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Contemplating Crowdsourcing

2013 January 3

I continue to think about the best way forward in terms of developing and managing a digital edition of Tarlton’s Jests. I would like to establish a collaborative approach to tagging the files – collaborative in a sense that I think is not necessarily the norm right now. Because of the liminal nature of the publication the possibility of encouraging collaborators from a range of early modern studies sub-disciplines could enhance and extend the value of this publication. I’ve followed the development of the Transcribe Bentham project and like the idea of encouraging volunteers to participate in digital publishing. I’ve also spent a great deal of time thinking about the value and challenges inherent in ┬ásocial edition approaches as an advisor to the Devonshire Manuscript Project. How do I learn from these approaches and add the layer of TEI-conformant markup that will provide the text-representation I’m looking to provide?

This thinking has led me to look seriously at using github as a collaborative platform. So far I’ve only got as far as setting up a repository, and have yet to learn how best to present XML in the repository, but hope that I’ll be able to do this without pulling out too much hair, and then make the code available to interested collaborators.

The question remains, however: how/do I manage tag structure? The whole idea of crowdsourcing the markup is to encourage different approaches to working with the text. And yet there needs to be some oversight of how these tags are added and organized. I need to tackle that next.

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