Wikibooks published and for sale on Amazon.
So I have two questions.
1. Is this old news, or is someone doing this publishing on the sly? (Either way, I like it.)
2. What books are essential reading for those interested in Wikipedia-as-a-phenomenon/free culture, and related ideas in that space?
So far I have thought of:
- Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig (I’m buying a copy now but I’d already read it on my palm thanks to the Creative Commons licensing :))
- Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky (to-read, so I’m not sure if it belongs here, but everyone seems to love Shirky)
- The Long Tail by Chris Anderson (almost finished reading it. it’s more business oriented and not exactly focused on Wikipedia but I find it pretty relevant)
Books I’m not sure about but suspect that they don’t offer significant insight:
- The Cult of the Amateur by Andrew Keen (haven’t read it, but nothing I’ve seen from Keen has convinced me that I should. I’m not opposed to strong critiques of Wikipedia, I just don’t think this is it)
- The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki
- Wikinomics by Taps Don
- Everything is Mischellaneous by David Weinberger
Hm, I thought there was more. What am I missing? If you’ve read any of the above books, are they worth reading or a waste of time?
I just wanted to mention that Axel Bruns’ latest book has a chapter on Wikipedia as an example of “web2.0” user-led content production (what he terms produsage, which is the focus for the whole book).
Maybe you’ve seen that book already, but I thought I would mention that in case you’re collecting for a research project. Bruns’ book is particularly academic in tone, unlike many of the books you’ve listed which I think are for a more general audience.
I should also give the disclaimer that I work with Axel, but I’m mentioning it for completeness – I’m not trying to sell more copies. :)
Zap me an email if you’re interested in more info…
Also: two thumbs up for getting the FSF-themed miniconf going at Linux.conf! :D
— adam muir · 2. October 2008, 13:23
Also, there are some books by wikipedians about Wikipedia coming up: How Wikipedia Works: And How You Can Be a Part of It by Phoebe Ayers, Charles Matthews and Ben Yates, and The Wikipedia Story by Andrew Lih.
— Tgr · 2. October 2008, 20:37
I had talked to a guy a while back who was talking about publishing books like this. I need to go back through my email records to see if I can get back in touch. I’m certainly very happy to see it, and it gives me hope that more of our books could end up in printed form eventually.
I wasn’t aware that any of these books had actually gone to print though, so it’s a nice surprise to see them here. I haven’t bought any of these, maybe I might have to invest the few dollars to see what the quality is like on them. I’ll have to post a note on Wikibooks to let the community (most of whom do not appear to be avid bloggers) about this col development.
— Andrew Whitworth · 2. October 2008, 23:20
Thanks for the info. “produsage” is a shocker term, but I will look out for his book. :)
Cathedral & the Bazaar is more about software development — or do you think it applies to Wikipedia too?
I am not sure what that “Wikiworld” one is about, I will have a look at it…
I think through Lulu for about $200 you can get an ISBN and publish something on Amazon, so while it’s not quite in the realm of the individual, it’s certainly much closer than it ever has been before.
If you buy one please blog about it so we can find out what it’s like. :)
— pfctdayelise · 4. October 2008, 09:52
Elsewhere on the web...
Commenting is closed for this article.