Reading through posts on “Authorship” this week had me questioning authorship and incentives, which, in turn, made me think of Wikisource. As we have already discussed, Wikisource encourages a mentality that focuses on 1) the non-permanency of texts 2) the ability for various users to edit/effect/change in multiple ways a certain text and 3) producing texts collectively for non-monetary purposes. In terms of authorship, then, I find Wikisource particularly interesting because it contradicts our assumption that there needs to be either a monetary incentive or at the very least a bullet on our CV to perpetuate creativity and intellectual thought and energy.
This, I think, creates a major (and interesting) distinction between Fitzpatrick’s discussion on blogging (specifically her own blogging) and the efforts by users on platforms like Wikisource. While Fitzpatrick’s own blogging sparked enough interest and commentary that it eventually lead to a book publication, I think I’m correct in assuming that Wikisource users will never have this option. While contributing on Wikisource may be valuable, and perhaps enhance certain aspects of a larger project, using Wikisource itself never leads to personal exposure, dissertation, or a book deal, like the blogger is (arguably) dreaming of.
I think Julie made some really interesting points in her post this week, and I’m particularly drawn to her discussion on blogger Rohan Maitzen. Blogging, as Maitzen is advocating, needs to be conceptualized as a valuable and credible tool within academia, and understood as crucial to the process of creating meaningful work. But this leaves me with the question: If we were able to gain credibility without a publication, would this limit the incentive to get published? To return to my discussion above, I think the amount of users on Wikisource would suggest that the incentive for getting published is minimal compared to the amount of work scholars are willing to do just for the sake of sharing knowledge, and with little to no recognition.