I've been writing a lot in googledocs recently. I've not really liked it before. Was suspicious of its horrible formatting. But the other week, I had a moment, I wrote a longish piece about something, shared it with a bunch of colleagues and they swarmed all over it with really smart suggestions and improvements. It was brilliant. And the image of the mice from Bagpuss suddenly popped into my head:
(Though like every bit of media from my childhood - I remember it being loads faster than this.)
That's how it felt though. They weren't meddling, they were mending. I think it's something to do with the openness of it and the way that people can agree with each other. If one person says a sentence doesn't work - it's just their opinion, if a few do then it goes beyond personal and becomes fact.
Which talk of mending led me to notice this video when it raced past my social windscreen:
This is also about mending. Mending that celebrates the seams. Jones might like it.
In essence - "Broken pieces are bonded and the line of the repair is decorated with gold".
Wouldn't this be a great way to represent editing and collaboration? - to show the seams, to illustrate how much writing is a communal process. And maybe it could be an inspiration for networked writing - how would you decorate these seams on the web?