March 21, 2008

EP Meta: Milestones

by Noah Wardrip-Fruin · , 6:02 am

This week we’ve passed two important milestones in the Expressive Processing project. First, the blog-based review has now covered most of the material included in the blind, press-solicited review — and some useful overall impressions have been collected from participants in the blog-based review. Second, MIT Press has sent me the blind reviews. To mark these milestones, Doug Ramsey from UCSD has put together a news release (including video).

Now, looking forward from here, three things have been set in motion. First, I’m comparing results from the two forms of peer review. Second, I’m planning my revisions. Third, I’m figuring out the next steps in this blog-based process.

As I suggested in last week’s meta-post, I’d rather not include the two dangling, early-draft sections of the “Playable Language” chapter (sent to MIT Press reviewers) in the blog-based review. Instead, here is my new proposal. I plan to complete a revised version of the chapter as part of my manuscript work. Then, before the final manuscript goes to the press, I plan to post “Playable Language” here for a sort of “bonus round” of blog-based reviewing.

I’m also planning to keep reading and responding to comments for at least the next couple of weeks, on all parts of the manuscript. I’m pleased to see people still commenting on the earliest sections (as Mark Marino did recently). I’m also hoping to pick up some of the conversation left dangling in chapter six.

In addition, I want to share with blog readers the results of my comparison between the two forms of review. More on that as it proceeds.

Finally, my sincere thanks to everyone who has participated so far. Your generosity with your time and ideas inspires me to feel optimistic about the future of digital media creation and interpretation.

2 Responses to “EP Meta: Milestones”

  1. Chris Lewis Says:

    I’m really looking forward to the comparison between what the GTxA commenters came up with, and what the peer review picked up. I wonder if what others before me have said are right, and the GTxA comments have been about precise wordings or paragraphs, while the peer-review was more overall impressions. If that’s the case, then one could certainly envisage this happening more often; where the two complement rather than overlap one another.

    I can’t really admit to having spent too much time reading EP, but from what I have, I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s easy to be generous with your time when it’s something as interesting as EP. But as Ian Bogost pointed out in the Meta chapter, I do worry that might be skewing the comments: we wouldn’t be here if we weren’t interested in the work of the GTxA guys. This is not to say that the comments were wrong, but just that I hope the peer-review will confirm and solidify in *your* mind that you’ve got a great book here, rather than “one for the fans” (nothing wrong with that either, of course…)

    Perhaps if we concede that the blog format might not be able to see books in their entirety, then there could be a site which could share a section a day from books in peer-review across a wide range of topics. Visitors would all have their own specialities and fields they enjoy, but would also get a kick out of learning something out of their comfort zone. That might then expose authors to the challenging perspectives that Ian mentioned.

    Sort of like Digg, but for academic peer-review books. Peerr. “I perred your work.”

    It needs a better name.

  2. noah Says:

    Chris, I think that’s an intriguing idea. I’ve been arguing that blog-based peer review should really be done in established online communities — but another possibility would certainly be to establish an online community for purposes of peer review.

    Of course, the flip side of the “only for fans” worry is that this is a community in which we already discuss these things and have expertise present. The same is true for blogs in other areas. I wonder if we’d get as good an expertise to noise ratio in the “Prr” community. Of course, there’s one obvious way to get some data…

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