Wiki: The Great Tool of Collaboration

Publishers Weekly: “Now Wharton School Publishing, an imprint of Pearson Education, is readying a blueprint on how Web 2.0 technologies can benefit business with the first business book to be written Wiki style—We Are Smarter Than Me (fall 2007).”

By a stunning coincidence, Return of the Reluctant has obtained a copy of the Wiki in question. What follows is an excerpt from the Wiki discussion page marked “Chapter One.”

Discussion on First Sentence

I changed one comma in the first sentence just to clean up the grammar and the page was reverted. Come on. Why should there really be a comma between “empowering” and “you”? The whole point is that the book will empower the reader and they need to know this from the first sentence. That’s what we’re trying to do with this: make better managers. more$$$thanu 20:27, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

I don’t believe the first sentence meets current acceptability standards. Who is this mysterious “you” that we’re referring to? It’s difficult enough typing the word “you” and then reading it back, realizing that the text is now addressing you, but that, just two minutes earlier, you had typed the word “you” into the computer. It makes me wonder if I should see my therapist after Sunday’s golf match. I had a three hour meeting with the vice president of my company about this issue and he advises to avoid the word “you” altogether, particularly when writing a management guide. Unless, of course, you’re in the process of firing someone, in which case this pronoun is necessary. Consider also that not even the grammarian above can type all three letters of that hallowed word. Sounds hypocritial to me. Let the sentence stand. waitingfortheweekend 08:34, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

I like Chinese food! vcfan99 11:42, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

I like Chinese food too, but whether or not you enjoy Chinese food or not, boredbeyondbelief, is besides the point. We’re trying to write a book here and we can’t even agree upon the first sentence, much less get basic grammar right. more$$$thanu 13:12, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

To respond to more$$$thanu’s criticisms, I find the use of proper and indisputedly Anglo grammar to be racist in the extreme. Should we not have a chapter written in Ebonics? We don’t want Black Enterprise on our ass. I’ve reverted back to waitingfortheweekend’s version. corporatelydiverse 10:11, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I’ve taken another stab at the first sentence, this time without the words “empowering” and “you.” But this too has been changed. I’ve started a Wikipedia dispute to resolve this issue. For now, I’ve locked the page to prevent further vandalism. appealingtoreason 15:25, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Fitting Words for an Egomaniac

Wikipedia head Jimmy Wales dukes it out with Encyclopedia Britannica vice president Dale Hoiberg:

Mr. Hoiberg: No, we don’t publish rough drafts. We want our articles to be correct before they are published. We stand behind our process, based on trained editors and fact-checkers, more than 4,000 experts, and sound writing. Our model works well. Wikipedia is very different, but nothing in their model suggests we should change what we do.

Mr. Wales: Fitting words for an epitaph…