Louis Gray today profiled an interesting startup yesterday at his personal blog, one called Emend. The concept is pretty simple – it’s crowd-sourced copy editing:

This evening, I got an odd alert from Twitter saying I had made an error with yesterday’s story about optimizing headlines. Amusingly, in that story about headlines, I had made a simple copy mistake, confusing “you” with “your”. The alert came from an application called “Emend”, which, since its start in November of last year, has suggested almost 70 edits Web-wide, regardless of their source.

[…]

Once logged in, to make “a new edit”, just enter the offending URL, show the original copy that needs to be changed, and offer a proposal. When you hit submit, the proposed edit is added to the service’s open items list and sent to their Twitter stream.

Here’s the problem with this service – it’s no less annoying than the grammar nazis that inevitably show up in the comments section of posts with less than stellar copy editing.

But remember that startup that won TC50 last year called Yammer? Their big claim to fame is that they made Yet Another Status Microblogging utility, but had the innovative idea to employ extortion as a business model – if you don’t want just anyone to hijack your company’s network, you hafta pay.

Emend ought to employ a similar model – if you don’t want the notices to go public, you can pay to have them not hit Twitter. There might even be a premium plan to allow for the copy edits to happen automatically.

Hey, I’m just spit-ballin’ here.  I know I’d pay at least some small amount of money for a crowd-sourced copy editor.