A Scotts Valley company called Digital Universe has launched what could be called the anti-Wikipedia.

The goal is to assemble information in one place on the Web that has the up-to-date feel of Wikipedia, but backed up by expert oversight — and so more trustworthy that Wikipedia, so the theory goes.

The company is led by Joe Firmage, the guy who founded software company Serius (bought by Novell in 1990s) and co-founded USWeb, an early Internet consulting company. He is recruiting scientists to contribute, and has hired Larry Sanger, a Wikipedia co-founder, as chief strategist.

Joe Firmage

Jimmy Wales, of Wikipedia, responds: “I think it’s extremely unlikely they will be successful,” he said. “If they don’t put together an open system, they are going to have a really hard time getting participation. Their arrogant view of experts is going to turn off a lot of contributors.”