User:Larry Sanger

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Dear Wikipedians,

I'm no longer associated with Wikipedia, which I co-founded. (I named it, crafted much of the policy that now guides the project, and led the project for its first year. As Jimmy Wales declared on March 25, 2002, a week before I resigned, I was "the final arbiter of what the consensus is" on Wikipedia.) You can read my own account of my involvement with Wikipedia and Nupedia, "The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia: A Memoir," here:

Links to some of my other writings about the project, and other topics, can be found at http://www.larrysanger.org.

Here are some links about my role in Wikipedia. To the best of my knowledge, I was first described as co-founder of Wikipedia back in September 2001 by The New York Times. That was also my description in Wikipedia's own press releases from 2002 until 2004. With my increasing distance from the project, and as it grew in the public eye, however, some of those associated with the project have found it convenient to downplay and even deny my crucial, formative involvement. In fact, in the early years of the project, my role was not in dispute at all. The preceding links should dispel much of the confusion.

I am now working on various educational projects. Among other things, I recently web-published a 140-page essay titled How and Why I Taught My Toddler to Read.

I can be reached at sanger (a t) watchknow (d o t) org.

--Larry Sanger

P.S. Here's what I posted when I left in 2002. Still good advice:

All the best to Wikipedia and Wikipedians. May you continue

  • to be open and warmly welcoming, not insular,
  • to be focused singlemindedly on writing an encyclopedia, not on Usenet-style debate,
  • to recognize and praise the best work, work that is detailed, factual, well-informed, and well-referenced,
  • to work to understand what neutrality requires and why it is so essential to and good for this project,
  • to treat your fellow productive, well-meaning members of Wikipedia with respect and good will,
  • to attract and honor good people who know a lot and can write about it well, and
  • to show the door to trolls, vandals, and wiki-anarchists, who if permitted would waste your time and create a poisonous atmosphere here.

P.P.S. From September 2006 through 2009 or so, I worked on another wiki encyclopedia project, called the Citizendium. It requires that contributors use their real names (but articles are still unsigned), and the project is guided by expert editors (but the general public is still the mainstay and strongly urged to join). I also have a blog with lots of my old essays and speeches.

P.P.P.S. I have recently made a couple of short videos about how I helped get Wikipedia started here: Part 1 and Part 2.

P.P.P.P.S. My more recent projects include WatchKnowLearn and, just launched last week, Reading Bear. (11/3/2011)

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