I think most of you know by now, I have become a huge fan of the New Media and Web 2.0. But there is one aspect of it that I am most excited about: collaboration. With immediate access to amazing and simple tools we are able to collaborate more rapidly and effectively with one another than before. Collaboration is not only taking place amongst friends and co-workers in the same office, but is happening on larger scales both locally and globally.

To get some perspective on this aspect of the New Media and Web 2.0 there are a few books that I have been reading, and that I highly recommend. They are all varied to some degree, but they are saying essentially the same thing: people are now able to collaborate on a mass scale like never before.

Check Them Out

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom.

  • Amazing book on the power of mass collaboration, and how it is creating and sustaining organizations that are leaderless. They give good examples of leaderless organizations, as well as looking at hybrid organizations that have some structure in place, but are pretty much led by the leaderless communities that support them.

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky.

  • This book I’m still working on. But I’m particularly intrigued by his chapter “Publish, Then Filter.” In an instant world with mediums such as blogging, people publish first then go back to filter and edit, but through the help of the community. In the collaborative conversation, the community does the filtering, editing, and correcting. This is so upside down from the old media which only publishes after tons of edits, corrections, etc., if it publishes at all. Many are uncomfortable with this new mentality, but in the new media, what were once perceived as big mistakes are no longer big mistakes, but are easily dialogued about…and if needed, forgiven by the public (some of this is my own commentary).

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Dan Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams.

  • Great book. Very in depth. This really gets technical about mass collaboration and explores many aspects from economics to science, and how mass collaboration is revolutionizing these fields and others.

Facebook for Pastors: How To Build Relationships And Connect With People Using The Most Popular Social Network On The Internet by Chris Forbes

  • I love Facebook, I am a pastor, and I love ministry. So this book is a must read. Very quick and free. How can you beat that. My chapter in The New Media Frontier: Blogging, Vlogging, and Podcasting for Christ is “Navigating the Evolving World of Youth Ministry in the Facebook-MySpace Generation.” I didn’t really touch on collaboration which was sort of new to me when I wrote it. Now if I could go back, I would talk on this more.

Getting Real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application by 37 Signals.

  • Awesome, awesome book. Really a manifesto. Short and is free online. This really changed my views about the necessity for simplicity and less is more attitude in the onslaught of new media and design. They are some real nuggets in there.