Noah Wardrip-Fruin poses a fascinating question on his blog: Is peer
review enough of a catchall against prejudice and misinformation; or
can adding blog readers to the process also help expand the
understanding of the author:

The blog-based review project started when Doug Sery, my editor at the MIT Press, brought up the question of who would peer-review the Expressive Processing
manuscript. I immediately realized that the peer review I most wanted
was from the community around Grand Text Auto. I said this to Doug, who
was already one of the blog’s readers, and he was enthusiastic. Next I
contacted Ben Vershbow at the Institute for the Future of the Book to
see if we could adapt their CommentPress tool for use in an ongoing
blog conversation. Ben not only agreed but also became a partner in
conceptualizing, planning, and producing the project. With the ball
rolling, I asked the Committee on Research of the University of
California at San Diego’s Academic Senate for some support (which it
generously provided) and approached Jeremy Douglass (of that same
university’s newly formed Software Studies initiative), who also became
a core collaborator — especially (and appropriately) for the
software-related aspects.

We applaud this effort to reconfigure and expand the expectation of a book’s vetting.

We
always feel “the more eyes on it, the better” and breaking up the book
into publishable chapters on a blog is a great way to disconnect
arguments from each other to see if they can sustain an individual
whole — or if the pieces risk falling hard to the ground in shattered
disenchantment.

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