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Difference between revisions of "Forum Talk:Management"

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[[User:Peter Schmitt|Peter Schmitt]] ([[User talk:Peter Schmitt|talk]]) 23:50, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
[[User:Peter Schmitt|Peter Schmitt]] ([[User talk:Peter Schmitt|talk]]) 23:50, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
:I can only repeat what I said before: it seems reasonable to me to try to understand what the problem(s) is/are before deciding what to do about it. [[User:Peter Jackson|Peter Jackson]] ([[User talk:Peter Jackson|talk]]) 09:49, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

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Has the project failed?

Statement (Copied from the talk page of User:Peter Schmitt)

Considering the state of CZ (number of active citizens) it should be clear that this is not the time for elections and referenda on formal issues or introducing new positions (Editor in Chief). Those who bravely keep the site running should admit that the project has failed, and that there is only one task left to complete: To close CZ in an orderly way and to find a permanent place where the complete database (including history, forum, etc.) will be kept accessible (possibly the internet archive,

Maybe there should be a place (a group or forum) where the fate of CZ can be discussed, the reasons for its failure can be analyzed, and ideas can be put forward how to realize successfully an alternative to WP.

Some points for such a discussion:

  • There is a need for a public domain encyclopedia certified by expert editors.
  • WP needs competition -- a monopole is never good.
  • One of the errors of CZ (though that may not have been clear from the beginning) was that it is not enough to add a few rules to the mechanics of WP. CZ was and is meant to work essentially like WP. Thus the result will either be very similar to WP, or (as it happened with CZ) the stronger project will dominate and eventually eliminate the weaker copy.

Peter Schmitt (talk) 23:41, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

Assuming for the sake of argument that CZ has failed, doesn't it make sense to determine why before deciding whether closing down is the appropriate response?
I seem to remember there is a Google group for discussion of CZ, intended to replace the old non-Citizens' forum. Of course you have to be a member of Google to join the group, but that's free, isn't it?
I agree with your first 2 bulleted points. Wikipedia has actually been declining since 2007, but there still isn't a serious general competitor (as distinct from specialist ones). I've been working to improve would-be competitors like this while leaving WP to its own devices for some time now.
On your 3rd point, have you got any more drastic changes in particular to suggest? Peter Jackson (talk) 08:48, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
I would not be so hasty to seek to close CZ. WP has also been suffering too. Have a read of these recent articles [1], [2], [3]. Perhaps there are some important lessons here for CZ. Firstly, DO NOT try and emulate, imitate or be a mirror of WP. If WP has problems, you will suffer the same. Second, be different, be distinctive, be what the internet wants. I guess that means we need to take a different strategy and appeal to users of mobile devices and smart phones. In other words make articles short, and concise and useable in the modern world. We must not abandon the goal of being more definitive and accurate than WP, but CZ must have relevancy. If the EiC's role does just that single thing ... make CZ relevant, then it will make the election/referenda worthwhile. Alan Horton (talk) 09:39, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
Reading the response from Jimmy Wales about the decline in traffic from Google to WP he says that he is not concerned and wants to improve the length and quality of articles. This goes against the "trend" for people to want "instant information" to their smart phones. So there's the "niche" for CZ ... articles written specifically for today's always on the go, always connected to the internet, phones surgically attached type of audience. Alan Horton (talk) 10:31, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
"short", like the one I wrote elsewhere: [4]? Is this appropriate for a site that's supposed to be representing experts? Peter Jackson (talk) 17:24, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
"short" is certainly not the way to go for an encyclopedia that wants to be taken seriously; however, the introductin to an article should serve as a summary that provides the basic information for the impatient user.
Concerning your link to WikiSage: This new project addresses two of the weak points that CZ has inherited from WP (neutrality and "original" research) but -- at least at first glance -- is still too much a clone of WP, with some similarity to CZ. Peter Schmitt (talk) 18:57, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
  1. On WP the intro is indeed supposed to do exactly as you recommend. (In practice, people often edit it independently of the main body of the article.) I suspect the great majority of WP's readers read the intro only, and maybe some bit(s) of the article they're particularly interested in.
  2. Here, though, there's a different policy: the intro is supposed to say what's important about the topic, not summarize it.
  3. Maybe you'd like to elaborate how you see NPOV and NOR as weak points on WP and here.
  4. Our neutrality policy isn't much different from theirs; in fact it's adapted from an earlier version of theirs. There are certainly problems over there in actually applying it. There's no one with authority to adjudicate, and the dispute resolution process isn't really fit for purpose on controversial topics. Here, the theory was that Editors would adjudicate, but in most cases, if there were a dispute, there wouldn't be a suitably qualified Editor available, so the Council (or ME) would be left to adjudicate.
  5. Our attitude to original research is more flexible. I was looking at their policy recently, and see it's extremely strict. With rare exceptions, anything not explicitly stated in reliable sources mustn't be stated, or even suggested, in WP articles. For example, if you find 2 sources that apparently contradict each other, but the later one doesn't actually say the earlier one is wrong, and you can't find a 3rd that says they contradict each other, then you're not supposed to say "According to ... However, according to ...", because use of the word "However" suggests disagreement. (PS Needless to say, this policy is often ignored.)
  6. WikiSage is (deliberately or not) a sort of hybrid of Wikipedia, Citizendium and Wikinfo methods:
    1. (from CZ) if an expert is available, they control the main article;
    2. (from WP) otherwise the main article is decided democratically;
    3. (from WI) in either case, anyone dissatisfied with the main article can attach to it a subpage giving their own POV.
Peter Jackson (talk) 09:47, 18 June 2016 (UTC)


ad (1)+(2) Both is possible, of course. I do not think that there is an explicit CZ policy on that. On the other hand, WP articles often contain much too much details which hide the important information. This material would better fit into extra articles (or subpages)

ad (3)+(4) That is a difficult issue. Facts have to be correct, of course. And I think that "objectivity" is a better term for the position tha an encyclopedia should take. However, there are many fields where strict neutral (or objective) articles lack useful and interesting information (religion, history, reviews of works of art, contested theories, ...).

ad (5) It makes no sense to exclude primary sources (often the best available!) and to insist on sources for every remark. An encyclopedia is not the place to publish new results, but why should an article not -- by bringing together material -- bring new insights?

ad (6) All three rely on the "wisdom of the crowd". This works well for building lists and collecting details. It does not work so well for writing good articles. But this is another story ... ;-)

Peter Schmitt (talk) 11:50, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

There is the non-member Google group, which may be used by non-members. John Stephenson (talk) 14:30, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

Why close CZ?

When CZ was started it was a project with an interesting concept and as such attracted some attentation. However, it did not really get off and never came near to its (far too) ambitious goals. On the contrary, it soon began to decline and never recovered in spite of all the efforts made to save it. In the meantime it should be clear that CZ does not work as intended. Something is wrong (mechanics, rules), and it would require major changes and huge efforts to relaunch the project with some chances of success. However, a person with the means and the energy to achieve this (is there such a person?) would be better off to start a *new* project from the scratch that does not suffer from the (now) bad reputation of CZ, and that does not need to be completely reformed.

(When CZ is completely archived -- the whole database and all additional material -- then it could, if desired, be revived any time.)

Peter Schmitt (talk) 23:50, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

I can only repeat what I said before: it seems reasonable to me to try to understand what the problem(s) is/are before deciding what to do about it. Peter Jackson (talk) 09:49, 25 June 2016 (UTC)