A free, comprehensive, peer-reviewed, award-winning Open Text for students and faculty in college-level courses that require writing and research.

Staff

Joe Moxley
Founder
Professor, Director of Composition, University of South Florida

Cassandra Branham
Editor-In-Chief
Assistant Professor of Humanities and Communication, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Alston Chapman
CTO, Writing Commons
Web Developer
Jason Tham
Editor of Information Literacy
Alex Watkins
Assistant Editor of Writing Commons
Instructor of Humanities and Composition, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Alaina Tackitt
Assistant Editor of Professional and Technical Communication
Instructor of Rhetoric, Eckerd College

Angela Eward-Mangione
Content Developer
Professor of Literature and Composition, Hillsborough Community College

Jennifer Janecheck
Copy Editor
Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of English, University of Iowa

Christine I. McClure
Editor of New Media Communication and Research Methods and Methodologies
Full-Time Instructor of Humanities and Communications, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL

Megan McIntyre
Editor of Writing Process, Academic Writing, and Rhetoric
Assistant Director, Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, Dartmouth College

Wesley Dunning
Editor of Creative Writing
Instructor of Composition, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

 

What do we mean when we say we aspire to be a "commons-based peer production" community?

Peer Production Projects are like 21st Century barn-building; they allow for massive acts of collaborative creation by asking for just a little effort from each contributor. As espoused by both scholarly authors (Benkler; Brown and Duguid; boyd and Ellison; Barton and Cummings; Jenkins) and trade book authors (Li and Bernoff; Gillmor; Tapscott and Williams; Weinberger), peer-production tools democratize power, redistributing the means of production from a one-way communication model, like a CBS broadcasting tower, to an increasingly community-driven model, where individuals contribute freely and democratically. Peer-production technologies are more powerful than they might at first seem: they allow users to add content which affects the way knowledge is constructed.  Perhaps the most intriguing idea to emerge from the evolution of social media and peer production is the possibility of collective intelligence, the notion that crowds of people working collaboratively via an online tool such as Wikipedia can create ideas that are unique, different, and smarter than the ideas of individuals working in collaboration. James Surowiecki, George Siemens, Henry Jenkins, and Howard Rheingold have theorized that peer-production tools empower users to create a new “emergent” knowledge that individuals working alone could not develop. Peer-production technologies change the ways we exchange ideas, organize ourselves, and create knowledge (Weinberger; Shirky; Jenkins); encourage democratic decision-making (Benkler; Shirky; Rheingold); transform how people write and think about ourselves (Lanier); and encourage ethical behavior (Benkler and Nissenbaum). It’s only natural, then, that they also change how we organize our institutions of higher learning (Taylor, “End of the University.”), particularly textbooks