Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spectator Authorship

Participatory Feedback & Funding Platform. 

Imagine looking over your favorite author's shoulder while they write their next book.  How much would it be worth to you?  And how would the Author deal with the live audience?  I operate by hypothesis, and develop by experiment, so here we go:

Hypothesis 0 is that if you are a fan of a writer, you would pay at least the final cost of their next book, in advance, for both the oppurtunity to watch it being written, and a copy of the book when it is completed. 

Hypothesis 1 is that writers want 100% of the proceeds from their book, and that they would pick any service that made this available.

Hypothesis 2 is that a small ad in the app users use to watch live writing sessions, whether by website, or via native smartphone/tablet app, will be sufficient long term money model. 
Specs: Integration with twitter, facebook, and pinterest, as well as optional text message and email alerts can be used to notify readers when writing sessions begin.  Writers would have the option to work blind, the changes to their screen simply being broadcast/recorded when they use the writing app, or sighted, meaning writers can see comments readers pin to spots on the page in real time as a form of feedback.  Otherwise, readers use these pins to have discussions in a comment stream similar to facebook or pinterest as they see fit.  Writers ought to be able to quickly toggle the visibility of these comment astreams to allow them to work in solitude if and when they prefer.  Legacy books added to the system allow for in place cliff notes to be created, allowing readers to debate the meanings of or convey their interpretations of specific passages, students of a work to collect varried attitudes and opinions to compare with their own, and intelligent people everywhere to marvel at the oppurtunity to be a fly on the walls of their favorite authors.


  1. I ran across you blog more or less by accident, and wanted to add a note of encouragement. Hopelfully, this is a compliment: when I first started reading the above post it reminded me of the ideas I've seen on the Dilbert blog (things I'm not creative enough to think up).

    However, unless the author you are following is Hunter S. Thompson, I imagine watching most writers practice their craft is like watching paint dry.

    1. As an alternative to watching the process live, perhaps recording the process and playing back the recording at user controlled speed might better serve this particular meed to learn from the ceative procedures of masters.

  2. I love watching Notch and others begin to open their minds to show how problem solving really happens.

    Tools like and any sytem with version control / revision history giving a public audit trail, can be useful as a live stream developing authorship.

    idk i wonder if bitcoin could act as a proper mechanism to do microfeedback/microtip systems?

    I'm thinking personally about how transmedia projects can form around some kind of live, open, feedbacked, interactive constructions.