Wikipedia founder launches political site

Hopes Campaigns Wikia will help politics "start to be about substance and thought, rather than style and image."

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy

Wikipedia founder Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales this week announced the opening of a wiki devoted to hot-button political topics such as gay marriage and environmental protection.

Jimmy Wales Jimmy Wales

Political junkies who can't get enough of Daily Kos or RedState (depending on party preferences) may now have a new Web 2.0 toy in the form of Campaigns Wikia.

As with Wikipedia, Wiktionary and other wikis, contributors to Campaigns Wikia will be able to edit any section of the site, provided that they register for free accounts first.

Campaigns Wikia was unveiled, appropriately, on July 4, with an "open letter to the political blogosphere." Wales said he is targeting the masses of activists from every corner of political opinion who have made the Internet their home base.

Ever since Howard Dean's then-surprising Internet-based campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, and the subsequent coverage of bloggers' presence at the major parties' national conventions, the use of the Web as a political tool has become an increasingly highbrow topic. If Campaigns Wikia is a success, Wales hopes that it will be a resource where voters can become more informed about current events and issues, he said.

Even though the so-called blogosphere is perhaps best known as a breeding ground for liberal rhetoric, Wales aims to make Campaigns Wikia a nonpartisan effort.

"Whoever you are and whatever you believe, you can share with me my sincere desire that the process starts to be about substance and thought, rather than style and image," he said.