“The vision of the Digital Universe is to essentially provide an ad-free alternative to the likes of AOL and Yahoo on the Internet,” said Firmage. “Instead of building it through Web robots, we’re building it through a web of experts at hundreds of institutions throughout the world.”
“By providing a service they’re calling “the PBS of the Web,” the Digital Universe team hopes to create a new era of free and open access to wide swaths of information on virtually any topic.”
They had me right until the part where they said “PBS of the web.” There is a PBS of the web. There’s also a UPS of the web, for that matter. And a UBS. While they’re working on their alternative to Wikipedia, I hope they work on an alternative to the description line, “PBS of the web.”
On a related note, Rogers Cadenhead adroitly skewers Wikipedia‘s founder (or “co-founder”) Jimmy Wales for his efforts to write-out of Wikipedia’s history, Larry Sanger, who, according to Wales, was not a co-founder of Wikipedia, but is unquestionably one of the co-founders of Digital Universe.