Encyc:About

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Encyc is a free general encyclopedia written by volunteers using collaborative wiki software.

We are here because we like to write encyclopedia articles. There is a need for simple well-written articles that are easy to change and mobile-friendly. Encyc is all about making the job of writing these documents easier, by reducing the barriers between readers and writers. Encyc is sensitive to the needs of our readers and wishes to provide the best experience possible.

All content submitted here is owned by the original contributors and licensed under the Creative Commons - Share Alike License in order to make it available for the widest number of readers. It's the same setup that has made Wikipedia so successful, and makes sharing between Encyc and Wikipedia relatively easy.

Encyc has been in existence for more than a decade, and is experiencing steady growth. Write a good article here, and it could be read by thousands of people. Some users have copied Wikipedia articles to Encyc, and enjoy working on them in a small group setting. You can make major changes, and let your personal writing style come through in your work.

Encyc has no complicated templates, advanced coding, or byzantine regulations for you to worry about. If you have a question, please pose it at the Questions discussion page. Better yet, start writing and see what happens.

Before using this website, please read our disclaimer.

Contact us

Email

General questions

For general questions about Encyc or if you would like to apply for a user account:

Abuse

For complaints regarding copyright infringement, illegal content, publication of private identifying or personal information, or other violations:

Social media

Advantages

The first question most people ask when told about Encyc is why? Why do this when other wiki encyclopedias are already so good? What can Encyc possibly bring to the table that is different or better?

We are huge fans of Wikipedia, and use it all the time. However, there is a need for more than one wiki encyclopedia. We like to think that we make the internet a more diverse and interesting place. One big website tends to get homogenized, whereas a constellation of smaller sites can bring unique perspectives.

Community-led

Encyc is run exclusively by volunteers. There is no professional staff, apart from the hosting service. We are amateurs in the best sense of the word. We love our hobby. We experiment with bleeding edge technologies. We push forward. We are always accountable to the vision and priorities set by the community.

Dark mode

Many people who work at night or have light sensitivity like to use a dark theme. Encyc has two skins installed that can be easily enabled through Preferences.

Humanity

No AI algorithms. No gamification. No endless discussions that lead nowhere. We are serious about sharing knowledge, not climbing the ranks in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Yes, along the way we might make some friends, but we never lose sight of the goal of writing an encyclopedia.

Our articles are written by human beings. They are not generated by scripts or remote databases, or copied word-for-word from some other encyclopedia. Anyone can view and change the source code of our articles. Building an encyclopedia this way is not quick or easy, but it results in valuable, unique content.

Inclusionism

Wikipedia originally aspired to be the "sum of human knowledge", but it is now overrun with deletionists who prevent articles about your favorite hobbies, writers, or businesses from entering the encyclopedia. We at Encyc strive to be more inclusive, and we will never ask you to move good encyclopedic content to a for-profit site. For example, consider the articles Hefty Smurf, Pro Co, Clover honey, and MXR Carbon Copy.

Information diversity

Large centralized information sources are vulnerable to manipulation and disruption. It is important to get information from multiple sources.

Even the most enlightened group of writers is going to make editorial decisions that reasonable people might disagree over. Everyone develops biases and perspectives based on their life experiences, and no matter how inclusive a site attempts to be it is impossible for all points of view to be fairly represented.

This is why information monoculture is so damaging, and why we are trying to improve the situation by offering a clear, easy-to-find, reliable alternative.

Mobile-friendly

Wikipedia articles are very comprehensive, to the point that they fill many screens on a desktop. Many use table formatting and are difficult to view on small screens. Encyc articles are generally more concise and clearly formatted, and it is easier to get to the information you are looking for on a mobile device.

Readability

We aim to make the most readable encyclopedia on the internet, one that is accessible for average readers and those who do not count English as their first language. Towards that goal we try to write at a reading level equivalent to major newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and USA Today.

Responsibility

One of the downsides of wikis is that they can be weaponized by unscrupulous users as tools for defamation. Fortunately, we have the toughest Biography of Living Persons policy in the business. We are here to write an encyclopedia, not to invade anyone's privacy or to serve as a revenge platform.

Simplicity

When wikis started, it took very little training to be able to read wiki markup and understand the source code for articles. They were "human readable". Over time, some very talented coders developed labor-saving templates. While these made for some nifty improvements in desktop functionality, they came at the cost of increased complexity. We are moving in the other direction, bringing the wiki encyclopedia back to its roots where truly anyone can edit.

Traffic numbers

Your writing has as good a chance of being read here as any other place on the internet. Our small scale, freedom from spam, relatively high traffic numbers, and policy of letting good content stand indefinitely mean that your work here is time well spent.

Check out Special:Statistics, our internal numbers, and Special:PopularPages.

Scholarly reception

Encyc has been referenced in three separate publications.

  • Common Knowledge?: An Ethnography of Wikipedia, by Dariusz Jemielniak. Stanford University Press, May 14, 2014.
  • Genre Analysis of Online Encyclopedias: The Case of Wikipedia, by Anna Tereszkiewic. 2010.
  • Konidaris, Dimitrios N. "Social recommendations production at online e-learning platform using web 2.0 technologies." (2015). (translated from Κονιδάρης, Δημήτριος Ν. "Παραγωγή κοινωνικών συστάσεων σε διαδικτυακή πλατφόρμα ηλεκτρονικής μάθησης με χρήση τεχνολογιών web 2.0." (2015). using Google Translate.)

See also