Friday, February 02, 2007
A Wiki and a Million Penguins
I have visions of waddling penguins using their beaks to tap out messages on a keyboard......
Here is a great idea and something you must have a look at, if you can get in. I have tried a few times in the past hour but the page is often inaccessible or is only opening in a shell format.
I am talking about the British publisher, Penguin, and their launch today of a web-based, collaborative novel called 'A Million Penguins'. Using a wiki platform everyone is invited to write, edit and/or read the novel. What a great idea and an interesting experiment in global and collective authorship. The problem today is that a million people possibly are taking on the challenge and the website is not coping! The book is already up to Chapter 7.
Penguin is claiming this is the first wiki novel to be started by a major publishing house. According to the main wiki page, and I am reading this from the website of the news article in The Age (Melbourne, Australia) as I cannot access the actual wiki page correctly:
"A Million Penguins is an experiment in creative writing and community. Anyone can join in. Anyone can write. Anyone can edit. Let's see if the crowds are not only wise but creative. Or will too many cooks spoil the broth?"
Well, technical difficulties aside, this is a most engaging project and one that could be emulated within a classroom, within a school and between classrooms and schools. I suggest you keep you eye on this over the next 6 weeks as the story develops. If you can get access, explore the ethical guidelines and most importantly the history of the wiki to find out how many and who is contributing to this epic novel. I wonder if Penguin will end up publishing?
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