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…
Those wonderful Aspiration folks are doing their annual Not-for-Profit Dev Summit in San Francisco and Book Sprints is going to be there! Adam Hyde will be present at the event having attended one 4 years ago and enjoyed it so much. The event will be held 18-20 November at Preservation Park in Oakland. If you have never been to an Aspiration event you are missing out and if you haven’t been to the Aspiration Dev Summit then you really must go. Highly recommended. Probably the best thing on the calendar. Ever.
The Book Sprints team is expanding! Due to the increased interest in Book Sprints the team is expanding to include a new business manager, a new facilitator and we have a new business – Book Sprints Limited.
René Post joins as the business manager. René has many years experience as an innovative and successful entrepreneur building businesses from the ground up. René has known about Book Sprints from the beginning having mentored Adam Hyde through the early stages of FLOSS Manuals in 2006/7. René is from the Netherlands and currently lives in Sweden.
Barbara Ruehling joins Book Sprints as a facilitator. Barbara is an anthropologist and has a rich background in facilitating in educational and cultural contexts. Barbara is fluent in English, Spanish and German which will extend the language base of the Book Sprints facilitation team. Barbara is born in Germany and currently lives in Berlin.
In addition Book Sprints Limited has been set up as a company in New Zealand. Founder Adam Hyde lives between Berlin and Whangarei Heads (New Zealand) and hence it was decided to establish the company in his home country. René and Adam are the company’s directors.
The Book Sprints team. From left to right : Adam Hyde, Barbara Ruehling, René Post. Picture taken in Malta Nov 6, 2013.
We are looking pretty busy for the first quarter of 2014 with Book Sprints coming up for a wide variety of organisations. If you are considering a Book Sprint then please be in touch sooner rather than later. We are building out our team to cope with the increased demand for Book Sprints but it always pays to get in early if you have some dates in mind…
The successful Book Sprints for ICT Research program was intended to be an experiment testing the applicability of Book Sprints in academic contexts. However the research project, funded by the European Commission, has been successful in producing two academic works in the first two trial events (Portugal and Malta) facilitated by Adam Hyde. This has exceeded our expectations and we are extremely happy with the output of the Book Sprints in this context as well as the growing body of research data we are collecting on the process.
Following this up there will be 2 more sprints in the second quarter of next year. One to be held in Sardinia off the coast of Italy and the second to be held just outside of Berlin. For more information please see the project home page:
FoCAS Book Sprint
The second Book Sprint in the Book Sprints for ICT Research series started in Malta. The participants are 5 scholars brought together by the FoCAS project (Fundamentals of Collective Adaptive Systems), one of them participating remotely.
On the first day, the group decided to write an inspirational book on collective adaptive systems for students that captures the diverse and interdisciplinary perspectives present, ranging from computational science, artificial intelligence, robotics, large systems design, and evolutionary computing to biology and philosophy. After going through a comprehensive conceptual session they paired up to outline the structure of the introduction on collectivity and adaptation. The content of the introduction was fleshed out by the evening of day one.
After breakfast of day two, the group then mapped out the contents of the first book section. They chose the title “Why bother?” and four provocative examples to answer why collective adaptive systems matter. The content of this chapter was finished by dinner. After dinner, we went into another conceptual session defining the next chapter they would like to write and settled on goal-oriented versus goalless systems.
On day three, writing on the second section began after breakfast and finished by lunchtime. In the meantime, the written chapters entered the reviewing process with an editor Sandra Sarala proofreading and the remote participant checking the content.
Day four went late into the night, and the book was finished by the afternoon of day five.
This Book Sprint is part of a series testing Book Sprints in the production of academic publications. It is facilitated by Adam Hyde and accompanied by researcher Rachel Baker.
More photos of the Book Sprint can be found here : http://www.flickr.com/photos/101584348@N06/sets/72157637303027375/
Safari Books Book Sprint go!
Safari Books Book Sprint was completed today in Boston. 10 of the top Safari Books crew came together to create documentation about their PubFactory platform. The result is the book “PubFactory: An Overview and Content Implementation Guide.” The Book Sprint was facilitated by Adam Hyde with assistance by trainee Barbara Rühling.
Safari Books Book Sprint team at work.
The first day we worked through the scope and structure of the documentation. It was a great day of discussions. We began writing the different sections in the afternoon of day one – by the end of day two, the group had written twenty thousand words. On day three and four, fleshing out these sections continued, while finished sections entered the review process.
Waiting for the final outcome.
Part of the group then proceeded to structure and write a format reference for the different formats in the PubFactory platform. Others prepared the corresponding screenshots and images. Throughout the process, the chapters were consistently checked for coherence and readability. On the fifth day, the format reference was polished up and a PDF version prepared. We finished the book on the fifth last day at 4:30pm sharp.
Thank you for a good Book Sprint!
Safari Books’ office in Boston.
More photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/101584348@N06/