Citizendium Blog

September 4, 2012

Finances and Collaborators

Filed under: Authors, Funding — Anthony Sebastian @ 6:05 pm

Guest blogger: Hayford Peirce, Citizendium Treasurer

I’ve been the Treasurer of Citizendium (CZ) for the last six months or so. As such, I am happy to report that Anthony Sebastian’s recent fund-raising drive was quite successful — we raised enough to ensure our continuing operations at least through January of next year.

And I’m confident that donations will continue to come in, although possibly in much smaller quantities and in more erratic fashion. Personally, I think that the future of CZ’s finances will probably enable us to continue indefinitely, even if occasionally we do get a little near the knuckle on a month to month basis….

More important to me, though, is the lack of authors and Editors. Right now there are only a small number of truly dedicated souls who continue to contribute new material on a regular basis, along with a scattering of others who jump in from time to time. What is lacking, and holding back our growth, I think, is the total lack of the collaboration that we originally had.

Even though we might have argued with some authors, at least they were present — and actively participating!

When I started at Wikipedia years ago, I was able to originate many dozens of articles mostly in the tennis and genre-fiction fields — it was infuriating to have imbeciles come in and destroy a lot of content, but it was also exhilarating to have like-minded people come in and add worthwhile additional material and to constructively rewrite what I had begun. And that sense of collaboration, of course, was what then led me to Citizendium, as I’m sure it was the case with most of the other early Citizens.

Now, however, my energy seems to have flagged. Without the participation of *anyone* else, it is very hard for me to find the strength of character to go to the recent Tony Trabert article that I brought in from Wikipedia, for example, and completely rewrite it as I think it *should* be written. I’ve redone the first paragraph, yes, but as for the rest…. It’s like dropping a feather down a well and waiting to hear a sound….

If I *knew* what could be done to change the situation, I would certainly make it public — as it is, however, I don’t know….


  1. I contributed a while, years ago. However, Citizendium, at least at the time, had the draconian policy that criticising another user, or pointing out that their editorship did not actually meet the stated requirements (one of the unqualified Healing Arts editors), was considered a personal attack and thus bannable. In other words, it was impossible to even point out problems with Citizendium.

    I would gladly have helped in other fields, and began to, but if you create an Orwellian state where any dissent or disagreement is bannable, you’re going to haemorrhage contributors. And that happened.

    Perhaps the site has changed. But if it has, maybe the sensible thing is to go back, review all the contributors banned for simple disagreements, apologise, and invite them back. Because you can’t ban users permanently over a single dispute, with no mechanism of appeal, and then whine about how many contributors you lostþ

    Comment by Oran Tates — October 20, 2012 @ 12:26 am

  2. I have been asked to clarify a few things about my above statement.

    Yes, I know that, when given the job of Treasurer, I flatly refused to have anything to do with fundraising. I will therefore take the time to thank Anthony for doing my job for me. Thanks.

    I am also aware that I am not one of the aforementioned Authors who contribute content on a regular basis. I have no excuse for this. Truth be known I prefer arguing and pontificating to doing any actual work for or on Citizendium.

    With that off my chest I’d like to take this opportunity to declare my resignation from the role of Treasurer, effective immediately, and ask that the Constabulary block my account at once. I cannot live with the shame I know I have brought on you all with my mean-spirited ways.


    Comment by Hayford Peirce — October 20, 2012 @ 9:27 am

  3. At this stage, I think the exciting thing about Citizendium is that {to quote Milton) “the world was all before them”. There is so much that needs doing, so many articles that have hardly been started, or not started at all, that someone like me can make a real contribution. Which is what I have been doing from time to time. I have no interest in Tony Trabert, so am not about to rescue the blogger who has brought him up, but I do have an interest in many other subjects. If my contributions so far have mainly been in EngLit, that is fairly typical, but not limiting. Keep going. Martin Wyatt

    Comment by Martin Wyatt — October 27, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

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