For several months now – I’ve been meaning to add a post regarding a few books I’ve recently read.

Crowdsourcing: How the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business by Jeff Howe

picture-31 Jeff Howe coined the term ‘crowd sourcing’ in a Wired article in 2006 – he then went on to expand his theory into this book.  Crowdsourcing sets out the method by which the ‘power of the many can be harnessed together on the internet to build and to innovate’. Howe does a good job of explaining how all this has been made possible by technological advancement, mixed with social and economic change. Throughout many examples he illustrates how crowdsourcing is becoming and will become ever more present in our daily lives, whether we realize it or not.

It’s a good easy read, and if you are a Mozillian – much of this will seem like second nature too you, but its still worth a read (and the examples outside of software are interesting).

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff

picture-6This was more of a typical business book, but gave more than I expected. The style of the book was written to the business manager trying to make sense of our brave new world e.g. think of a corporate company trying to get with the 21st century — Facebook, Web 2.0, Flickr, sharing content etc. It was amusing to read at times and the authors from Forrester Research had certainly done their homework. At times, I have to admit, it was a little cringe worthy; but on the whole I was delighted to see a book written to help businesses get to grips and think carefully about the new path of the social web. Having more people understand the freedom of sharing content and the power of collaboration – can only be a good thing. Its something open source has known all about for a very long time. There’s not a lot of point reading this to glean more about how to work in this environment if you are already working in open source, however, if you want to get a taste how the business world views what we live and breathe every day, then it has some pretty interesting tidbits.

The Lego Group example on “how to energize an existing community”, Pages 145-147) made great reading.

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