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Citizendium Hopes to Build a Better Wikipedia Without the Vandalism

One of the biggest criticisms of Wikipedia – apart from the addition of nofollow links – is that anyone can add, delete or modify an entry anonymously. This often causes major headaches – vandalized entries or spam links – and is the Achilles heel of the world’s most popular online encyclopedia.

Larry Sanger was part of the original team that launched Wikipedia and he’s now behind a new rival, Citizendium, that hopes to improve on Wikipedia and bring accountability to the information listed.

“If there’s going to be a free encyclopedia, I’d like there to be a better free encyclopedia,” says Sanger, 38, who has a doctorate in philosophy and speaks slowly, as if cautiously choosing every word. “It has bothered me that I helped to get a project started, Wikipedia, that people are misusing in this way, and yet the project itself has little chance of radically improving.”

Can Flickr’s Fake Help Yahoo Innovate?

CNET has a great interview with Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake, in which she discusses how big companies like Yahoo – her new boss – can innovate and develop great products, in the same way as a small start-up.

Of interest is Fake’s comments on what it takes to build an online community.

We very carefully built the community on Flickr, person by person. The team and I greeted every single person who arrived, introduced them around, hung out in the chatrooms.

It was a very hands-on process, building the community. And in the beginning Flickr was built side-by-side with feedback from the community: We were posting over 50 times a day in the forums. After you hit, say 10,000 members, or so, hopefully you’ve created a strong enough culture that people are greeting each other. It really is kind of like building a civilization.

Small Communities, Big Engagement

Engagement is getting to be quite the buzz word lately. While it’s certainly important to any site, engagement is the lifeblood of community websites. If you’re thinking about building an online community, a new study by online community developer Communispace can help.

Time for data. (Oh, numbers, how I love thee!) (And some words. Whatever.) From MediaPost:

  • 86% of the people who log on to private, facilitated communities with 300 to 500 members made contributions: they posted comments, initiated dialogues, participated in chats, brainstormed ideas, shared photos, and more. Only 14% merely logged in to observe, or “lurk.” [The opposite of most sites, yes?] The more intimate the community, the more people participate.

MySpace Wins Social Media War Games

War Games, as it turns out, is more than just an early Matthew Broderick movie. They’re a series of events involving prominent business schools, including Harvard, MIT and the London Business School. In the past, these war games have accurately predicted events like the AOL/Google search deal, “the game of digital entertainment supremacy last year, which was iPod versus News Corp. versus Microsoft versus Vodafone or Verizon, that Apple would make an iTV entertainment center.”

By simulating the business world with teams of business students, these war games have tackled social media this year. Leonard Fuld, organizer of the war game and president of Fuld & Co., told CNET about the games. Excerpts (emphasis mine):

A Beginners Guide to Twitter

There’s so much hype for Twitter, and against it, I can’t make up my mind whether to try the service or not. It seems like just another application designed to distract me during the day, without actually bringing me any value.

Anyway, should I decide to jump in, I’ll definitely follow closely the excellent “Newbie’s guide to Twitter” by Rafe Needleman.

Any readers using Twitter? If I joined, it would be good to know that I could find someone to actually “tweet” with.

Via Jeremiah.

Imagini Offers Visual Social Network

With new social networks popping up virtually every day, standing out from the crowd is becoming a tougher proposition. One that has caught my attention is Imagini, which offers a slick and unique sign-up process.

New members fill in their profile by selecting images that best represent their personal thoughts on life.

Here’s an example question…

After you’ve completed about a dozen questions, Imagini reveals what your selections say about your personality, then offers to connect you with others in the network, that share your interests and views on life.

There’s even the obligatory widget, that allows you to show the world your photo selections. Here’s mine…

Google Updates Privacy Practice; iVillage Goes Social; Google Talk Gets Gadget

Some quick news items for you to wrap-up your day…

  • Google’s updated their privacy practices. They’re somewhat vague, but “in the coming months” they’ll make your search data anonymous “after 18-24 months”. If they can anonymize individual data, why not let us opt-out from the get-go?
  • According to Mashable, iVillage has launched iVillage Connect, a “MySpace for Moms”.
  • You can now get Google Talk as a gadget for your Google personalized homepage – cool, yet another why for people to annoy contact me.