Collaborative Book creation with Wiki: Wiki2Booklet experience

Unconferences are crazy time. The upcoming is no exception. I along with Prasad of Universal Print System, initiated the Wiki2Booklet. We wanted to get the feel of collaborative book making possibility of the wiki. And also learn a few aspect of the wiki technology so that we can apply them in our day to day business activity.
We were a bit disappointed at the the lack of traction as on Friday morning: We wrote it off as dead turkey! Then during the organizer’s event walkthroug meeting, Wike2Booklet came up for discussion (Thanks Syed for thoughtfully inviting us to the meeting!). I was amazed at the way Kiruba smoothly enlisted volunteers for the booklet content. The Booklet became a reality within no time. As Kiruba puts it: we walked the talk! Kiruba has a lucid discription of the evolution in his Unconference book announcement.
I was the one doing/overseeing the cover desing, and text layout. I would have been more happy if the content was tuned to layman, and a few more rounds of editing. Well, there is always the next version. During the layout process, I was surprised by the lack of readymade, working tools to suck content out of a wiki as a pdf file or some other formatted file than can be used as a base for layout and formatting. The all too many links in the content were a real bitch to work on. Hari of UPSL was at it the whole night doing it meticulously.
Front Cover

The front cover page has a cartoon plus a area for autograph.
Wiki2Booklet Front cover inner

The back cover page inner is a tribute to the multiple versions of logos that were contemplated before the wikicamp logo was finalized. This is what I love the most. There were 43 logos. And it reflects the spirit of wiki, wikicamp, unconference in a major way. Featuring in the wikibooklet is a fitting tribute to the labour of love!
evolution of logo of

And finally the back cover with the Blue monster microsoft cartoon of gapingvoid juxtaposed to the wikipedia logo. The message is, while microsoft is struggling to reinvent itself the Wikipedia is changing and enabling change effortlessly.

struggle, effortlessness

Popcorn: I specifically did not give credit in the booklet to Hugh for his cartoons. The idea is, gapingvoid is so widely known, that not giving credit is the credit!

Overall, it was a educative and high energy exercise. Will I do it again: I will, I will!, but only after investing on an editorial resource and better tools.


About labsji

I blog, Therefore I exist ! Funny things are funny to me. Cool things are cool to me. Innovations tick me. I attempt spirituality religiously :)
This entry was posted in Chennai, crowdsourcing,, humour, inclusive development, opensource, taking web2.0 to real world, unconference, Web 2.0, Wiki2booklet, wikicamp, Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Collaborative Book creation with Wiki: Wiki2Booklet experience

  1. Hey Balaji,
    The event was definitely good but could have been better 😉

    There were some talks which were out of the context and had no relation with Wikipedia.

    But a good event but I would day it was not better than BlogCamp,BarCamp or Proto.

    You can check my coverage

    about Wikicamp.

    (Contributor to

  2. WTF is the Gaping Void cartoon doing there? I’m blown away

    – If you read Hugh’s post about the cartoon, you’ll see that Hugh talks about Microsoft is in the business of changing the world. It was an upbeat post about Microsoft.

    – Why the contrast between Microsoft and Wikipedia? What’s next – us and the Human Genome project? Microsoft has embraced wikis all over the place – from Channel9 to MSDN to shipping it with Sharepoint and to internal use.

    Ward Cunningham, the guy who *invented* the wiki worked for us until a few months ago.

  3. I apologize if I came across as strong – I’m just annoyed that Microsoft is show somehow on the ‘opposite’ side of Wikipedia which is completely untrue.

  4. labsji says:

    @Himanshu: Yes some of the talks will be out of focus. Well that is unconference. We must have used the balls provided to us more effectively. Even my little talk on Second Life was not in full focus. Thanks for the coverage.
    @Sriram Krishnan: The juxtaposition of Microsoft and Wikipedia is to contrast the Closed Source struggle of Microsoft vs the Open culture of Wikipedia. And in terms of changing the world the choice is clear.
    In your own words, you have accepted that Microsoft is a follower rather than a leader. With Ward working for you MSFT must have made Wiki( the tool) available for every small business using Win98 or up. Now you are shipping Sharepoint after wiki is proven as a working innovation.
    I appreciate your religious fervour. Yet, MSFT needs more religion to lead the world. MSFT:Lead the world or go home!

  5. I’m going to ignore the ‘follower/leader’ comment as it is offtopic for this thread (will be more than happy to take it up if you want me to).

    I dont agree that closed source is the opposite of open culture (lets forget for a moment stuff like By the same barometer, Apple, Google , Nokia and pretty much any other mainstream product company who has ‘secret sauce’ is on the other side of Wikipedia (do you have access to Gmail source code?).

  6. badrirag says:

    Hey Balaji,

    check out your photo with Jimmy (if you have not done so already) in my blog post

  7. Pingback: Think Pink( Bluemonster!) « Joy Of Innovation

  8. HelloWorld says:

    Peace people

    We love you

  9. Pingback: Universal Print Systems Limited » UPSL at PodWorks.In

  10. Pingback: Universal Print Systems Limited » Blog Archive » Celebrating Social Media with The Knowldege Foundation

  11. Pingback: Universal Print Systems Limited » Blog Archive » IfraExpo India 2007: Indian Newspaper Ecosystem Exhibition

  12. Pingback: Ifra Newsplex, Wiki at IfraExpo India 2007 « Joy Of Innovation

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