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The Open Utopia - an experiment in social reading

Read a classic - with others

I just finished reading an article in the Chronicle by Jennifer Howard (With 'Social Reading,' Books Become Places to Meet). Her article resonates with some of my own thinking. I've been wondering lately if the digital shift to etextbooks and the availability of the "classics" online, means that we can re-imagine what it's like to read a text - and do it socially rather than individually. What if every student in a class could access everyone else's useful marginalia? What if you could see someone else's take on a thorny passage in a novel?

"This digital edition of Utopia is open: open to read, open to copying, open to modification. On this site Utopia is presented in different formats in order to enhance this openness. If the visitor wishes to read Utopia online they can find a copy. If they want to download and copy a version, I've provided links to do so in different formats for different devices. ...Those who like to listen will find a reading of Utopia on audio files, and those who want to watch and look can browse the user-generated galleries of Utopia-themed art and videos. For people interested in creating their own plan of an alternative society, I've created Wikitopia, a wiki with which to collaborate with others in drafting a new Utopia."