I decided to relax by reading Shel Israel's latest overview for his publishing project, "Global Neighborhoods". Such globalization is a natural outcome of the TeleInterActive Lifestyle, extending
- business processes through offsourcing,
- corporate presence well beyond the old reach,
- the future of work ,
- flat world software development, and
- personal interactions to an extent only dreamed about by ham radio enthusiasts, pen-pal fans, inveterate world travelers, and people aggregators.
Below is a copy of Shel's post, or at least those paragraphs for which I have a direct comment. [Shel, if you find this beyond the bounds of "fair use" let me know, and I'll remove the copy.] BTW, Shel, have you thought about doing this in a wiki, [e.g. our OSBI Wiki] with only registered users allowed to edit or join the discussion section [to prevent spambots from overrunning the thing]?
I know it's the holiday break, but when you are between time with family and friends, please take a look at tell me what you think. You have already helped me to write a better book and I have not yet gotten to the actual book yet.
-- Shel Israel, Global Neighborhoods Overview v2.0, paragraph 2
The marinara has "drawn up", as my grandmothers would say, and been poured over the meats to simmer in the oven and become the ragu to serve with the ravioli tonight. So, I have some time to think about this.
--Lowering boundaries to almost everything
-- Shel Israel, Global Neighborhoods Overview v2.0, paragraph 4
The concept of the title, that of neighborhoods, is indeed global in nature. Will it translate well? If so, I think it's a great title. The subtitle, however, doesn't really add anything; it wouldn't give me any extra incentive to buy the book. Perhaps something like "the new common ground for personal and business interaction" might provide more insight into the book.
Global Neighborhoods examines the impact of social media and low-cost networks to business and culture. It examines the powerful changes that phenomena such as YouTube, MySpace, Bebo, SecondLife, Skype, text and multimedia blogging are having on business, politics and culture. It looks at other society-changing factors.
-- Shel Israel, Global Neighborhoods Overview v2.0, paragraph 5
It seems to me that the Web2.0 focus here might give the book a limited shelf-life, and turn off some publishers and business customers. The phenomena listed, as well as the ability of businesses to outsource everything from call centers to HR overseas, are both evolutionary developments from the economic revolutions brought about by the adoption of the Internet Protocols for communication. Don't get lost in the hype. What we're seeing now is the result of post-bubble settling and growth; of some extremely creative people taking IP communication to the next level.
Central to the book is the argument that the inernet is dramatically lowering the barriers to where people hang out. Geography is becoming much less relevant as people everywhere use the internet to find others who share common interests. We no longer live in just one neighborhood, but in many, based on our mix of interests, whether they be religion, sex, hummingbirds or macramé.
-- Shel Israel, Global Neighborhoods Overview v2.0, paragraph 6
This is true to an extent, and no doubt truer for the younger and more affluent across the world. But there are still many small and medium sized businesses that aren't taking advantage of the these new means of communication and commerce. The fraction of the six-and-a-half billion people in the world who use the Internet on a daily basis is growing, but still small. This is what makes the opportunities so great.
There are pros and cons to this central premise as well. One tenet of the TeleInterActive Lifestyle, is that the ability to work and play anywhere, anytime, not just where you live, has the potential to allow you to become more involved in your "real life" community; more than the typical commuter who treats the home neighborhood as a "bedroom community". However, there is also the potential for a person to become even more isolated from those physically nearby. One might overcome parochialism by joining global neighborhoods. One might ignore local issues to a long term detriment, too.
I've only met you a few times, Shel, but I would guess that you're planning to look at all sides of this. Say so up front. You might also want to say here whether you plan to show these sides as positive and negative, or dispassionately.
From the business perspective, this turns the marketplace upside down. The power is moving from large incumbent organizations into communities where the people who are the most generous have the greatest influence. Companies can try to start their own communities, but unless they open it to competitors, they have little more than factory towns. Likewise, in the global neighborhoods, people making decision based on the advice on trusted friends. Big budget ad and branding campaigns are rendered impotent in these new neighborhoods.
-- Shel Israel, Global Neighborhoods Overview v2.0, paragraph 7
Will you be citing statistics, such as market share lost by companies refusing to join the global conversation? Will you be sharing anecdotes of companies gaining global presence? How about small or family businesses being swamped by global corporations [Starbuck's and other foodie chains vs. the local café and family market]?
I bought a water-saving toilet based on the forums of a plumber in Washington; not global for me, but not someone I would have "met" without the Internet. I also used Consumers' Reports and other sources, but Terry Love's forum is what sold me with "real world" evidence.
I've always thought that advertising was overrated by companies. TiVo like DVRs haven't given us the ability to ignore ads - we've always done that. This technology has given us the ability to control when we pause the show to talk about it [in a chat room or IM or SMS or forum or blog or physically with those around us], or get a sandwich, or visit the head.
Much of Web2.0 is being built on Google's adsense, even though many people have learned to ignore sponsored links of any type. But these two "facts" are contradictory. If large campaigns are indeed rendered impotent, will you be discussing how business can leverage the conversation?
To understand where the marketplace is headed, Global Neighborhoods takes a long, in-depth look at the habits of today’s teens and young adults. It tours some of the Internet places where young people hang out. This is a genration who does not watch television,listen to the radio or read newspapers, yet seem to be amazingly well-informed. Young people are voting in larger numbers than in recent memory and that may explain why a flood of elected officials and political aspirants are leaping into the social media, particularly blogging. They are simply following the voters as they have historically done.
-- Shel Israel, Global Neighborhoods Overview v2.0, paragraph 8
Primarily, a business book, Global Neighborhood focuses at the intersection of technology and culture, showing how people with similar interests all over the world, speaking different languages can find what they share in common and it offers hope for people bypassing their own governments to make peace with each other.
-- Shel Israel, Global Neighborhoods Overview v2.0, paragraph 9
I understand that the youngsters of today are the markets of tomorrow, but paragraph 8, 10 and 11 seem disjointed from 9, almost as though they belong to two different books.
Alongside interviews with executives from numerous companies large and small, Global Neighborhoods examines a private community of Palestinian and Israel teenagers who discover how very much alike they are. It reports on Saudi kids using cell phone messaging to flirt while a stern chaperon looks on in blissful ignorance. It talks with a Scottish teenager who created a Japanese-language parody of the US TV Dating Game and ended up making friends with Japanese kids. It looks at the opportunities in virtual reality, not just for product placements, and virtual news conference, but in its success in engaging autistic students and potential for making history literally come to life.
-- Shel Israel, Global Neighborhoods Overview v2.0, paragraph 10
The book will look at some of the threats and dangers found for young people in social media, but it will dwell more on the hope for an emerging global society that is able to bypass marketing messages to learn the truth about products and services and perhaps--just perhaps, bypass governments to make peace with each other.
-- Shel Israel, Global Neighborhoods Overview v2.0, paragraph 11
By reading Global Neighborhoods, readers will understand how they need to recalibrate their existing businesses over the short-term future, why they have never had a better opportunity to start a successful global business from the comfort of their own homes. They will have a much clearer sense of the neighborhoods in which their children dwell and how those neighborhoods may contain some dangers, they overall pose greater hope and opportunity than perhaps any generation that has preceded it.
-- Shel Israel, Global Neighborhoods Overview v2.0, paragraph 12
This book fits into three market categories: Business, General Interest and Current Affairs very much like recent best-sellers such as The World is Flat, The Wisdom of Crowds, Freakonomics and Blink.
-- Shel Israel, Global Neighborhoods Overview v2.0, paragraph 13
Anyone in an established business trying to recalibrate strategy to survive fundamental marketplace changes will be interested in this book as well as business investors and entrepreneurs. Likewise parents, curious to see what their child’s world is likely to be like, will find this book valuable. Readers concerned with the impact of technology on world cultures will find this book useful and finally, people hoping the world might improve on any level if people can bypass large organizations and deal directly with each other will also find this book useful.
-- Shel Israel, Global Neighborhoods Overview v2.0, paragraph 14
Paragraphs 12, 13 and 14 talk about a target audience that is itself global: investors, entrepreneurs, executives, parents, teachers, revolutionaries, and anyone interested in current affairs and world cultural.
Will the book be primarily looking towards the future, or explaining what's happening now? Is this primarily a business book, or is your passion leading you elsewhere, Shel?
Will the impact of Nick Negroponte's One Laptop per Child, a.k.a the XO, or Intel's Classmate PC, and other philanthropic efforts to bridge the digital divide, accelerate the growth of global communities? Are not just markets, but the
the global superpowers about to be turned upside down; will India and China replace the U.S.A and EU? Will peace on earth and goodwill to all truly come about from these global neighborhoods, or a Matrix like isolation from the physical world?
The overview, as it now stands, looks like a prelude to a very interesting book to come. I think though, that as a sales tool for a publisher, some narrowing of topics and target may be needed.
I went through this exercise today to see if I still had things to say on the TeleInterActive Lifestyle. I haven't been blogging much here. But I see that I still have some strong feelings about this aspect of our social evolution. I hope that I didn't come across as too critical. I think that Shel's "Global Neighborhoods" will be a great effort, resulting in as fine a read as "Naked Conversations".
By JAdP on July 24th, 2006
The current self-publishing industry doesn't seem to be addressing the ills facing the publishing industry today, nor emulating traditional publishers' strengths, but, rather, seems to be targeted on producing wonderful-looking bound books for authors or special purposes ranging from photo-albums to corporate communications. This is what I've taken away from C|Net News' great overview from the New York Times on the various aspects of the self-publishing industry, Technology rewrites the book. I learned of this article via Joe Wikert in his post:The New York Times on Self-Publishing.
Joe Wikert writes about the challenges and short-falls of the traditional publishing industry, especially in regards to technical publications. We've written about our own
frustrations experiences [as I actually agree with the publishers that the time for this topic as a book is past - it wasn't a year ago, but it is now] in OSBI Book Status.
I don't get the impression that the self-publishing industry, in its current form, is addressing long time-to-market issues, relevancy, incremental publishing & updates, or the apparent need for multiple-format publishing and access through various means, from different locations at different times that we're seeing. The self-publishing industry also seems to abandoning the strengths of the traditional publishers, including editing and peer review.
Perhaps the answer to the technical book publishing woes lies in an integration of online publishing techniques with self-publishing. We're beginning to work on this through the use of blog, wiki and lens for our Open Source Business Intelligence research project. Would you, our readers, consider paying a subscription fee for premium content? Would anyone be interested in having the capability to have that content in multiple formats such as PDF, Motricity eBook and/or bound books? Would you pay a premium above the subscription price to do so? Should we start a new business based on the answers to these questions?
We've started to get answers to some of these questions. And maybe we should.