Concept, Write, Revise

We are in day 3 of the OpenStack Architecture Guide Book Sprint. This is the 3rd of 3 Book Sprints we have done for the foundation. It’s always good fun and a great honor to be working with such good spirited Open Source folk that know a tremendous amount about what they are doing. Sharing is the default here and everyone is learning a lot from each other.

Early in the Book Sprint Adam (found of Book Sprints) mapped out the general process of a Book Sprint. It roughly translates into the below (for a 5 day Book Sprint):

The general flow of a Book Sprint

The general flow of a Book Sprint

The above is a very rough representation and every Book Sprint is different of course. Still it captures something of the process.

Open Stack Book Sprint #3 Underway!

In Palo Alto California (Silicon Valley) right now a third Book Sprint for the Open Stack community is underway. We are running ahead full speed through the scoping and of the book, breaking it down into 7 sections. 3 groups will tackle the first 3 sections and then when done move onto the other areas. Adam Hyde facilitating with Faith Bosworth. Stay tuned for more information!

Open Stack Architecture Book Sprint underway!

Open Stack Architecture Book Sprint underway!

Report from Times Up Book Sprint

“One could elaborate on the “histories, presents, and possible futures” of textual artefacts and writing processes in general that the Book Sprint experience brought to mind. One might think of Kerouac’s “first thought, best thought” versus Flaubert’s monthlong polishing of a single sentence, or the Zen painter or poet’s ten-year silence before composing in a single instant a haiku or painting of a crab. Returning to Nietzsche’s Apollo and Dionysus, we might frame the experience in terms of a eucatastrophic feedback loop of informed ecstasy. But it has all been said and done elsewhere. And in any case it is, as they say, beyond the scope of this blog post.”

Full report here :

BC TextBook Book Sprint Underway

Free and easy to update university textbooks, available in multiple formats? They exist. We’re working on one right now. Book Sprint facilitator Barbara Rühling and trainee Faith Bosworth are in British Columbia, Canada, working on the production of a Geography textbook for first year students. The sprint is hosted by BC Campus Open Text Books project who are dedicated to breaking the traditional model of copyrighted textbooks which cost a lot of money for the average student and are quickly rendered out of date, by new editions.

BC TextBook Book Sprint

BC TextBook Book Sprint

Five subject-matter experts responded to an open call for writing the textbook. They are supported by two open education managers and instructional design experts from BC Campus, one illustrator, one programmer, and one librarian.

The first morning was spent mapping out the possible structure and content for the book and writing began swiftly after and continued during the following three days. Expect a text book that has a broad interpretation of geography, incorporating political, socio-economic and human elements and focuses on skills like map reading and making and data collection and provides exciting sounding activities for educators and learners to test out.

Map making

It was only possible for the five experts to cover such a vast range of subjects, each centered around unique case studies, because of the incredible support they received. The illustrator created one map after the other, and the two contributors from BC Campus checked the chapters for accuracy, readability, and their instructional design. A very important role, and a first experiment in a Book Sprint, was played by the librarian. Dedicated to the cause of open licenses, he researched countless images, maps, and other materials. With a few phone calls, he was even able to convince some of the copyright holders to change their licenses and to make their material available for the open textbook.

Read Open Text Books’ blog post about the first day.

More photos can be found here:

and here:

2nd Times Up Book Sprint

The second Book Sprint held by Times Up (Linz, Austria) was held in the first week of June, facilitated by Barbara Rühling. Eleven futurists gathered in a large Austrian ‘villa’ (mansion) on the banks of Lake Attersee to follow up on their symposium Data Ecologies 2014 held the week before.

Future-ish Book Sprinters

Future-ish Book Sprinters

In four days, they wrote a book entitled “Futurish” to make people curious to think about futures (in the plural). Critically questioning the ability to make predictions, the book rather asks “how can the field of futures help open up conceptual spaces between the “is” and the “otherwise”, the inevitable and the unthinkable?” The book presents projects and tools that allow to do just that in a playful way, using transmedia storytelling, experience design tools, and many others, even generating new ones as a result of the intense collaboration process.
Using poetic interventions and sarcastic drawings, the collaborators challenge their own assumptions made in the book.

Drawing from the book

Drawing from the book

More photos here

Book Sprints on French TV

The last Book Sprint as part of the Book Sprints for ICT Research project was held recently in Nice, France. We typically discourage interviews or other processes that will take focus away from the Book Sprint energy and focus. However in this instance we timed interviews during lunch and requested they be short. As a result a small news item appeared on French Tv and can be found online here:

The segment is mostly in French. Comments by facilitator Barbara Rühling and one other participant are in English.

2 Presentations on Book Sprints

The Digital Publishing Toolkit conference “Off the Press” was held in Rotterdam in the last week of May, 2104. Two presentations featured Book Sprints, the first was by Adam Hyde and touched on Book Sprints as a methodology within the context of producing artifacts. His argument “Books are Evil” reflects on collaborative processes as a critical practice that deconstructs copyright, ‘the book’, solitary authorship etc.

Off the Press – Adam Hyde: Books Are Evil from network cultures on Vimeo.

The second presentation focused on 2 Book Sprints held by V2. Michelle Kasprzak talks of one Book Sprint facilitated by Adam Hyde that was a very successful and pivotal event for the organisation. The second Book Sprint V2 undertook by themselves without a facilitator. Unsurprisingly Michelle comments on this second event as having mixed results and a book was not produced.

Off the Press – Michelle Kasprzak, _V2: The eBook as a Vehicle for Re-dissemination and Creation from network cultures on Vimeo.

Experimental Repo

We have just created a repo on github for some experimental work on a framework for collaborative knowledge production. There are two repositories as it happens, one is PubSweet which is a rough and ready simple tool for collaborative production of books. The second is PubSweet2 – a rewrite and looking towards a more modular future.

They are rough but functional. We are using them for experimenting with various ideas and also in use for some Book Sprints already. There is essentially a low-fi UI approach, but soon we hope to apply designs from Henrik van Leeuwen.

We wanted to get it more finished than it is before putting it out there but we are busy folks and it just started getting further and further away. So here it is. As is. It works but its rough. No apologies :) We thought its just best to get it out there regardless.

Open Source / Free Software licensed under Apache. Do with it as you will.