"will invite experts to serve as editors, who will be able to make content decisions in their areas of specialization, but otherwise working shoulder-to-shoulder with ordinary authors.
Catching up on things missed from vacation while catching up on the past week's silliness, I came across Nick Carr's commentary on Larry Sanger's new project Citizendium, which also links to a fabulous (and amusing) debate about Experts and Expertise between Clay Shirky (who starts it off here, with Sanger's retort and Shirky's rejoinder, yet both miss the following point I'm about to make....)
Essentially, Citizendium will be an "experimental new wiki project that combines public participation with gentle expert guidance," beginning its life as a "progressive fork" of Wikipedia...."But we expect it to take on a life of its own and, perhaps, to become the flagship of a new set of responsibly-managed free knowledge projects," sez Larry...
And get this tidbit:
We believe a fork is necessary, and justified, both to allow regular people a place to work under the direction of experts, and in which personal accountability--including the use of real names--is expected. In short, we want to create a responsible community and a good global citizen.
Wow...I am shocked and awed. No, make that shocked and appalled that someone as intelligent as Sanger, who appears to want to build a community, would use such condescending language to try to reach, intelligent, thoughtful, articulate, educated Citizens, who, under different circumstances, might actually be his peers.
Now, I understand that Sanger's been a bit put off by the rough and tumble anarchy of Wikipedia, and seems to have some prejudices against online communities. He seems to desire to up the ante and the level of discourse as well as input into Citizendium
But, myself and a whole host of others could tell him that he ain't gonna get it by telling everyone he's going to have "experts" offer "gentle guidance."
Let's put it this way...an architect, who just might think of himself as an expert at building houses, who also sees himself as "regular people," may not find any desire to contribute to a place where "experts" will offer "gentle guidance."
He might not mind peer review, however.
And "gentle guidance"??? What are we, Sunday school kids trying to figure out what the whole bread-and-wine thing is all about?
Please, Larry...If you want the folks who constitute "regular people" on the 'net to be interested in your project, you're going to have to learn to speak to them at their level of intelligence...Which, quite frankly, is a lot higher than you may have been lead to believe from the level of discourse you perceive on forums, newsgroups, wikipedia, and some blogs. Remember, some of the smartest people are known for doing, and saying, very foolish things.