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09/10/2006

Charles Leadbetter publishes latest book, We-Think, "web-first"

The "web first" editorial policy  put in place at most of the quality daily newspapers in the UK and has been a winner from the off, I understand. News on the website is fresher, it gets challenged by the online communities of interest focused on that topic area, extra information can be added, corrections noted, checked and made and other feedback can be taken  into account by the editor or journalist before the the story gets sent out on paper.

Now renowned management thinker Charles Leadbetter has published his entire new book, called We-Think, about collaboration culture, on a website and is inviting comments.

The paper book won't be published until next year, Mr Leadbetter explains:

As I was researching and writing We-think over the past eighteen months and more, it became increasingly evident that I could not write a book about collaborative creativity in a traditional way. My argument is that creativity is invariably collaborative and that opportunities for largely self-organising creative collaboration are going up the whole time. Seems odd then not to apply that thinking to the book itself.

That is why - with the full support of my publishers at Profile - I am releasing the book in draft form before its formal and physical publication, planned for summer 2007. Most of the first draft was made available in September 2006, with the final chapters following. I hope that by opening the book up to readers' comments before it hits the bookshops we can make it a better book. When you write a book you gets lots of comments from people after it is published, by which time it's too late to do too much.

But the point is not just to make We-think a better book. The point of the book is to provoke a conversation about the emerging opportunities for us to organise ourselves in ways that are more collaborative and creative. By releasing the text ahead of time we hope to start that conversation earlier.

This is in the fine tradition of books like The Long Tail which were written with an accompanying blog 

Thanks to Richard Sambrook for pointing to the project.

: : By the way, having been on a bit of a reading binge lately, can't help wish all books were published this way. The Search, Everything Bad is Good for You, Linked, My Trade, A Whole New Mind and The Long Tail itself have all been very informative and sometimes inspiring, and I want them lying around for reference. All the time - which isn't possible.

Wish you got a digital version of the text with a book when you bought it...

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» Management guru Charles Leadbeater's new web first book on collaboration culture from A PR Guru's Musings - Stuart Bruce
Management guru Charles Leadbeater has published a draft of his new book on the collaboration culture, calledWe-Think, on a website and asked for your comments. This is another great example of how the social interweb is enabling us to do [Read More]

» Management guru Charles Leadbeater's new web first book on collaboration culture from Let's talk business
Management guru Charles Leadbeater has published a draft of his new book on the collaboration culture, calledWe-Think, on a website and asked for your comments. This is another great example of how the social interweb is enabling us to do [Read More]

Comments

I agree about wanting a digital version as a companion for a book - not least so I can relocate helpful content without filling the hardcopy with sticky bits of paper. Although I'm still a print person when it comes to reading, I'm finding book shops less and less inspiring compared to recommendations from blogs, electronic sample chapters and links for both new and older titles. Book shops need to be more interactive - why can't I use terminals instore to find books and other information? Why aren't there real bookie people available for discussion and to make interesting recommendations? Let's have fewer racks of boring "best seller" books and more Long Tail variety available "in the back". Shops need to encourage us to relax and be seduced into a good read, help us quicky find what we want or surprise us with a quirky recommendation. I feel I get that so much better online - which is a great disappointment when I have a magnetic urge to enter a bookstore.

Yes, it's like so many things: the more used you get to dealing with your reading and writing online, with all the versatility and speed of that medium, the mroe lumpy anything offline seems...

I love the idea. We are truly in an age of collaboration. The Internet has changed everything, including how we write and read books and gather information. Looking forward to the collaborative book.

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