How to get more interest in Citizendium?

I approve of Citizendium. More free content is a win for everyone in the world, and there’s got to be more than one way to do this wiki-based encyclopedia thing. The people are good and thoughtful and the community is enthusiastic.

However, Sage Ross notes that the edit rate is going down, suggesting it’s failing to reach critical mass. (He doesn’t give numbers, nor does CZ:Statistics, though Citizendium does have a graph of active users in each month.) He has a draft article for the Signpost.

Citizendium still hasn’t picked a licence for those articles not originally from Wikipedia. Some editors seem to want to clean all Wikipedia prose out of Citizendium articles; I can’t say this is a bad idea, in that it would free them from the GFDL, which is a horrible licence for a wiki. (The first Creative Commons licences weren’t out yet when Wikipedia started.)

On Citizendium’s Alexa daily reach chart, you can see the bursts of publicity. Publicity gets viewers and presumably editors, then the rate tapers off. Mike Johnson has previously noted that criticising Wikipedia is the quick way to publicity for Citizendium, though doing so just for publicity would be distasteful. And would distract from writing an encyclopedia. What else can be done to lure people to it? (I have a login but I think I’ve made two edits … I barely edit Wikipedia of late.) Many people like the idea of a participatory encyclopedia, but have a strong distaste for the more obnoxious bits of the English Wikipedia community – but do they actually then write anything on Citizendium? Or anywhere else?

4 thoughts on “How to get more interest in Citizendium?”

  1. “I barely edit Wikipedia of late.”

    Due to the new family member? Or — my excuse — because of work?

    The nice thing about volunteer jobs is that no one keeps track of what you do. to quote the master, “you are allowed.”


  2. Thanks for the shout, David. Once we get the new semi-automated registration system up and running I think both applications and edits will pick up significantly (and we’ll be better able to do active recruitment, which should be huge). But yeah, I’d welcome any clever ideas to drum up more interest.

    I’ve been invited to write an article for the July 30th Signpost, which should be fun.

  3. @Geoff – and ain’t it wonderful. Most of my Wikimedia work in a day is reading email as I go. My editing tends to be haphazard, as I look stuff up and then copyedit the article. Haven’t started an article in ages.

    @Mike – of course, I posted this just as Larry announced a much faster turnaround for new contributor applications. The question is how fast that will build a sustainable mass – I think a lot of new Wikipedians start by such things as correcting typos as an IP number and then get hooked. I sure wish more of the people who whine about the evils or unfeasability of Wikipedia would then go on to write in Citizendium or indeed anywhere else.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *