In 2006, my industry colleague Francoise Tourniaire and I wrote a book called Collective Wisdom: Transforming Support With Knowledge. At the time, we billed it as the first book on knowledge management for the support industry; as time passes, I think it’s increasingly safe to call it the only book on KM for support…
By arrangement with HDI, the original publisher, we’ve now released Collective Wisdom as an eBook for the Kindle (or the Kindle Reader on your favorite device). We’re pretty excited about this; we’re hoping that a sub-$10 price point will allow us to reach many more people than the impressively expensive paper copy did—and besides, it’s 2014: who wants to carry around a heavy paper book?
Rereading Collective Wisdom while formatting it for electronic distribution gave me the opportunity to reflect on what we’ve written with the benefit of several more years’ experience. To my pleasure (and profound relief), the book has held up well.
- It covers the things you need to know to run a knowledge program for support. Creation, maintenance, delivery, staffing, measures, technology—it’s all in there. The acid test for me is that I routinely find myself answering questions by “stealing” snippets from the book.
- I’d take almost nothing back. While I expect we’ve learned more nuance and context about what we wrote, there’s almost nothing that makes me cringe, or wish we hadn’t written it. (I was too dismissive of wikis, but that was just a paragraph or two.)
- We keep getting good feedback. As recently as last week, someone came to me to say that Collective Wisdom really told him what he needed to know to do his job. It’s a niche book, but within its niche, people seem to find value in it.
That’s not to say it’s perfect. All the vendor names are wrong by now (although in fairness, we predicted that.) It’s hard to imagine reading a book today that doesn’t mention Salesforce, for example. I wish the book were more fun to read. And, as Mark Twain may have said, “if I had more time, I would have written less.”
Still, if you’re at all tempted, we hope the new pricing and convenience will push you over the edge. (Prime members can even borrow it for free.) And if you find yourself wanting to dog ear pages and highlight passages, well, the paper version is still in stock, too.