What better place to start than at the beginning? As my regular readers know, my publisher, Crown, and I have decided to publish reader comments on some selected material from my upcoming Crowdsourcing Book. Here's a snippet from last week's post with additional details:
My publisher—Crown Books—has given me the official green light to excerpt some choice selections from my book for your critical review. The most salient, witty or astute remarks will be published as an appendix in the final chapter of the book. I was inspired, in part, by what Clive Thompson did in his Wiredmag piece on Radical Transparency last April. He blogged the article before it was published, and ran the best comments he received in the margins. I was pretty impressed—but hardly surprised—by the thoughtfulness of the comments. The resulting piece created more of a dialogue than the monologue in which magazine writers generally traffic. The mechanics of storytelling, and the exigencies of print publishing, require that we smooth the corners—reduce complexities and nuances. What Clive did, and what I hope to do as well, is bring those sharp corners, the paradoxes and contradictions and exceptions, back into the final product.
In other words, I'm soliciting constructive criticism. For the most part, I'll be excerpting the more analytical, expository bits. The places in which I make arguments to which some, perhaps many, will take exception. At least I hope that's the case. Today's a bit more of a lark: A story.
But first some background. Chapter 1, an Introduction, essentially takes the reader through the basic concept of crowdsourcing and participatory culture, and lays out the structure of the book. Here's this from the Intro:
The book is laid out into three sections, each roughly corresponding to themes of past, present and future. The purpose of the first section of the book is to show how four seemingly unrelated developments created conditions that made a new form of economic production not only possible but inevitable. Chapter Two will focus on how the dramatic rise in education levels coupled with increased leisure time and increased access to the Internet to create a culture of amateurism. Chapter Three will show how the open source software movement provided an intellectual framework, ideology and practical model for crowdsourcing. Chapter Four will examine how the tools of production in fields ranging from architecture to design to science and photography became accessible to the masses. Then chapter four will look at how the Internet gathered these once isolated individuals into communities that self-organize into workforces capable of efficiently allocating tasks to the appropriate members of the community.
That should prime the pump for your reading. After the jump find the start of Chapter 2: The Rise of the Amateur.