This SO wasn't on my list of things to do this weekend, but the idea has been bubbling in my head all morning.
I was inspired by Sol's post about how blogging communities work and by Happy Nerd's comments that a writing site should appeal to writers.
And one other prefactory remark: I am going to assume that we get a beneficent owner, one who understands and values hootoo, and one who has the technical skills and the pockets make what I am suggesting happen.
Are you ready...?
First of all we need to do away with the fact that anyone who wants to promote an entry under a particular h2g2 imprint (the Edited Guide, the UnderGuide, the Post) has to create a whole new entry and copy and paste an entry from one place to another.
Here are my suggestions for dealing with this:
- Whoever creates an entry can assign authorial rights to any other site member(s). To take a recent example, FM could assign authorial rights to Gnomon, and Gnomon could assign editing rights to one of the subs for subbing. This makes collaborative working much easier, and it means that subbing can be sorted out among the researchers and the volunteers without involving site staff.
- The various h2g2 Imprints would be able to publish the original entry under their Imprint at the click of a button; so the Post would have a button marked "Imprint in the Post"; the Editors (Publishers?) would have a button marked "Imprint as an Approved Entry" and the QA dudes, whatever we call them, would have a button marked "Imprint in the Showcase". Actually, it needn't be a button, it could be a pulldown or a checkbox, but that is irrelevant. The entry would be the same entry, just published under one or more Imprints.
- Some Imprints would be available to all Researchers. So everyone would have the option to select "Imprint in Peer Review" and the entry would technomagically appear there. (When the Appproved Imprint was applied the PR Imprint would be removed).
- Two other Imprints that would be available to all Researchers would be "Journal" and "Blog", so those of us who are running separate blogs can bring them into h2g2 if we want to.
- I would be able to create my own Imprints to use on my own entries if I wanted to blog regularly on different topics, say gardening, business analysis and apostrophes, "Down and Dirty with Ben", "Thinking about it" and "What price avocado's?" and I would be able to apply any of them to my own posts.
- Researchers would be able to create imprints for shared projects. So when I created Magrathea's Workshop, I would have been able to create the Magrathea's Workshop Imprint, and apply it to the entries I wrote as Magrathea. I could then either apply it to the entries written by other people or I could pass the rights to the Imprint to other people so they could apply it. Science EXplained could have done wonders with that. So could the UnderGuide, back in the day.
I can see this transforming lives! All Bel would have to do would be to identify what she wanted in the Post that week and click the "Imprint in the Post" button on the entries. Oh, and write the central page with the links. But that has to be SO much easier than the task is now.
The Editors (Publishers?) would just go to a list of queued entries and click "Imprint as an Approved Entry".
And so on......
The key thing is, writers could become individual publishing houses under the banner of h2g2.....
There is more, but that's enough for now. I have laundry to do and tea to drink.