Beyond LogiLogi: Between the Wider Web and Academia
While LogiLogi is tailored to Entity Oriented Philosophy, and LogiLogi looks like a perfect match for it and the web, there are good reasons to think beyond the platform. First of all LogiLogi is still very experimental, and in many ways nothing more than a mere attempt at building something interesting. Secondly, prediction is hard, especially of the future of the web. The web is currently developing at an enormous pace, and in very unpredictable ways. New sites, web-services and mashups (combinations of web-services) are appearing all the time. Browsers are introducing all kinds of new possibilities such as plugins, while removing others, and a new version of HTML (version 5) is just around the corner. At the same time, under the pressure provided by quality journalism on blogs, news-papers and their publishers are facing difficult times. Some expect similar problems for scientific journal-publishers soon too. And this might attract many initiatives; both commercial and academic, to try and find alternatives. Not that this would be bad for philosophy - it would rather be good -, but it could trample LogiLogi. A small project like LogiLogi can never be expected to outrun Google, or any similar party.
And in a sense, Google, and many other web-sites are already closing in on philosophy and meritocratic peer-review, eventhough they are not specifically meant for philosophy. For blogs for example, there are sites that offer rating and ranking. The most well-known example being Digg, where people can submit urls, or votes by clicking on a button shown with the article. Votes are only positive, they have no scale, and the ratings that people's own writings receive are not kept track of. Another is Technorati, which basically looks at the number of references blog-articles receive from other blog-articles. Both sites are hugely popular and used by millions for selecting what to read on a daily basis. There are also more specialized ones, such as Hacker News (read daily by your author), which focuses on news and reflections on technology. In addition there is the BestThinking site, whose goals are quite similar to LogiLogi's, and Google already runs Google Scholar, launced Knol some time ago (competition to Wikipedia), and will be releasing Google Wave, a real-time discussion-board, in a few months. Now while these and similar projects are not tailored to philosophy, they may soon have so many people behind them, that they will do better than any specialized site.
And from the other side academic projects, some of which commercial, are moving in. First of all there is Academia, which is like a directory of academics, also offering rudimentary paper-rating and comments. Next there is the already mentioned CiteULike, which is like a Delicious for papers, that allows academics to bookmark, tag, and rate them. In addition it also allows papers to be uploaded. A similar project is Mendeley, but this is a peer-to-peer desktop-application, which also allows for the publication, reviewing and sharing of papers. In addition it provides popularity metrics for papers, and an Amazon.com-like suggestion-service. For biology and medicine there is the Faculty of 1000 project, which also involves experts in the review-process of papers and has its own detailed ranking-system. Now of course these projects are still only concerned with static PDF-files, and none of them provides any hypertext functionality, but they are already widely used. And projects like Diigo already allow one to annotate any web-page. So they are only a small step away, and the web and the academic world are, it seems, about to embrace one another.