Saturday, February 13, 2010
MixedInk: A collaborative online writing space
Here's another collaborative writing space that might interest folk: MixedInk. This one seems to be much "public" than spaces like Google Docs, and enable complete and utter strangers to work collaboratively on producing texts, much in the vein of James Surowiecki's claims about the "wisdom of crowds" and the positive effects of pooled, divergent ideas and perspectives.
I haven't had a chance to muck around with it myself yet, but I did watch the introductory video (highly recommended viewing, too, by the way) and the writing space has a really interesting in0built remix function. A posted topic--like a commentary piece on Afghanistan's entry into world cricket--is responded to by various people in separate documents. I ca come along, start a new document, write my bits, and directly borrow/incorporate text from the other existing documents associated with this topic and the writer's of the the text I'm borrowing are automatically added as co-authors of my text. The introductory video explains this much more clearly than I have here, but the implications of this feature for writing collaboratively are really pretty enormous. There's plenty of room for abusing the system, I guess, but I see more room for people to really engage with other people's ideas and writing in ways that builds positively on what's gone before.