One of my co-workers called my attention to the fact that Thomas Friedman has published his new book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded. The interesting thing, I think, with this publcation is that he has left chapter 18 for a future release and we will write it. He says of chapter 18:
In it I hope to include the best ideas and proposals sent in from readers: ideas about clean energy, energy efficiency, and conservation; about petropolitics and nation-building in America; about how we can help take the lead in the renewal of our country and the Earth alike by going Code Green.
The book was publshed yesterday and already there are six contributions to the new chapter. Not only do people have opportunities to contribute ideas but we can also vote on whether we like or dislike the contributions. Surely there will be self promoters, nut jobs and trolls but I also expect there will be bona fide contributors.
So, if a contributor is passionate about environmental issues, does the prospect of getting an idea published in a volume associated with a Pulitzer Prize winning author make for a fair bargain? I think it may. The contributor can increase exposure to the idea in a way that they may never be able to achieve through blogging. On the flip side, Friedman finds an opportunity to extend sales of his book beyond the end of the typical run. It is an interesting approach to monetizing user generated content.