Thursday, April 05, 2007
A Million Penguins
A Million Penguins is a collabrotive effort to write a novel. The web site through which the novel is being written uses a wiki for the authors to add their submissions. Due to the overwhelming number of edits, over 100 every hour, Penguin has had to impose "reading windows" whereby they freeze the novel so that the more serious editors can read over what has been changed and thus get their bearings on where the story is going.
The novel soon became largely incoherent as many contributors strived to develop their own independent characters and story lines. In an attempt to control the chaos, several different versions of the novel were created. These include a choose your own adventure version, and a 'banana' version. The latter being formed when the editors grew tired of removing the recurring multitude of banana references.
Many collabrotive efforts are dedicated to writing software, scientific research, or amassing knowledge. Examples of these efforts are open source software, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SETI%40Home, and Wikipedia. A Million Pengiuns is different in that the goal is one of art as opposed to science. Although Penguin put a lot of effort into advertising the wiki-novel, it quickly became a target for vandalism, which has led many of its early contributors to quit the project.
References: a wiki-novelty, The Million-Author Project, A Million Penguins Novel Official site. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "A Million Penguins". Link may die if entry is finally removed or merged.