It appears there is a middle way between Encyclopdia Britannica and Wikipedia. Wikkipedia’s cofounder, Larry Sanger has launched a six-week pilot project that will combine citizen input with “expert” guidance according to the recent press release. Potential contributors can apply but it is by invitation only. There is a companion introductory essay to the press release as well, “Towards a New Compendium of Knowledge”.
All of which brings to mind one of the catchlines from the Rowan and Martin “Laughin” tv show: “put that in your Funk & Wagnalls!”.