RationalWiki:Nothing is going on at Citizendium

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Citizendium and thus this page has either outlived its usefulness, or, through neglect and/or indifference, become mostly unused.
If you wish to reinvigorate it, just pitch in and add something.
Icon citizendium.svg Keep up to date with how nothing is going on at the alternate Wikipedia, Citizendium, with our rolling reports of the "happenings" there. Older entries are found in the archives.

What is going on?

(talk) (talk) (talk) (talk) (hic)


Note: Citizendium is a bit like a bad horror film: just when you think it's dead, it comes back and does something ridiculous. That said, we're pretty much documenting its terminal decline now. The WIGO is, however, still open to entries.

October 2022[edit]

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3It's now six month since the financial report was last updated. The Queen's death did get reported on the day it happened, but if you read the UK article Boris Johnson is still PM.

August 2022[edit]

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3Still no update to the financial report, but the wiki is active - or at least it is at first glance. Looking more closely shows that George Swan is responsible for about 400 of the 500 most recent edits, and most of the others are by Peter Jackson and Pat Palmer. Still 500 edits in 14 days is very good going for Citizendium.

June 2022[edit]

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3The financial report hasn’t been updated since March 2022. Really gives you confidence in CZ’s finances, doesn’t it?

April 2022[edit]

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3The financial report gets a "minor update" revealing that the server operation now costs $99.00.
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4Pat says "fuck it, we're using upstream MediaWiki now".

March 2022[edit]

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5A Citizendium software upgrade is taking place, and "We don't recommend that you edit at this time, lest you lose the changes. User accounts will be recreated on the new server, and you will get a new password when that happens." "This is a necessary growing pain." Then the import had to be redone.

January 2022: A Make-or-Break Year for Citizendium?[edit]

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2After a relative boom in activity in late 2020 and 2021, Citizendium is back to being moribund, having recent days with no edits. One of the few things going on is the ongoing maintenance of the article on macrobiotics. What little information there is on current practitioners in the current version of the article reveals that quite a few important practitioners died in 2021.
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3Report is updated, showing donations coming up short of monthly hosting costs for the rest of 2021. But Citizendium can endure for a while as long as someone wants to keep the lights on.
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7New Year, same old NIGO entry as Citizendium still hasn't updated the financial report since September 2021.

November 2021[edit]

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5A bit like this log, the financial report hasn't been updated in several months. The initially impressive total for June is actually 5 months worth of Paypal donations, which works out at an average of $72.97 a month, just shy of their hosting costs.

June 2021[edit]

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6The financial report is updated, showing only $5 monthly donations since the last update. But at this rate, Citizendium can still manage to hang around for another 41 months.

May 2021[edit]

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2Although editing rates have improved from their 2019 lows, there's a new problem: the financial report hasn't been updated since February!

April 2021[edit]

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4Pat Palmer authors a page giving Citizendium's current reason for its existence, which explicitly states that "The Citizendium" is a supplement to Wikipedia, and not a competitor.

February 2021[edit]

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9CZ blocks the aforementioned editor after they directly mention this very article, ending their Sisyphean quest to improve Citizendium.
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8CZ's Gertrude Stein article is entirely written by Pat Palmer in the style of an opinion blog, and contained this gem of a quote: "Anyone wanting to know about Gertrude Stein's childhood, education, or what she liked for dinner, is welcome to hop over to Wikipedia and find it out there. There will be a list of the famous writers and artists who attended her salon, and much on her personal life, including her same-sex relationships (if that has anything to do with anything literary)." A dissenting editor's attempts to improve the article fall on deaf ears.

January 2021: A Make-or-Break Year for Citizendium?[edit]

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2Citizendium gets a big donation (for them) but it's not clear where from.

December 2020[edit]

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9Finally they realized that Astrology is not part of Astronomy and that Phrenology is pseudoscience. Kudos to John Stephenson!

November 2020[edit]

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14Hayford Peirce has died. Peirce was CZ's treasurer, it's not clear what will happen there. Mark Widmer is current treasurer.
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6Larry's back!? Apparently he wants to upgrade and relaunch CZ (tweet), although I can't find he's actually engaged on CZ since transferring ownership back in July.

September 2020[edit]

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4And just like that, they're back to just the usual $5 monthly donation for August. Hey, two months was a good run, right?

August 2020[edit]

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14Monthly financial report update: Donation record set again ($505.00), plus monthly costs are down to $74.95 following the recent server upgrade. This comes as Citizendium begins a renewed push to get more users/activity, though it's unlikely this plan will work if the past few years are any indication.

July 2020[edit]

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14Now we know what will happen with their funds after CZ has been shut down.
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6Will CZ live after all? Apparently the main page now says "we intend to keep going", while acknowledging that only a few people remain interested in the project.
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1After a mere four years, the site notice displayed to visitors telling them to treat the "new" site as a beta has been removed.
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5As of right now (14:44 UTC July 21), Citizendium is down and giving a "connection timed out error". Edit: Server upgrade was completed around 15:15. Curious time to schedule downtime though.
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10Checking in on the financial report: Citizendium got $295.70 worth of donations in June, the most they've received in a month since December 2017. Citizendium's impending shutdown has also triggered unprecedented levels of editing activity (the past 5 days have all had at least 1 edit), as people seek to make their last edits before the wiki closes.
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11Sanger returns, for the first time in eight years. He transfers ownership of CZ to Pat Palmer and creates an article on Atonement.
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19For its last days, Citizendium will at least have working SSL.

June 2020[edit]

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2Now we know what will happen with their funds after CZ has been shut down.
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10Updates to CZ's main page acknowledge the impending shutdown while expressing hope that the site may continue in some form
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8Even as most of the remaining Citizens are on-board with shutting down Citizendium completely, Pat Palmer still wants to keep the project afloat in some form and is now suggesting that CZ be converted into a subscription-based opt-in no-public editing wiki (Darren Duncan also seems to like aspects of the idea, although he also supports a simple shutdown with any remaining content being archived somewhere else). And of course it wouldn't be CZ without keeping the real names policy! As of June 26 the only other Citizen that supports CZ continuing is N Rajendra Raju.
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12The end of Citizendium⁉ Discussion on formally shutting down the project has restarted on CZ with treasurer Hayford Peirce sending messages to users who have made recent edits or who are administrators to contribute to the shutdown talks.
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6Things of note over the last two weeks or so:
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11The CZ gets its first new user (Akarsh Verma) in almost two years!
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7Just to note for the record that Hayford Pierce is now the only active user of CZ with a single edit to update the financial report. This is the first time CZ has had a single active user; and the first time there has only been one edit in the last 30 days.
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9Hayford Pierce breaks a record 30-day streak without edits to add this month's $5 donation to the financial report. Nobody edited in between monthly updates to the financial report.

May 2020[edit]

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10As of today (28 May) there have been no edits to Citizendium since the aforementioned edit by Hayford on 2 May. At almost four weeks this is easily the longest ever dry spell for the site.
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7In the 3½ weeks since 16 April four editors have each made a single edit to Citizendium. Martinkugler edited their user page on 17 April, ‎N Rajendra Raju added the same sentence to P Venkataramana Raju (Rao Bahadur) twice on the 24 April, Martin added two sentences to The City of Dreadful Night on 1 May and Hayford updated the financial report on 2 May.

April 2020[edit]

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5As of today (April 16) four editors have made edits to Citzendium this month: John, Hayford, Martin, and ‎Roger A. Lohmann. Among them, only John and Roger have made multiple edits, with Roger's only edits being to his userspace. Schizophrenia and Medieval English Mystics‎ are the only articles to have been edited so far. About the only other thing of note that's taken place this month was a DMCA takedown request that was acted upon.
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5Citizendium's "Recent Events" box is gone from the website, with it no longer being deemed "topical". Prior to its removal, it still listed events such as Mosul and Brexit as "ongoing" but had no mention of the coronavirus pandemic (indeed, Citizendium does not have an article on anything coronavirus-related at all.)
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7CZ's finances drop below $2,000 for the first time since 2017.
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7Justin becomes the first non-Peter editor on Citizendium in weeks, and surprisingly the edit is not about closing CZ down this time.

March 2020[edit]

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10For perhaps the first time in Citizendium history, no edits are listed on its recent changes page, instead it shows a "No changes during the given period matching these criteria" message.
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1As of this edit (March 28), Peter's notice is the only edit to the wiki that's listed on the site's Recent Changes page. If there are still no edits by tomorrow, that will mean that Citizendium's Special:RecentPages page will soon be empty for the first time in its history.
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10During these trying times, it's interesting to note that there is no mention of COVID-19 on Citizendium's "current events" box, but other events such as Brexit, Mosul and FBI are included.
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7Perhaps unsurprisingly, as of today (March 26) there hasn't been a single edit to Citizendium since Peter's notice.
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9Peter Jackson notifies the void that he has likely made his last edit for months. He has been the only contributor to Citizendium since March 4th, and during that time, Citizendium had its first stretch of seven full days without edits.

February 2020[edit]

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10Only six edits over the past week, all of them by Peter. Did he not get the memo that even his remaining fellow Citizens have given up? You know that the end is near when even Hayford is now calling for the project's demise.

January 2020: A Make-or-Break Year for Citizendium?[edit]

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18It might time to start etching Citizendium's gravestone, as Hayford and Justin have decided to contact Larry about shutting down the project. No reply was given as of now to Hayford's first e-mail, but Hayford has sent another one, and a week from now Hayford and Justin may again discuss the project's future.[1]
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8As of today (January 24), a grand total of three editors (Peter, Hayford, and ‎Justin Anthony Knapp) have made any edits to CZ in all of 2020, with Justin's only edits being the aforementioned proposals to close CZ. In addition, there were no edits on New Year's Day, and on January 3rd, 5th to 8th, 15th to 18th, and the 22nd.
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12In the first week of 2020, there was a grand total of 1 edit to content namespaces meaning the encyclopaedia shrank by a net 3 characters.[2]
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15The final end? Justin and Hayford believe the time has finally come to shut the project down: "It's clear that Citizendium is simply not going to be a viable project as an encyclopedia."[3]