Writing an e-book about e-books for fun and no profit: Feb 1-14, 2012

Next Steps for Our e-Book

Next Steps for Our e-Book

by Sylvia Currie -
Number of replies: 0

We had a productive "e-book sprint" chat earlier today, mainly around the logistics of how to move forward with this project. Thanks for dropping in Hilda, Diana, Richard, Don, and Jo Ann. 

We started out by pointing out that we already have so much good material here in the SCoPE discussion, and there's no doubt we have a lot more to contribute. And we want this process to be as straightforward as possible and end up with something useful. Can we do that? Of course we can!

Then Richard highlighted some useful ways to think about this project and we had a good discussion around that. 

  1. It is an evergreen e-pub.
    This is very much in alignment with SCoPE activities -- the last thing we ever want is to feel like we're finished exploring a topic! So what we hope to achieve over the next 5 days is the first wave of a resource that we will return to again and again to edit and update. 
  2. We are engaging in a participatory writing exercise. 
    Participatory: This means we're all working in the same space. Everyone should feel comfortable making changes, adding new chapters, correcting errors, fine-tuning someone else's phrasing. Don't hesitate! We will always have the history to refer back to.  
    Writing: We are writing an e-book, but remember that ALL types of media are encouraged. Writing now takes on a whole new meaning; it doesn't have to be just text! 

Next Steps

We talked about tools to support this project and quickly came to the conclusion that Google Docs would be best way to get started, mainly because the majority of us are already familiar with that platform, but also there is little administrative overhead for managing accounts, etc. You just show up and start writing.

Hilda and Diana have taken on the task of curating, organizing, and formatting, and have already taken major steps in getting us off the ground! To get started Hilda used an interesting strategy:

  1. Over the past 10 days she has been annotating forum posts using Marginalia (installed here in SCoPE). Through this process she was able to identify emerging themes that could translate into chapter headings. 
  2. Then she brought it all into a Google Doc, and used a table to copy quotes, authors, links to media, etc.

In addition, Bev Ferrell has shared quite a gift -- an outline and fruits of her research so far

The work completed JUST TODAY is very impressive! 

So here are the places where this work will be taking shape:

Google Docs

  1. Rough, messy, but still organized 
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vQNAeXlhzMr7RwJInHQfywwizgzlJjWRAB6omcor5rM/edit
    This Google Doc is to organize chapters, pull relevant quotes from the SCoPE discussion, add links to media, keep track of authors, etc
  2. Clean, readable, and always a work in progress
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AZohACfMGf7V4EL8jjVppCBdUDGtKndwGhsozJQsstQ/edit

Note that a great feature in Google Docs is that you can comment on specific sections of a document, and also have an ongoing conversation using the comment stream. Use the comments button to also adjust notifications if you would like to receive comments by email. 

SCoPE

This seminar continues until Tuesday, February 14 but that doesn't mean we need to stop talking! :-) Of course you're always welcome to post updates and afterthoughts in the seminar after the scheduled end date. Also, we'll see how the comment tools in Google Docs serve us. We can always set up a special interest group in SCoPE -- more of a project space to carry on the discussion and organize our work. 

I'm sure I left out important bits of information so ask questions and fill in the blanks. By the end of this process we'll have developed an "e-book sprint methodology" to add to the mix!