A new year, new adventures
Happy New Year! Although just barely two weeks into it, it already feels....well, not quite old but more like "broken in".
Before you read too much further, don't think that "new adventures" means that I'm leaving either Forrester or this blog. I'm thoroughly enjoying both but I'm going to be up to something new this year as well.
I'm going to write a book.
There. I'm now committed! And it's a huge commitment, so some people think I'm absolutely crazy to be doing this while holding down a full time job and raising a family. But I have a secret weapon in my arsenal -- a co-author.
Josh Bernoff has been my colleague at Forrester for almost eight years and we've collaborated on countless research projects together. He's smart, a gifted writer, blogger, and most importantly for me, VERY organized. Special thanks go to Chris Anderson for inspiration -- I had lunch with him last summer right before "The Long Tail" was published and he shared that a writing assistant was very helpful in writing his book. That got me to thinking that I could actually pull this off.
Then I realized that Josh wanted to devote his full time to writing and I thought I had hit pay dirt -- here was an opportunity to have not just a writing assistant, but a full collaborator and partner, someone who can push me beyond meaningless platitudes to understand, interpret, and share what all this means. I will continue as an analyst at Forrester, with my ongoing research and writing contributing to the book. Josh will be spending his entire time researching and writing the book.
So why write a book? As a thinker and writer, I've enjoyed two wonderful outlets thus far -- Forrester's syndicated reports and this blog. But neither allow me to explore the full depth and scope of the social computing phenomenon. I feel in my gut that this is something much bigger than individual technololgies like blogs or widgets -- we're in the midst of a groundswell of change that will impact all aspects of our lives. In my daily work with companies, I often feel I'm explaining an alien world to these executives and managers -- it just operates on a totally different plane. My hope is that the discipline and format of a book will focus and pull together the many different perspectives out there and make sense of this groundswell for our readers
Josh and I are off an running with this project. But we can't do it alone. I invite you to contribute your ideas, your criticisms, and most importantly, your inspiration on our blog, "Groundswell" at blogs.forrester.com/groundswell. I can't tell you how often your comments and emails provide the impetus to dig deeper into subjects and keep me focused on what's important out there.
Update: I was asked what the difference is between a writing assistant, co-author and ghostwriter. A writing assistant is just that -- an assistant who helps with the writing process. This can vary from someone who helps with background research and organization to writing some of the sections. But the ideas, the essence, and soul of the book comes from the author.
Co-authors share together in the writing and thinking process -- "Freakonomics" by Steven B. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner is a good example (both the book and the blog are inspirations for us.) is a good example.
And a ghostwriter is someone who writes the book for someone with no acknowledgment -- but usually for a decent sum of money!