For you old timers who have followed this blog when Robert and I just started writing Naked Conversations, you may recall how we struggled over our Table of Contents (TOC). The TOC is a key component of what you send to the publisher in the hopes of getting an advance payment for writing a book.
For writers, the TOC is the road map to the book and determines what and who you will cover as well as what questions you will ask. For Naked, we wrote about 10 versions, before striking our deal with Wiley. Then we discovered the one they had approved didn’t work when we tried writing it and so we did another one that came out okay in the end.
I’m nowhere near ready to write a final TOC for Global Neighborhoods. That ma not happen until next year after Rick Segal and I complete the series of travel chunks we have now decided to make, rather than do the formerly touted World Tour. The new way is less dramatic, but it allows us to spend more time meeting people and less time in airline security queues.
In any case, here is my first stab at a TOC. Call it v.01. Picture a big marble slab, to which I am hammering out my first chisel marks. Last time reader input made Naked a much better book than it would have been if we had written in private. I ask again for help from you members of our studio audience.
Please tell me what me all your thoughts. Give me some of that tough love for which the blogosphere has become so famous.
This is how the book looks with those first chisel marks taken. Please note that nearly every bullet point will have cases studies to be added later. Also, please note, this is just the first of at least three parts. The outline, with the case studies is about 100-120 pages of the book. It’s as far as I’ve gotten.
Part One: What’s happening
1 The irrelevance of geography.
• Charlene Li says that the internet is making geography irrelevant
• Global Communities are forming around shared interests in everything from politics to technology to hummingbirds.
• Global Neighborhoods refer to the communities where we feel safe to hang out.
• Power is shifting from large central organizations to small, decentralized organizations.
• Users generating and sharing everything: digital media; open source code, etc.
• Most influential have become people most generous to communities rather than those with largest media budgets.
2. The business handicaps of “Big.”
• Big traditionally an asset in business and government. Power of incumbency.
• During times of rapid change such as these, large organizations simply cannot move with sufficient agility.
• Disintermediators--media, government, borders, regulatory laws, etc. becoming impotent —cannot command, control or worse, monetize
• People during deaf/blind to traditional communications efforts.
• Big companies accustomed to competing with big companies using big company tactics.
• Less adept at stopping “armies of ants,” loosely joined in connected world.
3. The exploding universe
• In tech sector, Silicon Valley has been center of the universe, but that universe is expanding at incredible rate.
• Tech startups in Ireland, Estonia, Italy, Ho Chi Minh City, Phuket, etc.
• Use internet to accelerate development, market, distribute, sell, cut deals, recruit people. Do work where its cheapest, etc.
• Barriers to starting borderless, social media company extremely low.
4. The lobster trap
• Barriers to entry are low but the barriers to exit are extremely high. It may be like Hotel California or a lobster trap. Once you get in, you cannot get out.
• 1600 social media companies. 85% expect revenue from contextual advertising.
• Traditional media business model. Free to use, ad or sponsorship supported
• 1600 companies, 85% hoping to be acquired by Google, Microsoft & Yahoo
• If this is the outcome as many people think it will be, has anything changed at all? Are we headed from decentralization back to recentralization? If all the little companies either become big companies or get acquired by them what ultimately changes.
Please let me know your thoughts on any and every aspect of this. What is too obvious? What am I missing? Can you give me some examples for each of these sections? I am also likely to insert a chapter on government and blogging, but need to do a little more research on the subject before I jump in.