RhetNetFebruary 1995

Residual conventionality and the location of authority

Steve Krause

I think Victor's suggestions about weaving a web around articles submitted sounds really interesting to me and "doable" (as he put it), but I'm not sure how "reasonable" it is. It's "doable" in that I can see the WWW functioning that way (sort of), but it would take a lot of time and present some pretty high-end technical issues.

But ultimately, I think we all need to think about some different (perhaps more conventional) approaches. It seems to me that one of the problems of this project has been (sadly) its purely democratic, "all pitch in," no one's in charge here approach. I guess what I'm saying is as much as I respect the ideology that influences this communal approach, it seems to me that ultimately, someone has to be in charge of this project if we are expecting people to send things in and then see those things "published."

In short, maybe we need an editor.

Two other "less authoratarian" approaches immediately come to mind, however. One is "everyone edits" who is interested in it; let's say ten articles come in and there are 8 people interested in taking part in the actual editing. Simply assign an article to each person to edit, set up a dead-line, and give the "left-over" two articles to people who have time to do it. Then the material can be converted to html and slapped up on the www page by Eric. This is editing that is less free and wheeling as to what Victor was suggesting, but it certainly de-centers authority.

The second choice (my favorite) is don't edit anything-- make people sign the materials so they know that they're responsible for it, and simply publish it. To me, this is probably the most workable system because it would require the smallest time commitment and it would be the most communal means of participation of all. This also (to me) seems an approach that is ripe for the web because as opposed to a conventional print journal, an electronic publishing enterprise such as the rhetnet www and gopher have a virtually "unlimited" space; I mean, we could "publish" thousands of pages of material a year if it was submitted, so why does there need to be any editing process at all?

Date:         Wed, 1 Feb 1995 07:30:02 -0500
Sender: CyberJournal for Rhetoric and Writing 
From: Steve Krause 
Subject:      Re: all: editing?

Do you have something to say?

eric's note mick's note victor's note