25 Jun, 2010 – 9 comments

let’s write a book together

I’m using Kickstarter, right now, to fund writing a book. And if you support the project, you get a voice in how the book is created, distributed, and sold.

Since 1776, when Adam Smith divorced commerce from culture in The Wealth of Nations, the corporation has operated largely outside of society, motivated only by its need to exist and profit. In business schools and boardrooms, people have been trained to separate commercial exchanges from social exchanges; even as this ignored reality and often harmed profits. But of course, now we have social media and every brand from BP to Charmin’s wants to be your friend on Facebook, interrupt your followers on Twitter, and crown you on Foursquare. Brands and marketers have a sense that social media are an opening to culture, but a hunger for simple solutions too often means blunt force gimmicks, aimless executions, and an understanding of value that’s still based on media placements.

Let’s help brands and marketers better understand how to court and support existing communities, crowds, and networks; that each is different and that each possesses people seeking unique interests.

Let’s prove to brands that there’s far more value in earning, feeding, and sustaining their own communities, crowds, and networks than a few more repeat purchases.

Let’s prove what a farce it is to measure that value in terms of media impressions.

Let’s set the record straight, there is no free user generated content and there is no magical viral answer to reintroducing the corporation to culture.

Ultimately, let’s teach brands to better structure organizations, create products, distribute meanings, and make money – starting here with a radically new way to publish.

Chapter One will be entitled, “How This Book Came to Be, aka The Network Giveth,” and it will be the story of how and why you supported the project. And if you do in fact support the project, every other chapter will have your fingerprint on it, too.

How to get started:

  1. Visit the Kickstarter page and fund the project (for as little as $2)
  2. Write a blog post, a tweet, or an email telling your friends and followers why you did it (here’s why Heather funded the project)
  3. I’m currently finishing a full outline of the book, along with a list of people/companies to interview for various topics – use the comments to share names and articles I should consider

Thank you for even considering supporting the project. I’ll be honest and say that I hope we can exceed the goal for funding because it will mean that I can dedicate more time, attention, and travel to the research, writing, editing, and publishing of the book – and ultimately, so that the book will be as good as it deserves to be; as good as you deserve for supporting it.

And rest assured, the book will not be comprised of republished blog posts. I’m excited to go so much deeper and challenge my own thinking in the long form of a book. And I hope to speak to a wide range of voices on the subjects in the book to give it a much broader perspective than my own. As supporters of the project, your duty is to hold to me all of the above.

Visit the Kickstarter project page now.

And please consider sharing the link to this post in a tweet or blog post, too.

Thank you so much and thank you to the 30+ people that have already contributed to the project at the time this post was written.