Archive for August, 2010

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

The 2nd edition of Collaborative Futures is now available, and the book has its own site and mailing list–there will be future editions, and you can help write them.

I did a series of posts (also see one on the Creative Commons blog) on the book sprint that produced the 1st edition. The 1st edition a highly successful experiment, but unpolished. The 2nd edition benefited from contributions by all of the 1st edition’s main collaborators, successfully incorporated new collaborators, and is far more polished. Also see I think the whole team is justifiably proud of the result. Please check it out and subject to harsh criticism, help with the next edition, or both.

You can also republish verbatim, translated, format-shifted, or modified versions, or incorporate into your own materials (e.g., for a class)–the book and all related assets are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license — the same as Wikipedia. I don’t think we took advantage of this by incorporating any content from Wikipedia, but as I’m writing this it occurs to me that it would be fairly simple to create a supplement for the book mostly or even entirely consisting of a collection of relevant Wikipedia articles — see examples of such books created using PediaPress; another approach would be to add a feature to Booki (the software used to create Collaborative Futures) to facilitate importing chapters from Wikipedia.

Here’s a copy of my testimonial currently on the Booki site:

I was involved in the Collaborative Futures book sprint, the first book written using Booki, and the first FLOSS Manuals project that isn’t software documentation. I was amazed by the results materially and socially, and even more so by the just completed 2nd edition of Collaborative Futures, which successfully incorporated several new contributors and benefited from new Booki features.

I am inspired by the potential for book sprints and the Booki software to expand the scope of collaborative production in a wide variety of contexts, especially education. Booki is an exciting new innovative platform that is bringing book production online and is an important new form of free culture / free knowledge production. Platforms that expand the categories of works that can be radically improved through free collaboration (beyond software and encyclopedias) are absolutely essential to building a good future. I enthusiastically endorse Booki and encourage all to use and support it.