Reader 2.0: Reader As Collaborator

I wrote about Clay Shirky's newest book, Here Comes Everybody, in an earlier post. Later, I was reading on Shirky's own blog that a reader was creating a webliography with links to sites from the book. If a print book was "hyperlinkable," (Kindle books don't count) it would have this feature.

The reader is a librarian whose blog, My Mind on Books, is a reading blog that is a guide to books (with a focus on consciousness, the mind, cognitive psychology...).

He actually published his guide in four separate posts, but I have waited for him to collect them in one post which you can now access at

Renoir's La Liseuse (The Reader)
This is what I will call "Reader 2.0" - the reader as collaborator - which is certainly part of the wider web 2.0 shift on the Net.

For chapter 3 of the Shirky book, "Everyone Is A Media Outlet," there are 12 links to go beyond the book. Just on the topic of "mass amateurization" (page 60), you get these 3 links - and an error correction! “Weblogs and the Mass Amateurization of Publishing” by Clay Shirky, “The Pro-Am Revolution” by Charlie Leadbeater (misspelled “Leadbetter” in the book) and We-think: the book by Charles Leadbeater.

Page 75's reference to "crowdsourcing" gets you a 2006 Wired article by Jeff Howe and a Crowdsourcing blog which includes excerpts from the upcoming book, Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business.

Blogs are a great way for a reader to extend the reach of a print book. It would be even better to see an open wiki develop around a book with many readers adding additional materials. This has happened in a few instances I'm aware of for books like The World is Flat. There are somewhat useful wikis like Wikisummaries that offers a detailed chapter by chapter summary of the book - useful for someone just wanting to check what it's all about AND for a student who discovers there are no Spark Notes for Friedman's book. More interesting to me are wikis like The Flat Classroom Project that uses Wikispaces for students from classrooms around the world to collaborate on projects and discussions based on their reading of the Friedman book.

This is active reading for students as well as being a resource for the teacher using a particular book in their course. It overlaps in some ways the open textbook movement. More importantly, it gets readers involved with what they are reading.

If you know of any good "Reader 2.0" sites online that extend the print version of a book, please comment with a link below.


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