CZ Talk:Why should experts join CZ?

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Two points

Two points, Noel-- a broad one, and a smaller one. My broad concern would be that this page spends too much time taking issue with Wikipedia, and too little describing Citizendium's unique ethos. I think it's important to emphasize that our priority is making a top-notch, reliable encyclopedia, and there are many other legitimate goals for an online community which we forgo. It's important to emphasize that our articles have (or will/might have) stable versions. It's important to emphasize the prominence of professionalism at Citizendium. And though there may be some of this at Wikipedia, I think it's legitimate to emphasize that we have a slightly different group of people-- Citizendium contributors are interesting and intelligent and often ferociously knowledgeable. Personally, I have been really struck by the level of discussion about terrorism recently, which is a very rare thing! I guess what I'm saying is that I think it would be nice if we could capture the more intangible qualities of being a Citizendium contributor.

The minor, quibbling point is that I don't know we want to broadcast being able to take credit for articles, as this is a matter of policy that's still getting hammered out. I can see people being honked off if they join up, invest some time, and then have the policy changed under them. Thanks, Brian P. Long 20:03, 22 April 2008 (CDT)

Good points. I'll update this soon to take them into account. J. Noel Chiappa 22:30, 22 April 2008 (CDT)

I'd agree with both of those points. I would add that I originally listed those questions not with the notion that this would be best cast as a Q&A, but just that those were questions the document should answer. Right now, at least, the formatting of the Q&A (if you want to keep it that way) looks too informal. But the big problem with it now is that it does not give a "unified narrative" answering the question in the document title. I'd be happy to give further ideas on that if you want them. --Larry Sanger 13:19, 23 April 2008 (CDT)

I will shamelessly and gratefully accept any and all help! :-) J. Noel Chiappa 14:11, 23 April 2008 (CDT)

Well, I think experts should join CZ because we really do have a chance to create the world's first free-but-reliable reference source. The implications of this are mind-blowing. Just imagine, in short, if Wikipedia had been done right. Imagine if it were really reliable. It's already a phenomenon in itself; but can you imagine how the world might benefit if it were of higher quality and more consistently trustworthy?

This won't come into being automatically. We have to pool our efforts. Many efforts have been proposed, tried, and failed over the last few years--largely inspired by Wikipedia. In most cases, they have failed due to their small scope. It is difficult to get "critical mass" when you are dealing with a relatively small group of specialists. But if you throw your doors wide to all topics, and to everyone who can make a positive contribution, it becomes much easier to get a critical mass. That is essentially what the Citizendium has done.

It's also important to make clear that we are now past our "pilot project" stage. We're in it for the long haul. And, we're growing and our growth is accelerating. If you take a long view, you can see that contributing to this resource will provide so many seeds for future vital growth. But it's especially important that you participate now, while we're still "germinating."

Another line to take, which I associate with Lee Berger, is that CZ is "the wave of the future" for academia in general. We can now work together on the same documents, as part of an open, collaborative community, for the first time. Wikipedia demonstrates that this can work reasonable well. But it has problems. CZ solves those problems and demonstrates what the future of a new strand of academic writing might look like.

You can think of CZ articles, at least on "advanced" topics, as running and easily-updating "reviews of the literature." What better way to create such reviews than by opening up the work to a very wide variety of collaborators, under the guidance of experts?

Anyway, there are some ideas for you. Feel free to cut, edit, etc. at will. --Larry Sanger 14:24, 23 April 2008 (CDT)