Our work on the JOH social edition thus far has opened my mind to the various ways a text is impacted through digitisation. Like Sasha, I felt disconnected from A Study in Temptations because of the limited nature of my interaction with it. My access to the text in terms of annotating was further impeded by my almost complete lack of knowledge about Victorian literature, and by the fact that I am from the British Isles. It was hard for me to know whether some aspects of the text would be obvious to a reader who is more familiar with the literature of the time period, and therefore, not necessary to annotate. Also, many of the more “British” words, phrases, and references seemed entirely normal to me, and so it felt strange to annotate them. Overall, I could not tell whether my judgment in annotating was really on point. That, I suppose, is the beauty of the social edition – no one “editor’s” judgment ranks supreme. I suppose time will tell whether my annotations are useful, and as a participant in the social edition, I am happy for other users to amend the annotations as they fit.
As I was reading a little about the rise of the social edition generally, I came across an interesting article written by Constance Crompton, Ray Siemens, and Alyssa Arbuckle. The main point that caught my attention in the article is the authors’ dissection of some illuminating statistics in relation to Wikipedia users. As it turns out, “only 16% of editors on Wikipedia are women”, and further, “new female editors are more likely to have their edits reversed than new male editors”. The article goes on to state that the underrepresentation of women “has skewed the content and quality of subjects about women, like the history of women’s writing.” Although these statistics are in relation to Wikipedia, it would be interesting to see similar statistics for Wikisource, the platform on which our JOH project is featured on. When I read these figures, I felt that our project has even more relevance and weight in terms of the social edition, as not only are we drawing attention to the work of a relatively unknown female writer, we are group of editors predominantly comprised of women. Thus, I feel our project has some significance in broadening, not only the readership of the work of John Oliver Hobbes, but also, the possible “gendered platform” of the various Wikipedia Foundation models.