Wednesday, February 7, 2007

A million penguins and the Wiki Future

I just now found on Writing & the Digital Life a post called The Making of a Million Penguins about a wiki novel project. It hasn't been really done before, so I guess that makes it a novel wiki novel project. Ha. (pause) Ha. (pause)

Well anyway, I checked it out and I'm really glad it exists. It sounds like a great experiment to test the power of group intelligence and the ability of people to negotiate an intellectual product. And a Wiki Novel is completely a different kind of product from the factual Wikis we're used to. A fact-Wiki like Wikipedia contains ... no, not juice.... yes, facts! Things that are verifiable. And even then there is a lot of argument about them.

But a creative wiki? It will be fascinating to see how people come to develop a group writing style, a group voice. If they do. Looking at the novel now, it is clear that voices of authors change. And plenty of the authors are not very good.

Will it improve? If it does, will it get better by a few good authors' voices drowning out the less gifted majority? Or will not-so-good authors be taught to be better authors?

That points to a problem of Wikis I just thought of. They bring out the knowledge of people who are knowledgeable, but how much education do they do? I think with factual Wikis its not a problem. Their product is the educational tool. But with a creative Wiki, the danger exists that those not already skilled won't have the opportunity to become skilled because their voices will be drowned out by the skilled.

Skilled silly,

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