Developments and News
The two directors of this wiki—Kevin Brooks and Andrew Mara—will add date-stamped commentary about the process on this page to foreground some of the changes occurring in the wiki as it progresses through its transformation.
February 1, 2007
Revise and Resubmit Letter:
Dear Beth and Cheryl,
Thank you for your substantial feedback on our submission " The Classical Trivium: An Information Storage Device and Curricular: Heuristic for New Media and Digital Communication Studies." I don't think I ever got around to responding to your Jan. 2 email (sorry—that came at a busy time!) but Andy and I have been working hard on the project and we are happy with the revisions. We hope that you and the readers will be satisfied with most of the changes, and you know, if you don't like something, just go on the wiki and change it, okay? ; )
The project is still available at http://trivium.wikispaces.com
We have most obviously changed the title and dropped the "information storage device" concept that was under-developed in the earlier version of this project that you saw. The notion of trivium as "information storage device" came from McLuhan scholar Michael Moos, and when we went back to the source to see how he fleshed the concept out, we didn't find much help. Our drafting and revising pushed us a bit more in the direction of lining the project up with Greg Ulmer's heuristic-heuretics distinction. While a site like this is potentially a "storage device," we realized that we are more interested in having others do things with the trivium, so we have shifted the focus from storage to application and exploration.
In the spirit of wanting readers to "do things" with the trivium, we have opened up the whole wiki to outside readers to revise and reshape. While we suspect that readers will be more likely to add to the under-developed wiki stubs in the New Trivium Explored sections, we are willing to open up all pages to correction, refinement, addition, and defacement. We have been working with one editor in particular, Bill Hart-Davidson, in order to conceptualize the open-essay. In the "Invitation" node we discuss the process that we foresee happening if this wiki is announced and included as part of the special issue. In our current plans, the whole project would be open for editing and revision on wikispaces until January 1, 2008, after which we would close up the wiki, do minor editing, and then upload the closed webpages onto the Kairos server. We have chosen Jan 1, 2008 in order to give people who might want to use the site as part of a fall 2007 course an opportunity to use the site for a full semester.
In focusing on opening up the project, we have not significantly broken down the linear nature of this piece, but we hope web-readers will find the possibility of contributing text, contributing images, contributing links, and contributing to the discussion board to be qualities of this webtext that separate it from a print-based essay. We have added a logo and animation that we hope will improve the visual appeal of the site and re-enforce our argument. We have embeded multimedia material from other sites, and we have begun to add more internal and external links in order to make better use of the hypertextual possibllities available to us and future readers / users.
We have also attempted to address the larger concern for defining the historical question of what exactly the trivium was, and is. To that end, we have created a node called "Trivium explained." The addition of places to link (and even embed) useful perfomed new media in the handbook node, and the chance to discuss things more dialectically in the discussion board will help alleviate the notion that the form tilts the discussion towards the aggregation activities we describe as more grammatical. By placing these different textual and visual ways of representing communicative interaction in tension in the same wiki, we are hoping that participants will gain new understandings of how grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic may be practiced in New Media.
We hope these changes have moved the project in some interesting and viable new ways. If you are to accept the project for publication in the special issue of Kairos, we realize that we are asking you to accept something of a work in progress. We hope Kairos editors and readers find that to be an exciting, rather than worrisome prospect, and we would be happy to publish a report on the open process if you think that would be an interesting addendum to the stabilized wiki-text after January 1, 2008. We are going to require registration and sign-in for contributions, which will help us track changes and credit the participants for their work. The "Credits" page will include a range of attribution, including producers (that would be you), directors (us), writers (us and others), editors (you, us, and others), and designers (our logo designer plus others).
We are planning to invite participation into what Bill Hart-Davidson called a "text-periment" through the New Media ecology of blogs, listservs, and individual emails. That would, of course, be in addition to the initial announcement in Kairos and more informal announcement in Kairos News. Rather than worrying about maintaining some artificial distance between the subject who studies and the object who is studied, we envision actively hailing those who would benefit from this project to add to it, however they see fit. That way, the object (the electrate trivium) would become fused with those who would use it. As we mentioned above, we are now thinking of the trivium as a heurestic and heuretic, a flexible guide for sorting and inventing, with the storage role still possible, but nearly as central, as we first suggested.
If you need anything more formal from us as part of the re-submittal process, please let me know. We will probably be working on the site for the next day or two still, trying to read with the editing hats on, but if you need us to leave the site alone for a specific period, just let us know.
Thanks again to you and the reviewers-we look forward to hearing back from you.
Kevin and Andy