We did it!
It took 5 days, no pre-coordination, we didn’t know each other in advance, we don’t necessarily agree on a lot of things, but we wrote a book together – more than 30,000 words written, edited, redited. On Monday it will be sent to the printer and that’s it. Kind of…Well the book is open ended, the first release will be printed next week but anyone can go and add to the book or edit the current version.
The book (PDF & ePub versions to follow soon) turned out way way way more successful than I expected, but maybe it’s only because I didn’t get enough sleep. We covered a lot of ground, many of our chapters are skeptical others are very hopeful. Some of the collaborations mentioned in the book refer to examples as new as last week (Haiti), some are very personal, some are just hilarious.
7 things this book is not:
- It is not an exhaustive survey of any type or any aspect of collaboration
- It is not consistent in its tone and writing style
- It is not devoid of repetitions or conceptual holes
- It is not really an art book
- It is not really a cultural theory book
- It is not really a technology book
- It is not bad at all
The 6 of us have all came to this collaboration with a pretty explicit Free Culture / Free and Open Source Software bias and it shows. As I tweeted earlier:
Subtext: The future is all about Free Software, now that we’ve established that, let’s discuss it some more… #tm10 #booksprint
We talk a lot about Free Software, it is probably our #1 example of the future of collaboration. There are many new inspiring collaboration examples we ignored, or were not really equipped to talk about. This bias is built in to the choice of authors, but it was productive in its own right. The perspective of writing though is not really techi it is much more social, so don’t feel like you need to run Linux to get it.
What we didn’t get to write about (this list is actually a chapter in the book):
- Crowdsourcing & Mechanical Turk
- Internal collaboration in for-profit businesses
- Relative maintenance efforts of collaborative and free culture projects
- FLOSS zealotry and License facism and Free Culture as an atheistic faith
- Free Culture posturing, and not walking the talk
- Open Source and design
- Scaling collaborations
- Failure (it was not an option)
- The cost of failure
- Tolerance of errors
- The pain of confronting ideologies
- How to collaborate with people you don’t agree with
And more… but that’s what makes this book an open invitation to collaborate. I intend to write the Open Source Design chapter. If you are following my blog, or have ever taken one of my classes, you know I have it all in my head, just not in writing. Would love to get it out there.
This is the final list of chapters we did get in there:
- Background Concepts
- What is collaboration anyway?
- Edge Cases
Hope you enjoy reading it, editing it, sending it to your print on demand service of choice.
This was one of the most inspiring weeks of my life. Thank you Adam, Mike, Alan, Marta, Michael, Aco, the other writers who contributed in person or by proxy. A very special big thank you to Steve Kovatz the director of Transmediale who made sure this things happens and invested so much trust in us. Judging by the bottles of wine he kept sending it seems he was pretty happy with how things were going.
Now after 5 days of snow and mist the sun came out over Berlin. Now we can rest.