The Character Building Project

Michael J. Kerrigan

It is my hope that the character community will one day launch a venture to write a character, open to anyone, Wikipedia. The aim is to engineer a system where self directed character authors and scholars cooperate and take responsibility for creating a platform that runs a character platform with a small amount of top-down smartness complimented by massively bottoms up contributions.

To create such a platform, the character community must overcome the old barriers to craft a new crowd-powered service. But who will pay the creators of character content? It seems if, as Kevin Kelly states, “the audience is king,” the audience could fund the work of character creators. Might also the fans collectively finance their favorites?

The technology of sharing enables the power of one fan that is willing to prepay author to be aggregated together with hundreds or thousands of other fans into a significant pool of… Continue reading

A copyright license, such as Creative Commons, would encourage character scholars to legally allow their text and images to be used and improved by others through an open source character WIKI platform without the need for additional permission. The rise of ubiquitous file sharing sites is another step toward collaboration since it makes it very easy to begin one’s creations with something already created.

Collaborative commenting sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Pinterest, and Tumblr enable ordinary folks to find images, photos, news items and ideas drawn from professional sources and friends. These sites act as collaborative filters heralding a new way to harness community action. In my opinion, it is time for professionally created character content be crafted less by the author alone. Rather it is my hope that character scholars scale up by participating in the sharing economy. By using digital tools that promote collaboration, aggregation, coordination and adhocracy… Continue reading

Kevin Kelly points out the old ways to organize work, namely a firm and marketplace are being enhanced by platform synergy. Rather than relying on a “marketplace” using the “invisible hand to allocate resources more efficiently, “a platform” is something new.

It is a foundation created by a firm that lets other firms build products and services upon it. Think of Microsoft’s Operating System (OS) where anyone could build and sell a software program that ran on the OS owned by Microsoft. Note how Lotus 1-2-3 the first spread sheet became a mini platform. Note more recently how ITunes creates levels of highly independent products and services forming an ecosystem that rests upon the Apple platform. Facebook is another example of a platform ecosystem that became a multisided market.

Perhaps an innovative character scholar might team with a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur to create a character, application programming interface (API)… Continue reading

As the reader will note from my most recent posts, Kevin Kelly’s, The Inevitable has influenced my thinking greatly. The dream of a universal library with all books, all documents, all conceptual works, in all languages, all connected is an old dream. The reality is not very far from Wikipedia. Kelly notes most of its 34 million pages are crammed with words underlined, indicating those words are hyperlinked to concepts elsewhere in the encyclopedia. This tangle of relationships is precisely what gives Wikipedia and the web, its immense force.

My more modest vision is to network all character books, all character documents, all conceptual works on character, in all languages to a Character Wikipedia. Perhaps character scholars and academics could work with the book sharing site Goodreads to create a connected digital library on character. Unlike the current state of character scholarship which is largely restricted to the elites, the… Continue reading

Just as companies like Apache, Red Hat and others make their living selling instruction and paid support but the lines of free code become available to the user only through support and guidance; might scholars create character content to the public for free but the character coaches charge for interpretation of that content? The character content could be easily downloaded for free from the character wiki site while a cadre of character coaches would man a help desk offering real time character guidance services crafted to the needs of the individual consumer.

What the character content means to the consumer and how to use it (i.e. character user manual) this personalization requires an ongoing conversation between the coach and the student?

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Mottoes & Quotes

The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.

— Anne Frank

For the Visually Impaired

Courage in America has been aurally transcribed for the visually impaired, thanks to Volunteers of Vacaville, California. Tel: 704.448.6841 ext 2044.