The JoPP Experiment

Working on Singular Technologies & The Third-TechnoScape led us to experiment with participative online publications in collaboration with the Journal of Peer Production.

:ps: is conducting an experiment in collaborative edition, and you’re welcome to participate.

Hi again, I saw that you closed the previous topic and now this looks like a “final” product. I like very much the content but the presentation looks rather “mainstream” and I would be interested to discuss how it could fit better the “experimental” session of the journal.

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Hi @panayotis. As we just came back from a long journey, we can definitely discuss this. However we don’t consider it the ‘final product’, rather a final draft, that will only take life when other people read it and comment it. We already invited you and your team to participate and renew this invitation here and now. You’re very welcome.

I am trying to understand this, I feel the process in itself is an ongoing experimentation therefore the article is only a step in the process that will continue to evolve. @panayotis what do you mean by “fit better the experimental session”?
The article would be a very good documentation of the ongoing process which is a live experimentation, therefore we push to participation on the discourse.

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What I would like to avoid is to publish a “normal” paper with a link at the end inviting people to discuss the content here while the paper stays frozen and there no clear evidence of how it was “co-created” over time. There are many that have tried this in the past but somehow it does not really work for some reason. People do not engage in reality. Or this is my personal experience.

For your paper, I would like to brainstorm and find more novel ways to develop and present a research paper that is both dynamic and participatory in a novel and inspiring way. Some very rough ideas that pop-up in my head just for bootstrapping the discussion:

  • Integrate somehow the online comments made in this space into the “official” online page of the paper. There could be some sort of selection of good comments which could become part of the paper or create visible changes in the main text.
  • create some form of “versioning” of the online version of the paper to allow for proper citations. Since this is a difficult problem perhaps “freeze” the majority of the paper and keep only one section “dynamic”?

In any case, we all know that this is a difficult task but you can take advantage of the freedom offered by the “experimental” format and nominate your paper as a sort of “pilot” for JoPP on encouraging feedback of high quality on its publications.

If you agree, I could send an e-mail to the JoPP editors list with a link to this space and ask for opinions and advice on how we could proceed with this while respecting the JoPP rules …

Sure @panayotis, you can use the Invite button in this topic to do so!

Technically I have a few ideas how that could be done. For example, you would get a copy of the original article, then replace it with JavaScript to retrieve the latest version from here in JSON format, and add comments to keep the discussion going.

<div id='discourse-comments'></div>

<script type="text/javascript">
  DiscourseEmbed = { discourseUrl: '',
                     discourseEmbedUrl: 'REPLACE_ME' };

  (function() {
    var d = document.createElement('script'); d.type = 'text/javascript'; d.async = true;
    d.src = DiscourseEmbed.discourseUrl + 'javascripts/embed.js';
    (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(d);

Yes great idea,

Indeed this would make sense and it would allow to see how the feedback integrates in an article without committing the journal to a change of format. It would also be a very interesting experience of the discourse possibilities.

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Nice, I could try this first in a test page on my own domain,, to see how it looks. Of course, the question remains about how all this could be presented in a nice way that it makes sense and it does not lead to information overload.

it works! Nice … can someone apply filters and for example show on the remote server only liked comments?

Hmm, that’s a bit weird this topic appears in that conference. It should have gone to #www:nethood-org.

Applying filters would mean to parse the resulting HTML that comes as an iframe. A better option would be to capture the JSON version of this feed and start from there, creating JavaScript functionality to filter posts.

The feed is at <TopicURL>.json: or for short

So, should I replace the page on to make it work again with this new topic? For filters, let’s leave it for later but I think it would be nice to have some sort of selection of comments that show up on the JoPP version of the article

Btw, this seems an interesting format for feedback (through annotations) on online articles (just for reference):

No, you don’t need to do anything. It’s configured on the server. Comments go to conference–at least they’re supposed to:

Each page you insert the code snippet on will create its own topic. When the experiment goes to, I’ll setup the host (maybe we can do that in advance… On your side then, you need to create a page with title “Singular Technologies & The Third-TechnoScape” so that it points to the article’s topic. Maybe you can do that now on so we can test. I’ll copy the article there.

Yes, has been around for a while. I don’t know how that would play with Discourse, but there’s a unofficial Ruby gem implementing the API (although it seems a bit old.)

@panayotis, I’ve setup the Discourse for as follows:

Cf. The JoPP Experiment for the setup on your side.

Regarding the idea of taking the content from here and auto-updating there, the JSON file has two important fields to check: updated_at with the last version time, and cooked which is the HTML version of the contents. You can start with copy-pasting that to the target page, so that we can see the result (and eventually fix some CSS). Then we can think about how to update it automatically (this would probably require a bit of javascript on your platform, or a crontab if you dump the articles on the file system.)

I noticed that the SSL certificate is wrong. I urge you to use LetsEncrypt to fix your web server! It only takes a few minutes to install and then you won’t have to think about it again.

I’m going to reply to email tomorrow, but most of the contents are already there in this topic, as you know (and I think Peter missed my last email regarding security.)

One last thing: there’s no iframe involved, except the one the Javascript code generates for the comments.

@panayotis do you need anything to finalize setup?