Monday, November 27, 2006

Major Online Collaboration - Over a million people invited to write and edit a Management Best Practices book

I often write about the power of online collaboration on this blog and often introduce tools to the community that are designed to make online collaboration richer and more effective. One publishing giant, Pearson, under its Wharton School Publishing imprint thinks quite highly of online collaboration as well.

"Starting this week, more than a million business professionals and scholars, including faculty, students, alumni, and newsletter recipients from two of the nation’s most prestigious graduate schools of business, the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, will receive messages inviting them to collectively write and edit the book, tentatively titled We Are Smarter Than Me (

Pearson, MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence, and the SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania will collaborate to produce the first community-driven “networked” book on business best practices."

My initial thought is that scholars and professional educators typically enjoy getting credit for their work so I wonder what the level of participation will be for this bold project. As you know, wiki's are more about the collective work of the group and minimize the individual contributions so they will have to give the participants some good reasons to contribute. Maybe they can print the names of all participants in the back of the book...I'm not sure.

To those that complain about the accuracy of wiki's, I must say that unlike other forms of media, at least you have the ability to correct anything you believe to be erroneous. In addition, scholars and experts should be heavy contributers to Wikipedia, the largest encyclopedia in the world, ensuring credibility and exercising their academic freedom to make it better for everyone...Of course they may be critiqued by another person with a different point of view the next day.

Read more about this project here

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