I love open content. Free and free, as you well know. I really love my Nook, and while I do buy content from it, I also want to get free (as in beer!) versions of the classics on it. Many of them are already in ePub format over at Project Guttenburg. How though can we prepare more? That’s where YOU and I can both help! In browsing Project Guttenburg’s site, I stumbled across a link (http://www.pgdp.net/c/) to the Distributed Proofreaders site. It seems, much like how the spam-detecting comment system for blogs Captcha uses actual text to find words, DP uses a team to go through scanned books for proofreading. So far, the volunteers have completed over 17,000 works with 2,800 in process.
How can you help? Well, much like Wikipedia, the community involved takes this seriously. When you register, you must first read documents on their standards and give yourself a little review on punctuation and grammar. Then you can move on to the first set of quizzes. Yes, folks, they do take this very seriously! After that, you can begin actual work on books. At first, you work with a mentor who really mentors you, checking over your proofreading prowess to make sure you follow consistent guidelines. Eventually you can begin to do more on your own and eventually move from proofreading to formatting as well.
A great site and group of volunteers trying to digitize many lost books. As their site describes, US Copyright law (argh!) does not permit them to do many books, but they go into antique stores, flea markets, and other place trying to find books that are outside the realm of Copyright Law. Maybe eventually we’ll wise up in this country to make sure we preserve our greatest gift to future generations. Until then, join DP and help preserve those that we can!