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Psychologist invents new uber-wiki

'Mememoir' tech to make Wikipedia obsolete?

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An American psychologist has invented a new form of wiki in which every word is directly linked to its author. He believes the so-called "mememoir"* project will "revolutionize publishing in all of science".

The Mememoir super-attribution wiki is the brainchild of Dr Robert Hoffman, an academic psychologist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition and visiting brain at MIT.

Hoffman argues that it's difficult to tell who's said what on an ordinary, intensively-edited wiki page. "How could the reader of such an article know who wrote what," he asks. He also reckons that standard methods of wiki administration - as seen most famously, perhaps, at famed online hive-mind jumbleshop bogo-encyclo Wikipedia - are "an important problem ... first generation wikis... depend on slow and refutable top-down decisions".

But Hoffman reckons he has the answer in his new Mememoir superwiki, where every word is attributable - leading, apparently, to the "End of Anonymity". Similarly, the mysterious dealings of Wikipedia admins, ArbComs etc. are to be replaced by "a self-regulating reputation system" based on - wait for it - users rating each other's contributions.

The new wiki+digg+2.0 sciento-mashup-u-like kit is described at mememoir.org, or you can watch a vid, play with it etc here. Alternatively, you can read Hoffman's old-school scholarly article in Nature Genetics (ref: Nature Genetics 40, 1047 - 1051 (2008), doi:10.1038/ng.f.217).

"This release is an important proof of principle," says Hoffman. "Our ambitious aim with the Mememoir project is to revolutionize publishing in all of science with a knowledge base that is open access, interdisciplinary and combines the altruistic possibilities of wikis with explicit authorship."

Good luck with that. ®

*Yuck.

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