Penguin goes online with World's 1st Wiki Novel

Penguin_1Penguin Books, publishers of bestsellers Tom Clancy, Stephen King, and Patricia Cornwell has gone online the first Web-based, collaborative novel that can be written, edited or read by anyone anywhere on a 'wiki' platform, the software behind Web the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (The first ever wiki site was created for the Portland Pattern Repository in 1995. That site now hosts tens of thousands of pages).

The novel, A Million Penguins, went live on Thursday and its first lines are already being written, edited and rewritten by enthusiasts on

Penguin says it is using the novel as a test of whether a group of disparate and diverse people can create a "believable fictional voice" or a bowl of alphabet spaghetti or, like the proverbial thousand monkeys, a world masterpiece.

The first chapter includes Carlo, a troubled man walking his dog, and "on the other side of the globe" a seductive murderer, Tom Morouse, known as the "Tango poisoner".

The experimental novel, which Penguin says is the first 'wiki novel' to be started from scratch by a major publishing house, will be online for at least six weeks.

Posted by Jason McManus.


Wikia -The People's Universe of Knowledge

Unbound_timoreilly_5_2At last week's Google Unbound event in New York City on digital publishing, Web 2.0 guru and technology publisher Tim O'Reilly described the evolution of a subject entry in Wikipedia graphically based on the cumulative number of changes, edits, and additions contributed by our planet's human knowledge engine. In many ways the image looks like the journey through time one sees in layers of eons geological strata (image left -sort of a human-created Grand Canyon of knowledge).

As Tracy Sheridan points out in the attached link, there's a reason Wikipedia is one of the world's major brands (right behind Google and Apple, and hand-in-hand with You Tube) ... and it has everything to do with free culture. Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, will be applying the same power-of-the-people structure to the world of search, which he's naming Wikia, currently dominated by Google. In the new world of Wiki's, people are the algorithm.