"Volume 'H' in His Encyclopaedia of Reference" [PRIO]
If you're a regular reader of this blog, you may also be familiar with Brad Keefauver's Sherlock Peoria web site. On it, Brad has a weekly feature called The View From Sherlock Peoria in which he writes very well-considered and unique opinion pieces. It's worth a regular bookmark (since Brad hasn't instituted an RSS feed or email subscription yet).
And if you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that I like to use new media / new technology to offer Sherlockians unique and creative ways to connect with each other and share information about Sherlock Holmes. So when new technology combines with masterful insight a la Keefauver, you know it's something worth considering.
In one of his entries last week, Brad touched on an idea that I've been considering for a while, but just haven't figured out how to put it to work. As I recently indicated, I'm a little strapped for time. Therefore, I was thrilled when he broached - however preliminarily - the idea of a Sherlockipedia. Take a look at his perspective and see what you think.
The essence of a "wiki" is that the community bands together to use its collective knowledge to create a knowledge base. The most famous of these is Wikipedia (you can see the entry for Sherlock Holmes). The more edited or added to an article is, the more accurate and comprehensive it is.
Can you imagine the day that a wiki exists for Sherlockian information? I was originally thinking it would be an online version of the Encyclopedia Sherlockiana, but I quickly realized that it can also serve as a clearing-house for events, societies, famous Sherlockians, online and offline resources, travel tie-ins, books, etc. It's very exciting.
I'm looking forward to seeing how all of this will work out and hashing out the details with Brad. Expect to read more about it here, which will certainly include the clarion call for contributions. Let me ask you - would you be willing to apply your expertise to such a project?
A whole bunch of years ago, Jack Tracy had a vision of the C.A.L.A.B.A.S.H. project, which would have been a hypertext Canon, updating the Annotated SH; the Encyclopedia; IIRC The Universal SH; and who knows what all else. It's been awhile since I've reviewed the newsletter notes.
More recently, Clarkson wanted to put out a CD-Rom of his Compendium, which would still be great to see. The woman doing the technical work had some difficulties, and then he passed away.
The thing that worries me about wikis is what is "expertise" and in whose opinion? Without oversight, a project like this is at the mercy of any keyboarder with the computer.
Some checks and balances, please.
There will undoubtedly be some oversight here. If Brad is spearheading this project, I'd imagine he'll be putting together an editorial board or technology committee or the like, in order to address these very concerns.
Of course, the beauty of a wiki is that it allows other members of the community to make such corrections and does not necessarily require a centralized autocratic editorial style. When a wiki works best is when - just as you say - checks and balances are worked into the process.
I think this would totally rock. If you could get Les Klinger involved...who knows what could be accomplished. I know I'd be happy to help with articles...
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