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Proof in the paging

Distributed Proofreaders is one of those cool things enabled by the Internet. Project Gutenberg has the problem that proofreading OCRed books is painfully time-consuming. So what do you do? You farm out the proofreading one page at a time.

It takes a few minutes to proofread a single page; you do five, and you’ve made a difference. Come back the next day and do five more. At the moment, Distributed Proofreaders has provided over 25% of Project Gutenberg’s 10,000 books. It’s neat. Plus I got to proof some James Branch Cabell — in fact, I just proofed the last page of The Eagle’s Shadow.

There are also teams, in the tradition of distributed processing projects. I set up Population: Too (misspelling intentional for obscure reasons), and anyone’s welcome to join. I’m fairly certain that with some steady work we could overcome both Poland and Team New Jersey, although Team Canada’s hundred thousand pages seems out of reach.


  1. Are the reasons for the misspelling in the Description field equally obscure?

  2. Nah, that’s just me being sloppy.

  3. Now I remember what irritated me about the statistics they keep. I enjoy doing hard pages a lot more than I enjoy doing easy pages, but all the system tracks is how many pages you do. Thus, the hour I spent cranking out pages from a great scan of a novel that got about 25 lines to the page counts for a lot more than the hour I spent wading through a single page of an Encyclopedia.

    There’s no good solution, but it bothers me enough that I need to whine about it if I’m going to continue working on the History of Rome Vol I.

  4. Heh, yeah. They could factor in a difficulty rating, which is what I’d do, but I’m weird.

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