September 29, 2010
The Collaborative Futures book is back for another edition and is smarter, sharper, and more insightful than ever.
Last spring I was fortunate to become involved in an amazing experiment in composition and collaboration. A friend and colleague of mine, Mushon Zer-Aviv locked himself up in a hotel room with 4 other collaborators and came out 5 days later with a the first edition of Collaborative Futures. Many conversations and an intensive editing sprint later (with a fresh team of collaborators), yields a much more comprehensive and finished work.
While the original team was in Berlin, I sent Mushon a copy of my essay on the history of version control systems – Versioning Dissonance. In this essay I discuss the significance of the distributed version control phenomenon, and speculate on the crossover of these collaborative modalities from software to other forms of production. An excerpt from my essay underlies the chapter on Multiplicity and Social Coding. I didn’t make it out to Germany, nor did I communicate synchronously with the sprinters. However, through my friendships and participation in the larger NYC free software/culture, collective communications campus, and Eyebeam communities, I was a participant in an ongoing conversation around these important themes.
This book is a really cool accomplishment on multiple levels. It’s creation myth is legendary, the content is compelling, and its a technical triumph. The first edition was admittedly a bit choppy and also neglected to address some critical perspectives that were introduced into the new edition. I am really happy with these substantive improvements, as well as the fabulous new cover art, web site, and distribution formats.
Special thanks to everyone involved in this project for inviting me along for the ride.