A Million Penguins: Can a community write a novel? Let’s find out…

I’ve been a bit slow to blog this! In January a fascinating new attempt at creating a wiki novel was launched – yes, you heard correctly, a wiki novel! From the wiki, we have this explanation:

So is the novel immune from being swept up into the fashion for collaborative activity? Well, this is what we are going to try and discover with A Million Penguins, a collaborative, wiki-based creative writing exercise. We should go into this with the best spirit of scientific endeavour – the experiment is going live, the lab is under construction, the subjects are out there. And the results? We’ll see in a couple of months.

And supplementing the wiki is the the editors’ blog, which is a fascinating behind the scenes look at how the novel is progressing. It is almost over now but the stats are interesting:

Phew – what a rollercoaster it has been. A Million Penguins has been running for three weeks now and we’ve had just under a quarter of a million page views and more than 9000 edits.

More interesting than the novel itself (to me anyway) is the entire back story of its development: the heated discussions about people’s contributions, the multiple stories competing for existence, the “vandalism” by some users to add in bananas to every chapter, and the general messiness of the creative process.

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