Stuart’s right. Too much time in the summer can produce some strange results. This one needs explaining…
As a public relations lecturer, it’s my job to keep up with the literature in this subject and to refer students to helpful sources. Mostly, the starting point is a recent academic text with a comprehensive list of references. But it could be a journal article, a book chapter, a blog, a newspaper story or a Wikipedia entry. Though academic bibliographies sound static, they need constant updating; when online sources are considered, there’s a bewildering and dynamic world that needs navigating.
So, welcome to the PR Books wiki. As a website, it can contain hyperlinks. As an open source project, it allows others to collaborate and for the site to become more useful over time. (My bias in favour of recent UK texts is declared; my preference for selection over comprehensiveness is implicit; both of these may change if others choose to become involved.)
Best of all (for me), in future I can send a student a hyperlink rather than verifying and typing out the same book recommendations again and again. Wasn’t the promise of technology that it should save us from time-consuming chores? And already, I’m straying beyond book recommendations as a wiki’s a good repository for all sorts of data that’s needs occasional updating.
Acknowledgements: to the inexhaustible David, who shamed me into starting a wiki, and who in a separate project has developed The Public Relations Bibliography. And to Philip, who took my project for a
spin test drive and who has also been turning his sources for the study of media ethics into a Mediations wiki.
Looking back, 2003 was the year when the blogging adoption / innovation curve took off and the early adopters turned into the early majority. Is something similar happening with wikis in 2006? (The test will come in two ways: is the wiki useful, and will others become involved as editors? That will be the real tipping point for wikis.)