Just got my copy of Anderson's The Long Tail and Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds. There's just no end of reading and research for this new field of Web 2.0 and that is what makes it exciting. Check out my reading list so far.
I have already read through about 70 pages of Anderson's book in one sitting at the bookstore; it is just that easy to read. The ideas so far seem focused primarily on mass retail opportunities like the music, movie, book, etc. industries, rather than specialized ones like our software industry. For example, there are thousands of book titles, hundreds of genre's and a long history of specialization. Software on the other hand tends to be generic one-size or a-few-sizes-fits all. Most people don't expect a software vendor to carry thousands of different/specialized offerings (although the game software market comes close). I guess I'll have to read further on how it can apply.
Community and social computing
with Tags: books X
I'm told our SOA Compass book ( Barnes&Noble , Amazon)has been translated into Korean and will soon be available, withJapanese and Russian versions down the line. Now, I can pontificate inlanguages I don't understand. :) [My Japanese is too rudimentaryto read this level of text] Nonetheless, I'm going to get a hold of acopy just for keeps. It does well still I believe, but I only get realdata twice a year, and not again until October.
The funny thing is that the five authors (Norbert, Marc, Sanjay, Keithand myself) have yet to still get together in a single face-to-facemeeting. We all live in different parts of the world and we justhaven't had the chance to find a common event we can all go to. Isn'tglobally distributed collaboration fun?
PS: Also check out other IBM Press books and the latest addition to the developerWorks line under it, Visual Modeling with IBM Rational Software Architect and UML, by Jim Palistrant and Terry Quatrani.
Okay, I try to avoid being the braggart but I have to say that this week our SOA Compass book that I co-authored with four other engineers from IBM is today's #1 in all computer books on the Barnes & Noble's site, amusingly enough even ahead of Lou Gerstner's Who says elephants can't dance?.
This is only for today and only on Barnes & Nobles rather than Bookscan or the NY Times list of course, but it put a smile on my face. After years of writing, this is about as good as it has gotten. This is a good day for developerWorks Books.
Amusingly enough, we are also #24 amongst all fiction and non-fiction books right after Stephen King's latest book Cell and ahead of other books I admire like Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point, Larry Bossidy's Execution: The discipline of getting things done and even Dan Brown's paperback version of Angels and Demons.
Okay, it's still not yet the top ten of all books alongside Friedman's The World is Flat, or Steven Levitt's Freakanomics.
Of course, all such success is fleeting.[Read More]
I'm not sure if you've seen this meme but I've come across it in several books both about online and offline communities:
Interactions in communities -->
Creates Understanding --------->
Develops Trust ----------------->
Allows Exploration & Entreprenuership ->
Sets stage for Innovation
The most recent place I saw this meme again, in a slightly varied form was near the last chapters of The World is Flat (ok, maybe I make references to this too often these days :)
Now these are "grand" notions that often follow in a sequence like this above. You need to have one stage happening before you can really reach the next stage. Thus you don't really jump ahead and ask "How do we innovate?" but need to ask "What are we doing to set up an environment such that innovation can happen?"
It's important to realize that the arrows in the diagram above are not trivial. In other words, when you have one stage, you need to do something to progress it to the next stage. That something could take a whole lot of effort. But in terms of managed innovation, it gives points where you can measure how your population is doing and how you can recognize if you've reach that stage.
There are many books out there describing how to innovate and get others to innovate, and I certainly have not read nearly enough of them. I still wonder if some of them consider going through that meme sequence above.
The somethings are also where the opportunities lie. Many innovation and leadership management trends have come and gone, and still many exist in parallel. I'm no certified expert at it and there are likely some really good sources out there too. (Okay, maybe people like Steven Covey)
Right now, I'm just trying to develop an idea for the early stages of this meme, those focused on the developing the community. Hopefully more smart people will come along to explain what to do next.
The rise of Web 2.0 brings a new level of collaboration into the mindsets of the audience. Ideas which were previously taboo, are now actually being considered.
For example, the value of a book is traditionally considered to be in having access to the content of the book itself. For book publishers, this model means: get one or more authors, work on a book, then print and publish the thing, and distribute to bookstores where customers can buy them.
Usually, the ability a person has to examine the contents of the book is usually limited in time (enough time to read some of the book in a store), in content (having access to some portion of the content they can review), or based on the opinion of others.
While not the first, Robert Scoble helped change views while working on his book as a blog, by giving people access to its content while it is being developed online.
This idea is close to my heart and went into the reasoning behind why we needed the developerWorks Books series, and why I helped to start that as part of IBM Press. Somewhere in the following I think is the future of how books can be developed in something that benefits most parties.
It's similar to, although not exactly the same, as "open sourcing" the book since the philosophy of open source does not preclude selling the product. However, if you have access to the contents of the book for free, why would you buy it.
This puts traditional print publishers in a dilemma. Their business is based on selling the product, not giving it away online and hope someone still buys a copy.
To me, both ways seem a little extreme.
Developing a book takes a lot of time and effort and in some topics, by the time you finish writing, a lot may have changed. My guess is that most authors want not only the noteriety but hopefully would also like to get paid from the knowledge they put down. Call me a capitalist, but giving away a year or two of my life to write a book that may become outdated deserves some reward beyond the satisfaction that you've tried to impart some wisdom to the world.
In the fast changing online world, it makes a lot of sense to do some grass-roots promotion of the book by talking about the subject or showing people some of what you have been working on. This is in hopes that later, when you are done writing and editing, people will want to buy the finished product.
Therefore, I think there's a use-case somewhere in between. I say a use-case because I think this is something people will want to do online.
E.g., provide a group of authors with a tool for them to put together a document (say a Wiki), that they can all edit. Develop the outline, and start fleshing out some of the chapters and sections. Then introduce processes between the authors and an editor where they can bring in the editorial process. Then give access to a select audience or even a wide audience to some of the content so you can get some feedback and peer review. Finally, give access to the content and some knowledge about what others think of the book in progress to the book marketing group so they know what it is about and how its doing.
Thus, this package is a specific use-case for book development that involves an online tool for document development, perhaps another tool for discussion, access control to select or public audiences to portions of the content that you choose, ways to measure opinions and traffic to the publicly available/reviewable sections, and then finally a way to transfer the developed content into a format suitable for publishing/printing/distribution.
It involves giving away part of the book for free so that you get a drumbeat going as well as some feedback on coverage. In exchange, you get a better understanding of how the market may receive the work before it is even complete.
The step beyond is where it gets real interesting.
There's no real end to the book, if people are really interested. You could continue working on developing the content, adding new material, and exposing new material to others. You continue to build on a book without having to build a huge business case for a new book or a new edition, unless there really needs to be one.
Paul Dreyfus from our team is helping to make the dW series of books become real and there should be some interesting news coming out this year.
This idea above is so far just my own brainstorming. I doubt it is unique and probably already in force somewhere. It requires the expertise, experience and cooperation of a book publisher, an online publisher, and authors daring enough to try it out. From a Web 2.0 perspective, I think it makes for an interesting approach to team and even community driven content, and brings remixing to a whole new level (between print and online media).
I've finally seen my new book on a physical book shelf at an actual bookstore. The Service-Oriented Architecture Compass is a project that I started working on as part of a team with four other authors, all senior architects. It took a long time to get this book off the ground simply because SOA is such a wide-ranging topic at IBM. There are products and projects that spread across our entire family of middleware products. Needless to say a lot of people were interested in the work and I'm happy to say we got a lot of support putting this book together.
This is also the first book in the developerWorks series of IBM Press which I helped to conceive. This partnership with the Pearson group of publishers (Prentice-Hall, Addison-Wesley, Penguin, Pearson Education, etc.) aims to produce the high-quality content of developerWorks into an even more in-depth format beyond our articles and tutorials for topics that need such broad coverage.
For SOA, even this one book is only the start. This book focus on the initial aspect of figuring out what an SOA project entails, how to explain that to your management, how to start planning your team, and the technical areas that you need to consider.
We're (across IBM) will be working on more books on the topic of SOA, so that we can get the full scope of what this technology really entails starting from the planning to business process modeling, services programming, services assembly, and eventual monitoring and administration.