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Can collaboration make a story better? The test

Wired News has set up an experiment in collaborative journalism. It has drafted a story — about Wikipedia, what else — and invited anyone who is interested to edit it.

The invitation says:

This wiki began as an unedited 1,059 word article on the wiki phenomenon, exactly as Ryan [Singel] filed it. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to do the job of a Wired News editor and whip it into shape. Don’t change the quotations, but feel free to reorganize it, make cuts, smooth the prose, or add links — whatever it takes to make it a lively, engaging news piece.

The original writer can be consulted and, if there is a consensus, carry out additional reporting. There is also the chance to write the headline and the deck which in the UK we would call it a standfirst.

It will be fascinating to watch the evolution of the story and I hope the result is good. I started off being sceptical about the Wiki idea but Wikipedia has changed my view. I now find it an excellent source of generally reliable and balanced information.

The resulting story will be published on Wired News on September 7 providing “the whole thing doesn’t turn into a disaster”.