly failed; we have neither the body of work nor the contributors to expect to compete. Not ever, since we miss those targets by many orders of magnitude. Reading some of the Rational Wiki comments, I can almost hear Star Trek's Dr. McCoy "It's dead, Jim."|
|7||As can be seen below, Hayford apparently can't resist making a fool of himself, actually commenting right here on RationalWiki. Apparently, so long as you say you thank your donors privately, announcing you have publicly thanked donors, when you have not done so at the place you link, or announcing that you have a list of active editors you want to thank, and not, in fact, thanking them at all, is irrelevant.|
|8||Anthony Sebastian has updated the sitenotice to thank the April donors in the "Monthly Donor Honor Roll", and to link to the "Monthly Honor Roll of Users Editing the Wiki". The Donor Honor Roll hasn't been updated since March, and the Editing one hasn't updated since January. Because actually publicly thanking them isn't as important of making a show of doing so.|
- I imagine that you've never considered the possibility that both Anthony and I, as Treasurer, individually thank each donor privately as the donations are received. Hayford Peirce (talk) 18:50, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
 April 2013
|5||A bit of a weird comparison: Wikipedia's article on the letter W covers a variety of points - the history of the letter, a brief description of usage in English and other languages, and so on. It's fairly typical of how encyclopedias tend to cover letters of the alphabet. The Citizendium article... is basically a lot of grammar and spelling rules, somewhat disorganised, and with the occasional random comment (At one point it announces "the y sound is often pronounced in lûte, however." which has nothing to do with the letter w or any point being discussed), and even inaccuracies. (The claim that "ew" has a "y" sound before it except before r and l appears to have far, far more exceptions than indicated: "new", "sewer", "Jew", etc.)|
The thing is, Citizendium is supposedly an encyclopedia. Grammar and spelling textbooks have their own conventions (such as all the bolding and accent marks), and serve a much more specialised purpose than a general encyclopedia. It's as if Wikipedia and Wikisource were put into the same Wiki, with no indication of which one you'd get.
|7||*Yawn* Yet again, another panicky site notice about fundraising falling short of costs. They somehow got extra funds in March, so you'd think they'd let up a bit. Or try to lower their server costs by talking about it and never doing anything (again).|
|7||On the subject of "things Citizendium is failing at": Expert approval. Citizendium has a series of "Approved Articles", in theory equivalent to Wikipedia's "Featured articles" The last one was promoted over six months ago, and only nine have been approved in the last two years.|
|11||Speaking of Citizendium being unable to maintain its pointless over-bureaucracy...There have been no new accounts created since February 16img. A complete lack of interest in the project? Actually, it's more likely due to the fact that the person who creates accounts hasn't signed on since thenimg, leaving in limbo those who have filled out the byzantine "request account" form. "Join us! It's quick and easy!"|
|8||Citizendium has its own special secondary wiki devoted to the Editorial Council, their SimBureaucracy game that forms the main focus of the site. (There's also some sort of very amateurish encyclopedia, for some reason. You'd think they'd have got some experts in to handle that part, since the running of the SimBureaucracy game is very professional.)|
The EC wiki hasn't been edited since last October. If Citizendium can't maintain its pointless over-bureaucracy, it really is dead.
|6||Anthony Sebastian has always had his way with words (Not a typo). Today'simg rape of the English language through tortured metaphor: "Login to Citizendium once daily and make one content contribution [...] You brush your teeth every day; brush your encyclopedia every day."|
|10||Hayford Pierce takes the mature approachimg to seeing someone mention this board, saying, "If those characters would spend as much time examining their own faults and trying to deal with them as they do looking at what they perceive to be others' failings, they would be a lot more useful." Thanks, Hayford!|
|6||Of what little activity is left, an inordinate amount seems to be some sort of Manual of Style. See, for example, the very unencyclopedic articles on Hyphen,img lists of random words, some of which have pronunciations,img and Silent and invisible letters in English.img Citizendium is (supposedly) neither a dictionary-without-definitions, nor a highschool grammar textbook, so, at best, these are out of place.|
|10||Citizendium puts an article on their main page every week. While the policyimg still states they should be approved articles, that requirement was thrown out long ago.|
But surely they still check what they post, right? No: Their current "Featured" Article is Margaret Thatcherimg. Had they actually checked the article before shoving it onto their main page, they would have noticed the bold, bright red text at the bottom, pointing out they forgot to add a <references> tag.
 March 2013
|2||Two edits on the 29thimg, and three on the 31st. Not even worth writing about anymore.|
|14||CZ reaches a new low. A single edit for March 25th.img And that one edit was to remove a single hyphen. And that from a page describing part of their internal bureaucracy.|
|8||The CZ forums have a new post!img The first new post since March 5th. (That's more than two weeks without any discussion.)|
|9||Only three edits again on March 17.img Why is it always 3 edits, anyway?|
|7||A NEW ARTICLE!. Admittedly it only consists of: "Monthly periodical started in 1817 by William Blackwood as a Tory rival to the Whiggish Edinburgh Review." but still ... it shows Citizendium isn't dead ... surely ... doesn't it?|
|1||Larry's new project now has a landing page: InfoBitt.|
|9||Again only 3 edits to Citizendium, this time on March 11.img, 0 of which are to actual articles.|
|9||Citizendium has done a lot of begging funds of late. It would seem people are finally getting tired of it: February's donations were $122 short of costs.img Will they finally try to lower costs? Probably. Will they succeed? Doubtful.|
 February 2013
|5||Citizendium: the Citizen's |
|9||Anthony Sebastian has decided to overrule bureaucracy for once,img in order to bring the project Signed Articles:img a chance for someone to submit something to Citizendium, and have it upheld as an uneditable, unremovable monument to that person's wisdom, that can be made the main text of an article, if nothing else exists.|
So, how long before they accept one from Dana Ullman, former long-standing contributor, or some other laughable "expert"?
|10||Again only 3 edits to Citizendium on February 24.img But at least this time some articles were expanded.|
|18||Citizendium hits a new low, with a grand total of 3 edits on February 19img, 0 of which are to actual articles.|
|17||"We need to get rid of all remnants of bureaucracy and bureaucratic thinking, and start thinking like entrepreneurs again." - Larry Sanger.img|
|24||Guess what Larry Sanger's starting? A new crowdsourced information site!img We're sure his superlative community management skills haven't left him.|
ETA: By the way, check out the details of that job opportunity. You and "Your skillz"[sic] will be permanently on-call, and "if you want to stick around for long" you'll end up as Sanger's secretary and customer service representative as well as coder; there's no pay: you'll get some shares - but Larry Sanger's projects tend to fail horribly when he's in charge; and, worst of all, not only will you be working for Sanger, but you'll be seeing a lot of his smug face when you and him "work together on our laptops a day or two a week at a coffee shop". Dream job, innit?
|19||Time's running out but, short of cash and short of elected "officials", there's still time to set up forums (fora?) for the "Managing Editor" (who he?) to talk (to himself presumably).|
|18||So how does Wikipedia properly document a site that's been in a persistent vegetative state for long enough that the "reliable sources" have all given up covering it?|
|24||Sigrid asksimg "why do we have such insanely high monthly costs for hosting?" Larry Sanger is all forimg reducing costs... as soon as someone steps forwards and agrees to do all the work, then submit the proposal to Citizendium's bureaucracy.img Prognosis: Doomed. (Thread, forum)|
 January 2013
|4||Citizendium ponders getting Wikimedia to fundimg their vanity web |
|12||Monthly donations falling short of costs again.img Is this even newsworthy anymore?|
|16||After the December election failed to go ahead due to a lack of interest, the CZ charter required calling for a special election. 3 weeks of doing nothing later and the issue is quietly swept under the rugimg.|
|13||The Citizendium blog has updated,img for the first time in four months! Apparently, Citizendium's requirement that you register your real name is, in and of itself, enough to make Citizendium a shining beacon of education and wonder, unlike that Wikipedia.|
|17||Anthony Sebastian suggestsimg that the few remaining Citizendium members grab Wikipedia articles, turn them into .doc files (so they can contain viruses?), and email them to experts, asking them to rewrite them. Coming soon: Citizendium spam!|
- ↑ Nitpick: There's also a few exceptions to the rule: The surname "Foxe" is pronounced "Fox", so "Foxe's" has a non-silent apostrophe, and "Circe's" has a silent apostrophe. as does "Else's" (where Else is the woman's name).
- ↑ While the acute accent may look like a closing inverted comma in very small fonts, the character starts to look different with scale. If he was using the correct characters, he should be using ‘ ’ and “ ” instead.
- ↑ Which would mean it'll be spending time with Larry Sanger. Must be Hell.
- ↑ Obviously, the wider topic of errors in textbook illustrations is notable, but the article is on "Optical errors", and only discusses a single illustration, which makes it overly-focused on the one thing that annoyed the user.