Blog Excerpts

Bite-Size Edits

What is "Bite-Size Edits"? It's a new website that "takes a text, chops it into pieces, and serves those pieces randomly to editors. Players get points for editing text, for providing useful comments, and for helping to get a text completely edited." Seems like a crazy idea, but it turns out to be surprisingly addictive.

On the New Yorker blog Book Bench, Macy Halford explains:

Unlike professional editing, which requires tremendous intellectual and emotional engagement (if you care about your writers' feelings), Bite-Size Edits allows you to whack away at bits of text, generated randomly, with nary a care in the world — save for the concern for pristine prose.

Here's how it works: someone uploads a document — either their own creation or something in the public domain — you click "Edit Random Text," a sentence pops up, you edit it, and then click "Suggest Changes." The person who submitted the text decides whether or not to accept your edits. You accrue points for each edit, and top editors win free books.

Halford gives it the thumbs up, saying it's "as close to a video game as this copy-editor is going to get." Try it yourself and see!

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Comments from our users:

Wednesday March 31st 2010, 10:07 AM
Comment by: Don H. (Antioch, CA)Top 10 Commenter
Sounds like fun, for people who have time for that much fun. The exercise would miss a big part of the editing challenge — to develop cadences among grammatical units so they flow rhythmically from one to the other.
Thursday April 1st 2010, 6:00 PM
Comment by: Madrigal (CROYDON Australia)
I had a try - it was fun! It is always challenging to be able to say something better, more expressively or more succinctly. Whether it is better to the author is for them to work out.
Monday April 5th 2010, 6:15 AM
Comment by: Bill B. (Fairbanks, AK)
Can you recommend a similar Web site(s) that provides an opportunity to learn from one's suggested edit?

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