Thoughts on website ideas, PHP and other tech topics, plus going car-free
Co-writing web application
Categories: Ideas, Outline

Grassroots pressure groups, such as Amnesty International, ask their members to write letters in order to lobby individuals in positions of authority. Other groups request that messages of petition are sent to corporations or journalists. In each case, new members wanting to join in a letter-writing effort may find the process difficult, especially if their intended recipient is perceived as important or intimidating.

To solve this, I rather like the idea of a collaborative letter-writing application, which would involve an experienced letter-writer and someone new to the process. It would feature a small chat pane on one side, plus two adjacent message panels.  The chat system would be used to discuss the subject of the letter, and each message panel would  be editable by only one party. The experienced writer can make suggestions in the chat interface as to what to write, whilst at the same time encouraging them to write in their own words, and to raise points of their own choosing.

It seems that browser-based “writing collaboration” software exists already, though these appear to focus on multiple users working on one document — my suggestion is for each user to have their own, and every user can see all documents.

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