The 2014 schedule is filling up. The following is a short summary of upcoming Book Sprints run by our fabulous team of facilitators:
BS4ICTResearch March 24, Berlin, Germany
In collaboration with UrbanIxD: Designing Human Interactions in the Networked City, a Coordination Action project funded by the European Commission under FP7 Future and Emerging Technologies (FET Open).
World Bank April 7, Bogota, Columbia
A Book Sprint for the World Bank, details coming soon.
BS4ICTResearch April 24, Sardinia
Seven Convergent Science Network members will participate in Book Sprint to produce a piece with the preliminary title: History and Fundamental principles of biomimetic robotics and neuromorphic engineering. The event will take place in a hotel on the beautiful Capo Caccia peninsula to the west of Alghero on Sardinia.
OpenLabs May 5, Coventry, UK
Social Innovation Lab are holding a Book Sprint organised by PHD student Hendrik Tiesinga we are facilitating a Book Sprint to produce an accessible, widely distributed and read, open-source co-created book on social innovation labs. The book will describe the story of many open innovation labs from around the world and a particular long-term social innovation process within it. The goal is to go beyond the ‘hype’ and learn together the real potential is of social labs.
BS4ICTResearch May 5, Nice, France
Details to be announced soon.
TimesUp May 26, Linz, Austria
Open Textbooks June 9, Vancouver, Canada
Production of a 1st year Geography textbook. More details coming soon.
UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) has a number of Electoral Support Projects in the Arab region and one of the many things they are doing is to produce a tri-lingual lexicon of electoral terminology in Arabic, English and French. Its primary focus is to provide definitions of 500 or so terms in Modern Standard Arabic Arabic and at the same time, reflecting the differences in local language use around the region. There are currently 8 target Arab nations participating in the project each of which have their own local expressions for many terms. The English and French provide a second language of reference.
The project Adam Hyde (founder of Book Sprints) is involved in the first regional edition. An initial project produced a bi-lingual lexicon in Tunisia two years ago. It was created using microsoft word and desktop publishing softwares. The main problem that arose using this toolchain was that it was an unwieldy and linear production ‘workflow’ where tracking and tracing changes in multiple documents (operated on my multiple contributors and translators) became a huge burden for the project. In addition, many terms had to be updated in the desktop publishing environment. Add to that right to left character sets mixed with left to right character sets and you have yourself a serious headache.
So for this new more ambitious project, Adam, together with our developer Juan Carlos Gutiérrez Barquero, built a web based software (free software which will soon have its own site etc) using HTML as the base file format and using various ‘modern technologies’ (sockets, nodeJS, BookJS and contenteditable etc for those that are interested) to enable concurrent additions, comments and editing of translations by the team of 12+ or so involved (spread across many countries) in realtime. The output of the lexicon can also be tested at anytime using tools to convert the HTML to book formatted PDF (and EPUB) at a click of a button.
The software was iteratively built as the project progressed. I would say that it is not elegant but it does do the job. It will also improve over time.
While this is not the core work of Book Sprints it is an interesting example of collaborative book production over the web in a reasonably treacherous environment (character sets, low bandwidth access, concurrent edits etc) but the result (it will be published in April) is that the work is progressing much faster than the previous tedious MS Word, email, and DTP combo. Feedback from project co-ordinators can’t believe the efficiency gains and the burden that has been lifted from their shoulders. In fact, put simply, the project manager told me it would have been next to impossible to do this without the collaborative approach. The participants in the process are loving the interactive aspect of us because we also built a discussion space where they can exchange ideas and double check meanings.
Ars Electronica have nominated Adam Hyde for the Visionary Pioneer Award for his work in Book Sprints and collaborative knowledge production.
“Founder and pioneer of new collaborative knowledge production methods including the Book Sprint (0 to book in 5 days). Developed first end to end online book production software, founder FLOSS Manuals, designer of innovative collaborative knowledge production platforms for the Public Library of Science, United Nations and others. http://www.booksprints.net”
The good folks of the FoCAS (Fundamentals of Collective Adaptive Systems) wrote in the research newsletter about the Book Sprint we facilitated for them late last year 2013). Its a great article…click on the below to read.
To get the newsletter go here (http://focas.eu/newsletter-issue-two/). To get the book go here (http://focas.eu/adaptive-collective-systems-book/).
MINING CONTRACTS: HOW TO READ AND UNDERSTAND THEM
2.00pm – 3.00pm, Wednesday, February 5, 2014, Mining Indaba
Room 1.63 Cape Town International Convention Center
Learn about a new resource on mining contracts -hot off the press. Fourteen experts have just produced the world’s most comprehensive book on mining contracts for lay readers in just five days using a collaborative writing technique known as a “Book Sprint.” Mining Contracts: how to read and understand them is a user-friendly guide to help policy makers, civil society, citizens, and the media understand the often complex and opaque terms of mining contracts.
The book is available for download but free copies will be available at this event, including extras for colleagues and home offices.
The book explains in layman’s terms the principal features of a contract, compares different approaches to key issues, and supplies the context and background necessary for non-specialists to understand how contracts are negotiated and what they say. Its two dozen chapters address issues such as how contracts interact with laws and treaties, how fiscal tools work and interact, how contracts can protect the environment and community rights, and how to avoid and manage disputes, along with many other topics.
Presenters include: Johnny West, Founder of Open Oil, Rob Pitman of Revenue Watch Institute and Michael Jarvis of the World Bank Institute.
As the first snow of the year was falling in Berlin this week, the FRAFOS team gathered indoors for a 3 day Book Sprint in order to write a manual for their product ABC SBC, a scalable session border controller for VoIP service providers. While FRAFOS had some documentation before, it was not nearly comprehensive which put a large burden on their customer support colleagues. As a secondary goal, the FRAFOS team wanted to improve their own understanding of the scope of the software so as to develop a vision for future development.
The contributors were supported by one target reader from Sipwise, one of FRAFOS’ main customers, three gourmet chefs, and a designer. This Book Sprint was facilitated by Barbara Rühling.
Early morning concepting session
On the first day, the scope and the structure of the book were outlined, and then we started writing and went on until midnight. So by the second day, we had 25,000 words written and already done some reviewing.
Late night writing session
We kept going through several reviewing cycles until day three, while filling the gaps in the content, improving the overall structure of the book, and finally writing an introduction that serves as a guide on how to use and read the book. At the evening of day 3, the ABC SBC Handbook with 196 pages, 35,000 words and numerous illustrations was completed with a cover design.
ABC SBC Handbook cover
More photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/101584348@N06/with/12114637453/
Understanding Mining Contracts book released today. The book was produced during a 5 day Book Sprint in Baltimore last week.
More information here:
“Drawing from several of the contracts on ResourceContracts.org, “Mining Contracts: How to Read and Understand Them” is a new book created to highlight strong contract clauses and explore how others could be improved. It goes beyond legal considerations to explore the policy questions and company interests underlying contract provisions—issues that are crucial for understanding and negotiating contracts, and for monitoring their enforcement.
The book was written in just five days by a group of 14 experts convened on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, USA. Organized by the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP), OpenOil, the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment (VCC), and Revenue Watch Institute-Natural Resource Charter (RWI-NRC), this project is a collective, collaborative effort of the individual contributors, made using the “book sprint” technique.”
The Understanding Mining Contracts Book Sprint is underway. 17 people (15 contributors and 2 from Book Sprints) are gathered in Baltimore to write a follow up to Understanding Petroleum Contracts written in a Book Sprint in 2012 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/101584348@N06/sets/72157635459748355/). We have mining engineers, Ministers from Mongolia and Liberia, contract negotiators, lawyers, NGO watch dogs and the ever important target readers hunkered down in Kent Manor while the snow and geese around us decide if they want to stay.
Working with a view
At day 3 we have written 50,000 words and there have been a few all nighters by some of the more experienced hands. Vigorous discussion and debate is the substance of the day with much of it making its way into the book but from here on in it is mainly review and restructuring. We have also assembled a small group to start at the top and work their way through the entire book rewriting much of it from the position of the target reader.
While the sections of the book are being brought to an end on day 4, the group is working through several review circles, illustrations are being designed, and the discussions continue late into the night.
Photos can be found at the following link and updates to follow: http://www.flickr.com/photos/101584348@N06/
We have been working hard in the back rooms of Book Sprints. It has been productive times and we will soon try out our new platform built for accelerated and collaborative book production. Code named ‘PubSweet’ the platform is still in a raw state but quite possibly ready for its first trial. Stay tuned…