More on MediaCommons

28Mar07

So I’m back from the MediaCommons editorial board retreat, which proved to be quite an intensive & engaging few days. While on the one hand it was a bunch of academics sitting around talking (although we were all hardcore multitaskers, building collaborative notes on Google Docs and checking websites at the mention of every URL), it had a more revolutionary flair than most scholarly sessions. There was a real sense that we were working to build something truly innovative, a new model for academic publishing and community. As I tell my students, taking risks can lead to great successes or burning heaps of failure, but you always learn more along the way than making safe choices. So I’m definitely glad to be on board this risky machine.

A few of the more interesting elements of the meeting: one key goal is to revise peer review, making it open, transparent, participatory, and public. I’m committed to working through some of my own projects through this new system, so hopefully this fall I’ll have some of my new work on TV narrative on MediaCommons for public commentary and review. We also hope to build community through the site, allowing members to build profiles using all the Web 2.0 bells & whistles – scholars are typically quite isolated and insular, so having a public community of like-minded academics should be quite powerful and exciting. And finally, Bob Stein, the head of the Institute for the Future of the Book (which is sponsoring MediaCommons) and founder of both Criterion Collection and Voyager Company (which makes him a legend for digital media folks), made a passionate presentation of Sophie, an impressive open source digital book creator/reader – when it’s released in a few months, it will allow digital publishing to become effectively multimedia via a drag & drop interface that even techno-amateurs like me can use. It’s going to be really slick, I tell you.

Anyway, thanks to Bob and his collaborators at the Institute, Ben & Eddie, MC’s editors-in-chief Kathleen Fitzpatrick and Avi Santo, and all the other editors, both old & new friends, for making the session so exciting and engaging. Keep your eyes on MediaCommons, as I think it’s going to matter. If you’re still wondering why, check out Kathleen’s gauntlet-throwing manifesto. Now I’ve got to go watch Lost



One Response to “More on MediaCommons”


  1. 1 Blurbing and Peer Review | Just TV

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