Instant cooperative editing of a Wikipedia article – so what’s new?

A quick, last-minute proposal for a ‘play’ session, just to engage some expertise and find out how ‘quick’ cooperative work is (and how good the Wikipedia engine is).

Wikipedia is the pre-eminent example of a wiki – software providing a place for co-operative development of content on a given subject – writing it and changing it. In this session we would

1) select a Wikipedia article to edit

2) individuals or ad hoc groups edit that article (at this point separately i.e. save rather than publish)

3) compare our edits

It would be interesting to see how people combine their expertise in a (non-competitive) way to edit something quickly. The first challenge of this game would be in selecting a suitable article – presumably one for which at least one participant has expert knowledge. Given that ‘camp’ participants in general are self-selected for interest both in humanities and in technology the available fields will be many. Though even this natural assumption of a good starting point could be dumped if we feel like it. But contributions to the development / changes to the article should be made by everyone, not just the main subject-matter expert(s) (if any have been identified).

NB. Should also discuss if time that fact that we would not in fact be replicating the collaborative paradigm of Wikipedia articles, as we will all be in the same room and talking.

(Susan Ford)