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Web app turns social network members into authors

The newly launched LiveBook community book-writing application lets Facebook and Bebo members view an evolving manuscript, propose the next sentence, or vote on a pending next sentence.

The book's opening line is: "Helen has just registered on Facebook."

Sentence two, if it gets enough votes by Facebook users, would be: "Friends have been telling her for a long time to do this, but for some reason she had continually postponed this moment. Why? She could not answer this question exactly."

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The rest is up to online wordsmiths who choose to install a community book-writing application called LiveBook, launched on Tuesday by both Facebook and the Bebo social network.

In a sort of Exquisite Corpse game for the Web 2.0 set, LiveBook, for now anyway, involves two books: the aforementioned story about Helen, in progress by Facebook members; and a totally separate story Bebo users are writing about a fictitious newly joined member, Brian.

Users who install the LiveBook application can view the evolving manuscript, propose the next sentence, and/or vote on a pending next sentence. The first sentence to collect 10 votes will be entered into the book.

LiveBook claims it's the first known "attempt to give writing a book completely over to the will of a free community of social networks."

I'm particularly interested to see what happens to Helen, who for now anyway, has a lot in common with me...I had to register to Facebook for the first time to check out the app. I might propose this next sentence: "Now she is completely buried in friend-related e-mails and can't get any of her work done."