to be published by Perseus Books, spring 2002 (ISBN 0738205435)
Yes, you're right, it hasn't been published yet. And no, I didn't get an advance copy through the usual publishing company-book reviewer freebie routes. This is altogether different, but then it is David Weinberger, co-author of one of the few lasting things to come out of the dotcom bubble, The Cluetrain Manifesto. Weinberger is in the process of writing a new book and, following his own advice about the power of networking, he is posting chapters as he writes them at www.smallpieces.com. This is not a Stephen King-text gimmick - Weinberger wants comments. Take, for instance, his link to the draft of the final chapter, which reads: "The web returns us to a more authentic understanding. Thus, hope is in order. Latest draft: Sep 3 2001. Status: A draft. How final? You tell me..." And it is this willingness to take his central premise that makes Weinberger worth reading. In The Cluetrain Manifesto and here, he says: "Forget about the dotbombs and Napster for now. The web's real effect will be on the building-block concepts of our culture." He tells us that we are living, doing business, communicating and writing books in a whole new reality. He adds: "The web has sent a jolt through our culture, zapping our economy, our ideas about the sharing of creative works, and possibly even institutions such as religion and government Suppose, just suppose, that the web is a new world we're just beginning to inhabit. We're like the earlier European settlers in the US, living on the edge of the forest Common sense doesn't hold there, and uncommon sense hasn't yet emerged. No wonder we're having trouble figuring out how to build businesses in this new land." The finished chapters and particularly the drafts have the feel of a thinker who is sitting at a computer with countless ideas and a real sense of urgency in getting them out to people. And amid all the complacent 'business thinkers' and wannabe gurus, such a commitment is a refreshing change.