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Last time someone tried this it was a disaster, but Wired News has boldly put an article about wikis into a Socialtext wiki for anyone to be a Wired editor:

In an experiment in collaborative journalism, Wired News is putting reporter Ryan Singel at your service.

This wiki began as an unedited 1,059-word article on the wiki phenomenon, exactly as Ryan filed it. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to do the job of a Wired News editor and whip it into shape. Don’t change the quotes, but feel free to reorganize it, make cuts, smooth the prose or add links — whatever it takes to make it a lively, engaging news piece.

Ryan will answer questions from the comments page, and, when consensus calls for it, conduct additional reporting. If there’s something he missed, let him know, and he’ll get on the phone and investigate, then submit new text to the wiki for your review.

Readers can also submit headlines for the story, and write and edit the “deck” — a blurb for our front page and RSS feed that promotes the article.

To make any changes, you’ll first need to create a free account at Socialtext.

We’ll release the results under a Creative Commons license, and, if the whole thing doesn’t turn into a disaster, run the final story on Wired News on Sept. 7, 2006.

To clarify, all people have to do is register to edit, a spam countermeasure. This is of course different from the LA Times experminent as there is a clearly stated goal. It will be interesting to at least watch.

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Ross Mayfield is CEO and co-founder of Socialtext, an emerging provider of Enterprise Social Software that dramatically increases group productivity and develops a group memory.

He also writes Ross Mayfield’s Weblog which focuses on markets, technology and musings.

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