Share This Book!

Wow–if you haven’t seen the cool stuff going on at sharethiscourse.org, it’s time you browsed around a bit. A sweet, worldwide collection of scholars, IT workers, and brilliant thinkers are gathering together to think about what sharing means and then put it into practice to collaboratively create a shared book. I’m honored to be involved!

Here’s how they describe themselves:

Share This Course! is an experiment in creative collaboration.  We’re working together to understand how the sharing technologies and culture of the early 21st century can be applied to the specific task of creating a book which talks about this new world of shared culture, knowledge and power, a book titled Share This Book.

My biggest question is why there aren’t more people there in rhetoric and composition, which relates to my bigger, recurring question of why computers and writing scholars seem to cite each other and folks in lots of connecting disciplines, while folks in other disciplines don’t seem to know about the work in computers and writing. (In this case, the blindness seems to go the other way, too.) Sure, there’s a degree of simple “I didn’t know what was going on over there, so I didn’t know I should seek work in X area,” but isn’t that changing through changing communications tools?

For instance, here’s the wacky route I took to finding out about Share This Book:

  1. Janice Walker, a computers and writing scholar and alum of USF, visits a graduate class of mine in Spring 2009 to talk about information literacy and her LILAC project. I jumped at the chance, attended the information literacy conference in Savannah in September 2009, and joined the LILAC group.
  2. I decided to present on what I decided to call “remix literacy” but halfway through I realized that someone before me had surely thought of this phrase. I googled it, and found…
  3. This page for a course by Australian scholar Mark Pegrum, “Emerging Technologies in Education,” which covers “remix literacy,” among other awesome things.
  4. I started following Mark Pegrum on Twitter (@OzMark17).
  5. On November 17, he posted, “Interesting – “Share This Manifesto!”, statement by @mpesce about his new “Share This Book” project – http://is.gd/4Xvje
  6. I followed the link, poked around, and joined up.

My point in recounting all this, though, is that this kind of serendipitous searching is increasingly common, especially as we increasingly use tools (like Twitter) that are designed to get the ideas and news to us that we want to hear about. Right?

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