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.
(Looks like some people are voting entries down multiple times. We must be doing something right.)
Place new items at the top.
 What is going on?
 May 2015
|0||Latest Ed Poor "bitts" on Citizendium sister-site Infobitt include "President Obama blames our current malaise on everything except for his own failed policies." and "Tammy Bruce accuses liberals of deliberately creating an illiterate underclass who can't help but vote for the failed liberal policies that keep them down." Fair and balanced reporting, courtesy of Infobitt and the Washington Times.|
|0||April 2015 had the least donations since May 2012: only $45 was collected out of the needed $111.95 hosting fees. Prediction: Stops collecting any significant donations by end of 2015, dies in 2016.|
|0||In all of April, there was only a single edit from any member of the Citizendium council. And the leadership hasn't been leading for a long time - see chart, right.|
Continuing the Ed Poor saga on Sanger's other site, Infobitt, here's one from today:
 April 2015
|0||As Citizendium moves ever further towards ruin and irrelevance, Anthony Sebastian wants us to know that Citizendium is STILL being set up on the new server, and to "treat it as a beta for now".|
|0||It's all going wrong over at Infobitt as the cranks start to show up. Out of today's top ten stories, seven have been contributed by Ed Poor, and two have to do with Global warming denialism. What "news" sites are used as the source for these? Why, The Daily Caller and The Daily Mail of course. Image|
|0|| Sanger's new project, Infobitt's quite hard to link. But check out the fair-and-balanced reporting being written by Larry Sanger personally:
Source: The Christian Science Monitor. Mangled a bit.
|0||Infobitt was deemed too insignificant to have its own Wikipedia article.|
 March 2015
|0||Old, but well-hidden: Citizendium began to try to move to two servers, and were paying for both from September 2013... which makes this comment from Anthony Sebastianimg rather horrifying: "After a long delay, the Citizendium server migration is actively being worked on as of October 29, 2014. Barring too much difficulty, it is anticipated to be done within a week or three." - if it wasn't being worked on before, what the hell was happening?|
|-36||Wikipedia: Piece of shite, right? Citizendium would never be manipulated by anyone.|
 February 2015
|0||Milton Beychok mostly seen on CZ updating the Fundamentals of Stack Gas Dispersion article has died.|
|0||Now that Citizendium's hosting costs have reduced to just over a quarter what they were, Citizendium should be doing pretty well, right? Wrong.img|
 January 2015
|0||Sanger is good at a sort of goalpost-moving, bait-and-switch article. For example, in his latest blogpost on Infobitt, he provides a passionate defense of citizen journalism, and then presents Infobitt as the answer (though what he's really done is write an argument for Wikinews). Frankly, posting things to your Facebook wall is probably better citizen journalism than Infobitt, which is just power point slides based on news articles. Plus, more people will see it...|
|0||The optimism of accepting new accounts again from the 15th has been replaced with "less optimismimg". Given how Citizendium works, "later" probably means 2016. Because what wiki needs contributors, right? Have we mentioned that there were two edits total, one to a talk page, by the same person, on the 19th and 20th?|
|0||For those who haven't created an account on Infobitt to gawk at the awful, here's one of the "bitts" - his term for a unit of news, or, "news", more accurately - that Sanger is trumpeting: . Note that it's A. rather strongly biased (let's put the Republican talking point riiight at the top...), B. disorganized, C. trivial make-news, D. has little connection to the underlying science, and especially note E. Sanger is an idiot.|
|0||Citizendium has been closed to new accounts since the upgrade. The new date to start accepting account requests is the 15th January; and even that is considered as "optimismimg". This is, by the way, the secondimg time it was pushed back.|
|10||A new record low for Citizendium. Only one editimg in a 24 hour period (31 December 2014), and it's not on a mainspace article either.|
 December 2014
|0||As of the start of December, Citizendium has less than $1,000 on hand for funds.img This despite Darren Duncan putting in $3,838.80 of his own money over the last year and a bit, during the changeover.|
|0||Larry Sanger has taken to grading Infobitt participants on their performance. Supten and Sorin get a C- for not putting the CIA torture report in the #1 spot, but overall everyone gets a B-. Yay! Larry wants to know if this is helpful.|
 November 2014
|0||Finally, the migration to cheaper hosting is on.|
|0||Infobitt now lets anyone set up an account. It's basically a headline and bullet point sentences about the event, the "bits" of the title. If you love Powerpoint slides, and would rather get everything as disjointed, unorganized facts on them, you'll love Infobitt.|
|0||Something interesting in Sanger's blog post about Infobitt: Lots of praise for Wikipedia, not even a mention of Citizendium, unless you view the long version of the essay.|
|0||Without Darren propping it up, Citizendium's finances look dire: In October, they took $79 out of $431.85 expenses, with only $1,194.04 left in the bank afterwards.|
|0||Larry launches Infobitt! again, sort of. Apparently Infobitt is now a "movement" and not just a business.|
|0||Serious effort has finally begun on the server migration, with the replacement of ancient mailing lists being, apparently, the biggest remaining obstacle. One ponders how those thousands of dollars spent paying for old servers (by someone looking for a job) could otherwise have been spent.|
|30||It looks as if Christine Bush has gathered up her toys and gone home.|
 October 2014
|15||After days of tension in the forums, a commentimg which questioned Citizendium policy has apparently hit a raw nerve|
 September 2014
|0||Forums to be shut down and replaced with an on-wiki forum.|
|0||If Anthony Sebastian were a bull, then Christine Bush's latest policy proposalimg would be a red cape. Stay tuned...|
 August 2014
|0||Since they seem to like having elections anyway, perhaps CZ should hold a recall election for Christine Bush?img|
|0||Larry unleashes the InfoBitt Facebook group!|
|5||The honeymoon is overimg|
|0||August 23rd will be the one-year anniversary of the approval of the plan to move to one server. Said plan is now entering its 12th month of being implemented. At least in July they avoided paying a $12 monthly bank surcharge for the first time since last October. (Darren Duncan has so far paid $3,199 in "special extra donation[s] to cover the cost of the old servers".)|
 July 2014
|0||To be fair to Christine Bush, though, the point she made before resigningimg - that she was asked to evaluate editors, and over a week later still didn't have permissions necessary to do that job - is both typical of Citizendium screwups and a good reason to give up on Citizendium.|
|5||After all of the noise that Christine Bush has made about wanting to "get her feet wet" it seems as though once they got a little damp, she's decided she prefers them to be dry.img|
|0||A new low record (since March of last year, at least) set on Citizendium. Only two edits in a 24 hr period (19th July 2014)img, none of them new articles.|
|0||Two months after Chunbum resigned from putting featured articles on the main page, Anthony Sebastian realizes it might actually be a good idea to do something about that.img|
 June 2014
|0||It looks as if Meg Ireland has in effect told CZ "Screw you guys...I'm goin' home" after she failed to win election to a Council seat. And a tight contest at that, with a whopping 8 votes cast!|
|-30||Upvote for Christine Bush, downvote for Meg Ireland, neutralvote for goat.|
|0||They only have about twenty active users, but are holding another bloody election!img Complete with a referendum to remove the expert approval process,img as it isn't working. As the forum discussionimg points out, this leaves Citizendium with... real names as its selling point. Oh, and a really awful approval process.|
 May 2014
|0||Anyone remember Infobitt? Of course not, noone does. But people invested in this. The programmer, if the job listing is still accurate, was only paid in shares and equity. And the only visible changes the site's had in a year is pushing back the launch dates.|
|0||Decision to invite experts to submit author-owned citable-articles in special namespaces. Is that how encyclopædias work, then? Might improve things if anyone responds (apart from Mr Ullman that is!) "This draft decision will be finalized on May 15, 2004."|
|0||For quite a while, the only active feature of Citizendium has been the weekly featured article. No more: Chunbum has stepped down as featured article editor and the featured article has been removed from the welcome page.|
 April 2014
|0||Back in September, Citizendium started to move to cheaper hosting. This means there'd be a brief period where they'd be paying two hosting bills at once... or, if you're completely incompetent (as they are), over six months and counting.|
 February-March 2014
 January 2014
|0||Much of the very little activity on Citizendium is focused around the new Paranormal Subgroup. One of the contributors is Craig Weiler, saying "If I am convinced that we will not be running into a wall of irrational skepticism I will start notifying people of this alternative to the clusterf*ck that is Wikipedia and with more contributors, the subjects are likely to get more even handed treatment." Given Citizendium's history, skepticism seems unlikely.|
 November 2013
|0||The latest article featured on Citizendium's main page is Partial pressure. While fairly similar to the Wikipedia article, this appears to be mostly down to sharing an author.img Should it credit Wikipedia? Maybe, but it's at least not as clear-cut as the last one.|
|0||Follow up to the censoring a comment three years later: The author returns and brilliantly deals with their stupidity.img|
|0||Technically, Fall 2013 lasts until December 21st, so when Infobitt, Larry Sanger's latest project, proudly announces it's "Launching Fall 2013", it's not yet a lie. But it's not a good sign. (Update: Now "Early 2014".) Wayback Machine history of the Infobitt front page.|
|0||Good to know Citizendium still cares more about censoring the rudeness of criticizing other editors than dealing with it, even if they only discover the criticism three years later.img|
|0||This probably won't last, but, for the moment, the snarky article poking fun of Citizendium's failure is an official subpage of their main Citizendium article,img linked from the top of the article's main page.img Outside of moving it to a subpage, not a single snarky word has changed in the article text.img|
|0||Two new authors have joined Citizendium. Good luck with that.|
|0||Oh, no! The article on the Sandy Hook shootings used content from Wikipedia! DELETE IT!img Citizendium can write a far better, more informative article.img|
|0||John Stephenson has created a new "subgroup" to help organise Citizendium's editors: The Transportationimg subgroup. However, across all of Citizendium, only 27 users have made even a single edit in the last 30 days.img|
ETA: This is apparently because John thought the group existed back in September, so began putting articles into it, e.g. img img img (+5 more, same date)
|0||Four months later, John Stephenson discovers What happened to Citizendium?img a parody of a now-somewhat-sanitized attack article on Wikipediaimg Citizendium has, originally titled "What happened to Wikipedia?". But what should they do about it?img|
Update: "It could be deleted or, with some effort, a de-snarked and corrected version could be placed under Citizendium/Activity" - John.img (Because he couldn't have done that without asking Anthony?)
|0||We recently discussed the recognized gaps in Citizendium's coverage which they're trying to fill in. What wasn't clear then was how half-assed a job they'd consider "fixing" the problem: The new article on Central Americaimg is just one (badly-written) sentence long. But that's enough to tick it off the list.img Great work! This isn't a one-off occurrence either: Their solution for "Teaching" being missing is, if anything, even worse.img|
|0||Newest article featured on the Citizendium main page: Subjective-objective dichotomy.img It's not a terrible article. It is, however, pretty heavily based on an uncredited use of Wikipedia's article Subject–object problem. So, copyvio on the main page. Great job, Citizendium! Automated list of all identical phrases and sentences.img|
|0||A pair of graphs about Citizendium that ask an important question: Was Citizendium ever successful? img img (Full set of graphs here.img Also, note Figure 4: Article creation really has remained consistently flat, despite Sanger's predictionsimg.)|
|0||Lotsimg ofimg tinyimg stubsimg aboutimg pop singersimg today. Are these really useful to anyone?|
|0||The October Financial Reportimg is up, only slightly late. Although they brought in more funds than they have any time since March, they still lost money due to the transition costs of moving to the new server arrangements.|
|0||Recognised gaps in Citizendium's coverageimg include obscure technology startups such as IBM, geographical backwaters like Central Europe, Panama, and Central America, and recent scientific discoveries such as the steam turbine, spinal cord, mushroom, and pancreas. Though they do want to do something about this.|
|0||The Monthly Donor Roll and Monthly Honour Roll of Users Editing the Wiki may still be months behind, but at least we have a very good reason for the delayed Financial Report.img Also from that last link: They're currently paying two sets of server fees while putting in the new hosting plan, but that's at least progress.|
 October 2013
|0||I do hate to harp on this, but... Anthony, we get it, you're proud you pushed the ruling through. Stop shoving the text of it in where it doesn't actually belong.img|
|0||Ukiyo-eimg may be a new low for the "Featured articles" on the site's main page: A short, six-paragraph article, with ridiculously bad explanations of every one of its key concepts (the "Floating World"; the details of the printing process), and vastly inferior in every way to the corresponding Wikipedia article.|
|0||Well, what InfoBitt is has been revealed: A pagerank service for existing news articles, with competitions to summarise them.img In other words, a for-profit news aggregator service that doesn't have to pay its writers. Clever?|
|0||Meanwhile, what's going on with Citizendium's reduced-cost hosting plan, which has been in limbo for several months? Apparently, they're still working on it, but very slowly. In a year or two, perhaps?|
|0||It's hard not to belabour a Citizendium talking point when Anthony Sebastian is basically vandalizing supposedly encyclopedic articles in order to promote it.img|
|0||"The Citizendium Council has now strengthened Citizendium’s defense against persons registering under fake names that otherwise appear to be real names, persons who could register several accounts under different pseudo-real names. The Council has strengthened the Citizendium's defense against anonymity, and all that goes with that, and commercial abuse." --Anthony Sebastianimg|
Because that was really the most pressing problem Citizendium had?
|0||On the subject of the plagiaristic James G. Blaine article: apparently, if you want to edit crap encyclopedias, you can feel free to edit two: It's virtually the sameimg as the Conservapedia version, because they were written by the sameimg person.img|
|0||Citizendium's application process is already well-known for being convoluted, difficult, and slow. Anthony Sebastian wants them to double-down, requiring name verification "as foolproof as is practically possible."img Because Citizendium is doing so well at attracting new users?img|
|0||We're halfway through October, and still no Financial Report for September.|
|0||So, Anthony, why does Citizendium require real names? "The Citizendium's Charter mandates it."|
Well, okay, but why do you have to go through so much complicated verification? "Otherwise Citizendium cannot ensure compliance with the Charter."
...Can you give an actual reason? "Anonymity would render questionable the reputation of Citizendium." Original post.
|0||Hey, remember Infobitt? Larry Sanger's latest project that he's abandoned all his old ones for? Wonder what's going on there? According to its main page... Absolutely nothing. It hasn't changed in months.img|
|0||"There are limitations to how much knowledge each user has. CZ is highly efficient in this regard. People join, write everything they know, and leave once they have nothing more to contribute." - Chunbum Park.img|
According to its main page,img Citizendium has only 1,124 developed articles.
|0||If you don't feel like doing the work, just copy the abstract of an article over with the change of a single word. No one on Citizendium will notice.|
Compare: Last paragraph of Citizendium article James G. Blaineimg EDIT: now removedimg -- Article plagiarised from.
|0||It does indeed appear that CZ has given up on updating the monthly donor and user honor rolls. At least the Featured Article appears to be getting changed every 2 weeks.|
 September 2013
|0||The talk page here has been invaded by an IP who is oh so upset that we criticise Citizendium's alternative medicine - but don't criticise Wikipedia for... accepting climate science! The hypocrisy! Bonus: Check out their supporting link, http://www.philosophical-investigations.org/Wikipedia_on_Climate_Change.|
|0||Citizendium love the sound of highly formalized speech, to the point of absurdity. Want proof? Here's a single sentence from the latest Citizendium Council business:img "Whereas the duties of the constables are many, including daily checks, and whereas at the present time (September-October 2013) Citizendium has only one Constable on active duty, namely Chief Constable, Matt Innis, and whereas sysop John Stephenson has been active and performing some of the duties of the Constabulary and has indicated his willingness to serve as a Constable, the Citizendium Council hereby request the Chief Constable to invest John Stephenson with the rights of a Constable and the means to exercise those rights."|
|0||Holy Grail vandalism has gone unnoticed for more than two yearsimg.|
|0||Citizendium is rechecking all its approved articles, and have gone through most of them. What's left? Citizendium's woo:img Chiropractic,img Homeopathy,img and Vertebral subluxation.img To be fair, though, "Chiropractic" has had a lot of work done to make it less woo-y.|
|0||"My own position from the start has been that at least pseudonyms, if not full anonymity, are necessary. [...] As I saw it, the CZ real names policy was an experiment worth trying though.img"|
|0||Now it appears that basic web site management duties have been curtailed: "The Monthly Donor Honor Roll" for August has yet to be posted, likewise the "Monthly Honor Roll of Users Editing the Wiki" for June and August. Also, the "Featured Article," which had been changed on a weekly basis as of late, is now in its second week.|
|0||This is a bit late, but... Actual quote from the sitenotice,img August 3 to September 6: "August donations open to all users; seeking especially users with letter 'e' in their user name."|
|0||One of the changes made during the last election was from Approved Articles to Citable Versions - basically, instead of locking the main page of an article down when it was judged good enough, and only allowing edits on a draft page, now all of Citizendium is editable, but some pages have a locked-down subpage, which is considered to be pretty good. Perhaps by accident, the changeover means that the article on homeopathy is editable for the first time in years.img This may not end well.|
|0||While the article may be very short, at least Citizendium can call a recently-come-out transgender woman by her chosen nameimg, unlike Wikipedia.|
|0||An entire day (7th September) goes by without a single edit to Citizendiumimg, because of a server outage.|
|0||According to the financial report,img for the past three months Citizendium has taken in less funds than it spends on hosting. Still no sign of the new, cheaper hosting plan, though. The mills of Citizendium grind slowly, with exceedingly fine bureaucracy.|
 August 2013
|0||The new Citizendium Council has askedimg for the new, much cheaper hosting plan to be implemented! In a few more months, maybe it will be!|
|0||Remember WatchKnowLearn, the project Larry Sanger basically abandoned Citizendium for? Larry Sanger's given up on it in favour of his shiny new |
|0||It's been a month since Citizendium started approving new user accounts again. What are the resultsimg? One physics crankimg, one self-promoterimg and the remaining thirteen users did not make any contributions at all. Uh oh.|
|0||Citizendium's $100 hosting solution has been postedimg: apparently, they don't really need three high-end servers; an anemic Atom CPU with 4GB RAM and a terabyte of disk space (ie. Steadfast's cheapest dedicated server offering) is sufficient. Or maybe they need more RAMimg.|
|0||The election results (sans the one referendum that might've saved Citizendium) are in! See them here;img more analysis soon!|
|0||With about 30 active users a month,img Citizendium's hosting costs work out to $10.66 a user. Apparently, a $100 a month hosting solution is ready for consideration,img but said consideration will be delayed until after the elections.|
 July 2013
|0||Edit: Fixed about 14 hours after start of voting.img Voting is now open at Citizendium... and they've screwed up the voting instructions.img Here's step 6. The bold text is in the original, and step 7 has the same mistake:|
Under the heading EC Author, type the name of your preferred candidate(s). (You may vote for up to <number of open EC author seats> candidates. You may also abstain by not filling in anything in this section).
|0||There's currently two candidates for the Editorial Council Authors positions. Both of them are really enthusiastic about the position! Have a look at their statements: 1img 2img Sadly, the sole Management Council candidate is not much better.img|
|0||Bureaucracy gone mad! It takes about three paragraphs of waffling just to describe a one-sentence change in the charter. Comes complete with the ridiculously formal "delete from ... and replace..." - misused, no less. Start skimming from the section named "Text" here.img|
A brief review of the other referenda in this election. Referenda 4 and 8 have been discussed already:
|0||Anthony Sebastian completely misses the point: He's proposed a referedumimg that the Request a new account page be tidied up and get better instructions, when the problem is that constables literally take months to approve users or to get back to them, provided they didn't accidentally delete them.img|
|0||In a move likely to be later viewed as "the moment Citizendium assured its failure", Anthony Sebastian has rejectedimg bothimg attempts to reform Citizendium's broken approval system for new editors. Prediction: In a year, Citizendium will be dead.|
|0||Article creation on Citizendium has plummeted to about one per day. Today's article? How it's possible to go faster than light.img (Of course, it was the physics cranks that first inspired Wikipedia's No Original Research rule.)|
|0||On the same day that a somewhat controversial referendum proposing automatic account creationimg is proposed, accounts start getting created again at Citizendiumimg. Coincidence? You decide...|
|0||Citizendium referendum: Ditch the horribly convoluted system of signing up, with constable approval and more background checks than my last job, and just ask they use their real names.img Finally! Update: Now seconded by Sandy Harris and Ro Thorpe. Update 2: rejected by fiat by the managing editorimg|
|0||Mary Ash's parting shot:img "You must learn to trim down all the rules, regulations and the top-heavy administration. CZ is a small wiki needs very little of either."|
|0||Citizendium prepares for its biggest shakeup of the rules of governanceimg since the passing of the charter, all written in pseudo-legalese, of course. It sets up a procedure for transitioning to a volunteer-based system |
|0||As the ship sinks, Citizendium argues about technicalities.img Does Article 25 of the charter bar John from helping to reestablish governance of the site? Does Article 29 mean his resignation was invalid in the first place? If not, and Anthony claims emergency powers to call an election, is this also a violation of the Charter?? Ah, Citizendium, we should have known you were up for at least one more bit of rules-lawyering, bureaucratic, Kafkaesque nonsense. There's only 27 or so active users by their own count,img but they still have to rules-lawyer their way to non-existence.|
|0||As pointed out on the talk page here, sending a photo of your driver's license to someone you don't know - as Anthony Sebastian wants new editors to do - is a terrible, terrible idea.|
|0||Citizendium knows what a good encyclopedia needs: Catty pieces on how its much-more-successful competitor has... failed? Update: Even this is originally sourced from Wikipedia... Update 2: However, NOT sourced from Wikipedia: "What happened to Citizendium?"img|
|0||June donations were more than a hundred dollars short of costs. Hopefully, the aforementioned plans to reduce their excessive server costs will happen soon.|
|0||John Stephenson steps forward to help Citizendium bring its bureaucracy back. Although this may, in fact, be a good thing: So many parts of the site are falling apart, and they seem to realise these need to be fixed.|
|0||Almost two months after a potential new user asked why their membership was taking so long to process, they finally responded... by asking them to jump through more hoops - although Matt Innis adds, "I am afraid that all I have been able to do is delete the spam from the mailbox. Hopefully, I didn't delete his."|
|0||Hate to say it, Anthony, but even if you're right and gentle expert guidance is a good thing, your method of implementing that guidance is Approved Articles, a project Citizendium pretty much gave up on years ago.|
|0||Citizendium pays over $300 a month in hosting costs, and know this is a problem; however, every previous discussion on how to deal with it has petered out without anyone being willing to put in the work.That may, finally, be about to change, though nothing's ever certain with Citizendium's plans.|
 June 2013
|0||Do the Citizendium Limbo, then lower the bar again. There's no point trying to be better than Wikipedia, but Citizendium can present the information in a different order, and the new perspective this provides makes them a valuable alternative.|
|0||A lone voice in the wilderness points out that Citizendium's idea of censoring widely-reported leaked information is probably not a good idea.|
|0||As has unfortunately become all too predictable at Citizendium, when problems with the articles they're holding up as Citizendium's best were politely pointed out to them, said issues were dismissed out of hand.|
|0||Citizendium has begun posting some of the things they think they did better than Wikipedia. While the project may have failed as a whole, judge for yourself whether they've succeeded in some specific cases. Or try to, anyway: They're not doing a very good job of linking to articles.|
|0||Citizendium approves new users in batches every few months.img Since the start of 2013, approvals only happened on January 15th and 19th, February 11th and 16th, and June 7th, for a total of 13 new users. As it's unlikely that users all applied at once, this hints that a lot of users may have waited a long time for approval... which would explain why only four of those new users have made any contributions whatsoever, and all made fewer than 10 edits. "Join us! It's quick and easy!"|
|0||Larry Sanger lets slip what his new for-profit project is about: A clone of the failed Wikipedia project Wikinews using some sort of new ideas to supposedly improve crowdsourcing. (He surely can't mean the ones that doomed Citizendium?) Its slogan: "InfoBitt: Let's crowdsource quality news".img|
Thing is, news sites need huge amounts of new content daily, or they're useless. Sanger has a proven track record... of driving contributors away. Hope no-one invested too much.
|0||Citizendium counts activity a bit strangely, crediting those who edit 20% of days in a month or more as active, which isn't particularly much. Despite this, in May, only 6 usersimg managed to reach even this low standard.|
|0||After three months of Citizendium being unable to welcome new users, Aleta Curry has approved oneimg. Are there others still waiting? Who knows: The number awaiting approval is secret.|
|0||Hayford Peirce decides all of Wikipedia is utter shit, unlike Citizendium: "As you say, any WP article I look at has been dumbed down and reformatted to the point of imbecility. But, apparently, that's the way they want it...."|
 May 2013
|0||The Citizendium FAQ... revised for accuracy.|
|0||The elephant in the room: If Citizendium is capable of appointing a new constable, why haven't they; and if they can't, do they have any right to ask for donations when they can neither approve new members, nor deal with basic site issues like approving articles or dealing with user problems?|
|0||Citizendium discusses RationalWiki: Citizendium Managing Editor (and generally nice guy) Anthony Sebastian welcomes critical peer review while Hayford Peirce reckons we're all just banned trolls.|
|0||Can't get your vanity article on Wikipedia? Try Citizendium! Update: Matt Innis does something for the first time in three months.|
|0||Would you believe that they actually should have had a new, "approved" article, which might have at least made them look a bit active, but they fucked it up? Steam generator has a note at the top saying, "Unless this notice is removed, the article will be approved on 17-Apr-2013." Of course, a constable is required for approval, so it shouldn't be a surprise that nothing's happened for over a month. Oops.|
|0||It appears that disgruntled ex-users are starting to notice the complete lack of active constables.|
|0||Here's a very creationist-like argument: Because Wikipedia has problems, something like Citizendium is needed to replace it.|
|0||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.
|0||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! It's 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!!|
|0||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.
|0||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|
|0||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.|
|0||It's time for the grand return of only three edits to Citizendium on one day!img|
|0||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.)|
|0||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."|
|0||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.|
|0||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.|
 April 2013
|0||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.
|0||*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).|
|0||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.|
|0||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!"|
|0||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.
|0||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."|
|0||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!|
|0||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.|
|0||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
|0||Two edits on the 29thimg, and three on the 31st. Not even worth writing about anymore.|
|0||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.|
|0||The CZ forums have a new post!img The first new post since March 5th. (That's more than two weeks without any discussion.)|
|0||Only three edits again on March 17.img Why is it always 3 edits, anyway?|
|0||A NEW ARTICLE!img 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?|
|0||Larry's new project now has a landing page: InfoBitt.|
|0||Again only 3 edits to Citizendium, this time on March 11.img, 0 of which are to actual articles.|
|0||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
|0||Citizendium: the Citizen's |
|0||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"?
|0||Again only 3 edits to Citizendium on February 24.img But at least this time some articles were expanded.|
|0||Citizendium hits a new low, with a grand total of 3 edits on February 19img, 0 of which are to actual articles.|
|0||"We need to get rid of all remnants of bureaucracy and bureaucratic thinking, and start thinking like entrepreneurs again." - Larry Sanger.img|
|0||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?
|0||Time's running out but, short of cash and short of elected "officials", there's still time to set up forums (fora?)img for the "Managing Editor" (who he?) to talk (to himself presumably).|
|0||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?|
|0||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. (Threadimg, forumimg)|
 January 2013
|0||Citizendium ponders getting Wikimedia to fundimg their vanity web |
|0||Monthly donations falling short of costs again.img Is this even newsworthy anymore?|
|0||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.|
|0||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.|
|0||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!|
- ↑ If you click on it, you also get:
- Clinton wrote an article honoring Elizabeth Warren as one of the center-left magazine Time's "100 Most Influential People."
- Some liberal activists have protested Clinton's presidential candidacy and urged Warren to run. Warren has repeatedly denied that she will run and even disavowed one of the draft campaigns.
- Clinton has got advice from Warren "several times" in the last year, a source with knowledge of Clinton's plans told CNN in February, a sign of how important Warren's wing of the Democratic party is.
- ↑ http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/User:Richard_Pascoe
- ↑ http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/User:Peter_Kauffner
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Log&type=block&page=User:Sluffs
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Log&type=block&page=User:Kauffner
- ↑ Wikipedia uses a Creative Commons license, which requires giving credit if you don't want to violate copyright. If appropriate credit had been given, Citizendium would have been fine.
- ↑ It doesn't flow out of the paragraph before, it doesn't flow into the paragraph after, and, in a page meant to encourage users to join the site, detailing the extensive background checks they have to go through in order to do so will not help.
- ↑ You're supposed to just quote a few words after "delete from", not everything you want to delete, when you've already quoted it in full.
- ↑ "The current text of Article 26 of the Charter restricts the nomination process for Managing Editor by requiring the Management Council to control who appears on the ballot: up to four candidates only may appear. This is open to potential abuse, since valid accepted nominations can be rejected and the Council could allow only its own approved candidates through, because Council members are also Citizens who can make private nominations. In the event that only a single candidate were permitted to stand, it is also not clear whether an approval vote by the community which went against that person would block them from the office, since there is currently no explicit mechanism to deal with negative approval votes. (An 'approval vote' is one where voters are asked to indicate 'yes' or 'no' to one candidate, rather than choose between several.) The current election method is also inconsistent with how Council members are elected."
- ↑ Referendum 4 is the rejected one to actually let new users onto Citizendium in some manner that doesn't take months.
- ↑ If you must know, requires the Managing editor to be part of all council discussions.
- ↑ Constables are required to set up the page protection on approved articles, and to edit approved pages. Citizendium doesn't have any active ones.
- ↑ On a related subject: they've had an invitation to join in their sitenotice for over a month now, without the ability to actually approve a single person they had attracted, and yet keep talking about how they need to attract more people.
- ↑ You know, for all the pseudo-legalese, Citizendium misses the core virtue of real legalese: precision and comprehensiveness. Sure, legalese can include obfuscation. But not for no purpose.
- ↑ Quote: ...there's probably little point in looking for CZ articles that are objectively better than equivalent WP articles. [...] CZ's value might be better defined not by objectively better articles, but rather by content that provide valuable alternatives to content on WP. Collected editions of Shakespeare is perhaps a good example. While much of the information in the article may already be in WP, the article presents an alternate arrangement and perspective that is not available there. Of course, pretty much all the information and far more is on Wikipedia, and it's unclear what new perspective is offered, but...
- ↑ Particularly bad in the case of the Shakespeare article: The problem was some core changes to the list of canonical works that were discussed, but failed to identify what was added, and which of the early publications added them - and as this is the basis for probably the biggest debate held over what should be included in the canonical list of Shakespeare plays before the 20th century, it's pretty important. A quick copy-paste of the relevant information would have fixed that.
- ↑ Full description of the site, in case it gets taken down: "We crowdsource content of a higher level of quality. More signal, less noise. The first application of our tool will be news. Target audience = college-educated Internet users who are probably familliar with other crowdsourcing and social networking sites."img
- ↑ This works out to editing on at least 6 or 7 different days in the month, depending on whether the month has 31 days or not.
- ↑ 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.