Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wiki Editing

I stumbled across the Get An Edit service today, by way of RadioSutton, and at first I was quite intrigued. Certainly there is a large and growing need for greater "editing" in general out there. By which I mean there's a ton of media...mostly thanks to blogs and blog-like services...available for consumption, but the vast majority of it faces no vetting by an outside source whatsoever. Never mind fact-checking, most of this stuff desperately needs SPELL-checking. Or something that helps cure diarrhea of the keyboard (present blog not excluded).

Turns out Get An Edit appears to largely just be a one-man consulting shop by a guy named Mark Moran, news director at KJZZ. That's cool and all, but I'm disappointed.

I'm disappointed because my first thought was that this was more of a "crowd-sourced" wiki-based service. A means by which people could submit work for review and members of the public could review and edit it. Editors who do a good job would get ranked somehow, and would get access to more and more "important" material as they demonstrated their worth.

Actually, I have a vague feeling that such a service already exists in a similar form, but I don't think anyone's really taken it to the level where you could, as an independent public radio producer, submit your work to the service and expect that it would be edited at a high enough level to be appropriate for public radio's fairly high standards.

That would be pretty cool. Imagine if every NPR affiliate, and NPR itself, all participated in a project like this. It wouldn't matter if you lived in some podunk town with a tiny NPR affiliate; if you had the skills, you'd be working on stuff that aired in major markets.

Of course, the catch is that good editors are made, not born, so it requires time and effort to be a good editor. Time and effort take money. And where would the money come from? There's a limit to how good the editing quality would consistently be if it were all an unpaid venture. And to make it a paying gig introduces an incredible level of complexity to the system, and probably will cost a lot more than the value it would bring.


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