As you’ve probably read already, I am writing this book in a participatory manner, which means if you’re interested in helping, I’d love to have you join me! In the fifteen month period from January 2019 to May 2020, when the book is going through it’s formative period, there will be several different ways you can be part of the process.
Social Media Collaborators. The lowest barrier to entry is probably interacting with me and the book on social media and the blog. I use Twitter as a sounding board often. I also use the blog to test ideas and work out issues I’m trying to resolve. As things appear in your feed, feel free to engage.
Collaborators. I will write the plans, outlines, and multiple drafts in Google Drive that are available for review, edits, and comments from anyone who feels led to contribute. This can be as big or little a task as you choose. It will require going to the Google Drive directory and commenting on documents in there.
Invited Critical Friends. I will also solicit a cadre of critical friends who are professionals in the field to provide feedback on particular chapters and a few will get an entire draft. If you get an email from me asking if you’re free talk on the phone sometime soon, be warned… This will be a big ask, which is why I’m saving it for people I feel comfortable imposing on.
Copy editors. When the book has progressed far enough, I will also invite people to sign up to copy edit sections of the final draft. This process will involve downloading sections of the book as Word docs, editing them in Microsoft Word, and reuploading them. Each section will go through two copy editors for redundancy. This will be also be a big ask, for which I will be specifically asking only people with editorial expertise to volunteer.
I’ve gotten feedback from several folks that copyediting is task best left to a paid professional and not something to leave to volunteers. I’ve also had copy editors volunteer their services when the time comes. We’ll see where we are when we get to that point.
There will doubtless be other tasks later on down the line: artwork and graphic design, copywriting, etc… I’ll save working on those opportunities until there’s something more book-like.
One of the most exciting parts of the process for me is the certain knowledge that I’ll be surprised, challenged, and questioned by the people who join in to help make this book. I could do this on my own, but I’d rather do it with you all. As I wrote in my CODE|WORDS essay, The Virtues of Promiscuity, “For me, being promiscuous means spending more effort on creating and spreading, and less on trying to control access.” And this book feels like the natural demonstration of the argument I made there.
I also want very much to put into practice Seth Godin’s advice for the quickest way to get things done and make change.
Not the easiest, but the quickest:
Don’t demand authority.
Eagerly take responsibility.
Relentlessly give credit.
In order to do that, I’d love know who you are. If you’re interested, please fill out the four question collaborator form here. It’s just so I can track who said what, and thank you appropriately when this is all over, so I can track and credit you appropriately.
Have I left out any kind of role you might be interested in taking on? Let me know!