I wanted to write just a bit about what has driven me to the point where I want to study collaborative creative writing in a wiki environment. When I first heard about the wikipedia I thought to myself, "There is no way that will ever work. If anybody can make changes to a web site, it's just going to become one big vandalized mess." I mean isn't there a huge industry dedicated to internet security? An industry that keeps people from doing exactly what the wikipedia was inviting you to do?
Well, while I was busy being so sure it would never work, it in fact was working. It was working just fine. I wandered over to the wikipedia site and saw hundreds of thousands of articles, all being written collaboratively. Sure, vandalism happened, but rarely. And when it did happen, it was fixed quickly. It is amazing to see a wikipedia article grow and evolve.
This opened a whole new world in my mind. Openness, commons, collaboration; suddenly it all started making sense.
Of course most folks have heard about Linux, and know the openness behind that, but there is so much more. We have Audacity for all of your audio needs, Gimp for your photo editing needs, Open Office for all of you document creation needs, and the list goes on and on...
I think that online collaboration provides an exciting opportunity in many different areas. In a future post I'll look specifically at why I think creative writing is one such area.