Exploring “A Million Penguins” – Order and Chaos in a wiki novel – Leicester, 23 April 2008, 4.30-5.30pm

Exploring “A Million Penguins” – Order and Chaos in a wiki novel
Institute Of Creative Technologies Research Seminar by Bruce Mason
De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
IOCT Lab, Wednesday April 23, 2008 4:30-5:30pm
This seminar is free and open to the public.

In February 2007, DMU and Penguin Publishing collaborated to host the world’s first wiki novel – “A Million Penguins” – using the same software that runs Wikipedia. Over a five week period nearly 1,500 people signed up to edit the novel, over 11,000 edits were made and it was viewed over 500,000 times leading the CEO over Penguin Publishing to muse that it was maybe the “most written novel in history.”

In this seminar, Bruce Mason will outline the results of a research project held at the Institute Of Creative Technologies (IOCT) which investigated the social behaviour that unfolded during the writing of “A Million Penguins.” What kinds of collaboration, conflict and compromise occurred and what did it tell us about future online writing possibilities? Did a sense of community arise or did we see nothing but chaos and vandalism?

The seminar will not require any particular knowledge of wikis or online writing.

About the presenter

Bruce Mason is an IOCT Post-Doctoral Research Fellow specialising in social research and web2.0 activities. He previously worked at DMU with Professor Sue Thomas on an Arts and Humanities Research Council Funded Project (http://www.ioct.dmu.ac.uk/tnn/) that investigated the potential for folksonomy in academic research.

About A Million Penguins

A Million Penguins is a collaborative online novel, a wiki which was open to anyone in the world to write and edit. The project ran from 1st Feb to 7th March 2007, was organised by Kate Pullinger (http://www.katepullinger.com) of De Montfort University and Jeremy Ettinghausen of Penguin, with Sue Thomas, Professor of New Media at De Montfort and an editorial team of students enrolled on De Montfort’s Online MA in Creative Writing and New Media.

Further Information

To find out more about the seminar, please see the IOCT Blog at http://tinyurl.com/3yktnj or the IOCT events page (http://www.ioct.dmu.ac.uk/events.html). Alternately, please contact Bruce Mason directly by email (bmason01 [at] dmu.ac.uk) or phone (07981 090566).

The IOCT lab is situated at 1 The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH. Directions to the IOCT can be found online at http://www.ioct.dmu.ac.uk/contact.html


A Million Penguins (http://www.amillionpenguins.com)
Penguin Publishing (http://www.penguin.co.uk)
De Montfort University (http://www.dmu.ac.uk)
Institute for Creative Technologies (http://www.ioct.dmu.ac.uk)
IOCT Research (http://www.ioct.dmu.ac.uk/research.html)
Online MA in Creative Writing and New Media (http://www.dmu.ac.uk/faculties/humanities/pg/ma/cwnm.jsp)