Posted by: fuzz
Seeing as most of the denzins of this here fforum are literary types, I thought I'd put in a plug for Distributed Proofreading (http://texts01.archive.org/dp). To explain it properly I have to explain Project Gutenberg (http://promo.net/pg/).
PG is named after the town where the printing press was invented and is a repository of electronic books. It's goal is to become a freely avaliable collection of all books in the public domain (ie, that are out of copyright). The trouble is, these books have to get from print form into the computer. This is where DP comes in. One person scans a book into the computer, (recently compleated include 'Amelia' by Henry Fielding and the unmissable 'Copyright Renewals 1953') and OCR's the scans (Optical Character Recognition, the computer 'reads' the scan). Then upon logging in to DP each proofer is presented by the image of each page and the computer's interpretation of it. Your job is to ammend the text to fit what is written on the actuall page. Each page is checked twice for errors, then the whole lot is stiched together and submited to PG to be avaliable to any/everyone.
The thing is, DP needs as many people as possible to proof read pages. All you get out of it is the knowlage that you are helping out other people, but for me, that's enough. And you put in as much or as little work as you want, (it takes about 5-10 mins per page), some people do several pages a day, I do about 2-3 a week.
If you've not heard of Project Gutenberg then you're missing out on free copies of the greatest works in the English language. If you've not heard of Distributed Proofreading then you're missing out on the chance to add to them.
(has anyone else noticed how my tone of voice changes when I write about different stuff? Weird huh?)