Pearson Education Undertakes Wiki-style Book
With more than a thousand contributors registered to participate in the project by the end of 2006—to edit, add and delete content from a Web site set up for the project—the question now arises, “What safeguards are in place to ensure only legitimate and documented information is used in the final book?”
“We’ve got a few different mechanisms in place,” Cooley says. “First, we will have individuals who will take the lead on specific chapters and in specific subject areas. In addition, as this is the first time a print publisher has tried something like this, we’ve enlisted some additional help through our advisory committee, which includes Thomas Malone, a senior faculty member at MIT Sloan, director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence and author of ‘The Future of Work,’ and Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia.”
Donna Carpenter, a writer who has helped pen best sellers for Jim Champy, Tom Peters and Sen. John Kerry, will work on the final manuscript, and ensure the final manuscript is of high quality, says Cooley.
“The ideas will still be from the wiki,” she said. “The only drawback is that the book will only be able to capture the ideas at one point in time—it’s not constantly changing, the way an online document is—but we plan on overcoming that limitation by coming up with new editions of the book or books based on new topics in the wiki on a fairly regular basis.”