Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Yeah Yeah, I Got Slashdotted...

Well, that was fun:

I'd have to say that the coolest and most unexpected effect of being Slashdotted was the spontaneous, collaborative effort to transcribe Larry's speech.

Almost immediately after the story hit Slashdot, requests started rolling in for transcriptions of the audio from people who could not benefit from the audio version for various reasons. Some of these visitors may not be proficient in English, others may have hearing disabilities. Still others just wanted an easy way to quote Larry's words in their own blogs.

A matter of minutes later, volunteers began to work together to transcribe Dean Director's introduction and Larry's speech, posting portions in the comments of the previous post and emailing portions to me to be posted on the blog. Some of these contributions were completely anonymous. Others provided only a name and email address. Either way, it was a completely selfless act aimed at helping other people with whom their only established relationship was this blog (and perhaps Slashdot).

It reminded me of an recent observation made by Dan Gillmor on how quickly a similar community centered around Wikipedia came to construct this Wikipedia article after the election of the new pope. Pretty interesting..

Anyhow, to those of you who contributed to the (allbeit rough) transcription effort, thank you! To the rest of the world, take note of this phenomenon. It's worth taking a moment to reflect on.

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