I’ve been looking at emerging publishing options. Future of the Book has several I’ll mention in a future post, but I thought I would point out that Yochai Benkler whose book: The Wealth of Networks : How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom has just recently been published has also made the book available via PDF download and in a Wiki. Here is his description for what he hopes will happen in the Wiki:
The basic idea is to make this Wiki a place where people who read the book can do at least four things. First, collaborate on writing a summary of the ideas and claims of the book, as an initial point of entry. Second, provide an easy platform through which to access underlying research materials: both those used in the bookâ€™s notes, and more importantly, resources that are useful for further research, refinement, and updating. Third, the Wiki should be a place where participants can describe, link to, and analyze examples of the phenomena the book describes. The purpose is not to â€œmake the caseâ€ for the book or find â€œgotchaâ€ counter examples. What we are trying to do is provide a real research tool, annotated bibliography, and platform for collaborative learning. Examples and counter-examples should be selected and described with that purpose in mind. Fourth, the Wiki is itself a learning platform about what is valuable in a learning platform. Through separate pages devoted to ideas and experiments of what can be done with an online book to make it a learning platform, we hope to expand the range of uses to which this Wiki can be available.
One has to register to see the changes, comments, etc. from other users which are substantial. It is an interesting model for scholarly discourse that includes but moves beyond traditional scholarly publishing.