Bri Colorful

Documents and Doctors

Posted on: October 19, 2010

I’m so impressed with googledocs lately. I’ve been using it for a while to collaborate on stuff for work and school, but my understanding of what I can do with it is really expanding.

Today I was working on a paper and as usual shared it with my editor mother-in-law and English major sister, just to see if they had any input on how I could improve. In one of those moments of writer’s block in which you’ll click on anything as long as it doesn’t have to do with the paper you’re supposed to be working on, I clicked on the sharing options of my google document. I didn’t realize that not only could I share it with other collaborators in gmail, I could now paste a link that would share my paper with anyone on the internet. I quickly shared the link via facebook, twitter, and buzz and then promptly forgot about it and returned to my paper writing, enthused with the thrill of discovery.

Hours later while I was again working on my paper, I saw that my digital civilizations professor had just commented on my link about the interesting concept of “open composition” that I had stumbled upon quite by accident. I had simply posted it there out of 1.) enthusiasm for a new tool and 2.) because if someone wants to take time to give me feedback, great! I certainly don’t have the daytime hours to go to the writing fellows (unless they’ve recently changed their hours to my paper-writing hours: 8pm to midnight).

So now that my paper is turn in ready (though I suppose I’ll never consider it complete), I thought I’d share the link here and tell you about my experience with googledocs today. I also want to ask you what you think about “open composition”. My mother-in-law’s immediate reaction was: won’t someone be able to copy your work? I suppose that’s true, if they wanted to (I don’t gaurentee any As here though). I pointed out that most professors now have programs that search the internet for quotes from student’s papers to make sure they haven’t done just that. So I’m not really worried about someone stealing my “intellectual property” and trying to pass it as their own. It’s so public.

I’m also trying to explore more into the idea of creative commons, the idea that you can license your intellectual property as your own but allow and perhaps even encourage the sharing, remixing, or reuse of that property. I’ll post more about that later though.

Anyways, my brain is totally fried from writing for way too long and if I don’t hit my pillow, the headcold that has been threatening control over my senses today will win. I shall come out victorious! I have a wedding in Florida this weekend and I will not be sick, by sheer force of will. Good night world.

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4 Responses to "Documents and Doctors"

I hadn’t thought much about open composition before. I suppose if it was a work I was very proud of and didn’t want higher risk of plagiarism, then I wouldn’t use that resource. But if it was a paper I wrote and enjoyed but was not profound and could be stolen if they want to copy my terrible writing style, then I wouldn’t mind the risk. It would be a much easier way of sharing a document than copying it into a blog post (as I have done in the past.)

Have fun in Florida! We’ll miss each other by a month.

Bri, you are awesome. All this technology stuff you have been sharing with me has been amazing!! One day I will actually go through and try them out. (One day being when my kiddos are all growed up.)

It isn’t about stealing ideas anymore. It is about sharing the process. I am sure you have heard that lecture from Gideon. 🙂

[…] a googledoc of the paper as you write it and invite your friends to edit (hmm, collaboration or […]

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