This book is extremely hot right now. If you look on Amazon you'll see just how high it is soaring. In fact, although it's not quite that high right now, earlier this week Wikinomics was ranked in the 30's of all books on Amazon. Very impressive.
The subtitle of the book is "How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything", and the authors do a great job covering all the latest tools and topics (e.g., wikis, Flickr, YouTube, etc.) As they see it, the four keys to success are openness, peering, sharing and acting globally. They spend the almost 300 pages of this book showing how each of these keys apply to all the various tools and platforms for collaboration.
The book is loaded with case studies, but not in the traditional (boring) sense. Rather, the authors do a nice job of weaving in examples of and interviews with collaboration pioneers from a variety of organizations. Proctor & Gamble is a popular one throughout the book. I didn't realize how much P&G does on this front till I read about it here; P&G obviously buys into the authors' suggestion that, "increasingly, you should assume the best people reside outside your corporate walls."
Here are a few other interesting excerpts I flagged while reading Wikinomics:
...any serious news organization today should also allow its community of readers to join in the editorial conversation. The fact that all major media properties don't already offer a parallel front page edited by readers is troubling.
While the leaders fight over their "one size fits all" search engines, Alexa's Web services may lead to a customized suite of search solutions that have been developed for particular communities of interest.
Becoming a pervasive and continuously innovative presence means becoming a magnet for innovation that attracts lots of partners...
Our work may still largely define who we are, but employers no longer will.
They also devote coverage to how most publishers suffer from the good old Innovator's Dilemma, which is, of course, near and dear to my heart. One of my goals is to help ensure this statement by the authors doesn't come true: "...new business models for open content will not come from traditional media establishments, but from companies such as Google, Yahoo and YouTube."
Finally, in the middle of chapter 7, "Platforms for Participation", the authors ask a very important question: "Should open-platform orchestrators compensate the people and organizations that add value to their platforms?" Obviously many of these platforms are existing just fine without providing contributor compensation. But, I firmly believe compensation models will have to be developed before collaboration will appeal to the masses. (And yes, I realize many of these platforms already have large contributor bases today, but they still represent a very small percentage of the overall online population.)