The Business Blook as Beta Publishing

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Blook Looks

by Cheryl Hagedorn

Cheryl Hagedorn authors Blooking Central, which examines
published books to discover what makes for a blookable blog.


Business books that are based on blogs – “blooks” – are finally coming into their own.  There have already been monster successes, of course, such as:

  • Seth Godin’s Small Is The New Big
  • Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More
  • Eric Sink’s On the Business of Software
  • Robert Scoble and Shel Isreal’s Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers

Now, others are catching the vision.  Authors such as Avinash Kaushik (Web Analytics: An Hour a Day) and Michael Lopp (Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering) compiled their selected essays and posts into book form.  Even Harold Feld of The Sausage Factory is considering capturing his blog’s content in dead tree form.

On the other hand, Tammy Lenski’s approach (Making Mediation Your Day Job) was deliberate from the outset – she intended a book – and invited comments, criticisms, and suggestions as she posted. This seems to be becoming the norm. A case in point is a blook called We Have Always Done It That Way: 101 Things About Associations We Must Change by Five Independent Thinkers.

A quote from a post called Beta Publishing really lays out the argument for blooks:

The software industry has been able to grow and be more effective by actually releasing “beta” versions of programs. Users recognize that these products are not finished (thus not perfect), but in exchange for the ough edges, they get to provide feedback to the designers and actually have an impact on the final product. This concept has now been extended to the book publishing field as well, particularly by Pragmatic Programmers Press.

Blogging your strategies, concepts and wisdom – as a “beta” form of pubishing – seems to capture the idea, doesn’t it?


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