Net Tuesday Book UNclub

For our December Net Tuesday, we’re trying something different; a Book Unclub to talk about books related to:

   a) social media / social networking,
   b) nonprofit technology, and/or
   c) social change

Here’s what to expect

By coming to the Net Tuesday Book Unclub, you’ll be participating in a “biblio-social experiment” that promises to be fun and interesting.  We’ll be combining two phenomena: a) the fact that some great and important books have recently been published in Net Tuesday’s scope of interest (the nexus of social technology with nonprofits and social change); and b) the increasing occurrence of “unconferences”, in which attendees set their agenda after they arrive.  As far as we know, this hasn’t been done before (hence the “experiment” part).

We decided to use a different venue for this event — Robin’s Bookstore (aka Moonstone Arts Center), Philly’s oldest independent bookstore, a place with great history and great vibes.  It’s at 110A S. 13th Street (on the 2nd floor – sorry, no handicapped access).  Food and drink (alcoholic or not) are allowed in the store, so feel free to bring your dinner, or maybe even a snack to share.

Here’s how the evening will shape up (times are approximate) …

6:30 – 7:00:  Gather and schmooze.  Attendees are encouraged to bring their own copies of books that they might like to discuss, and to browse those brought by others.  Be sure to have your name in your books.  (Since Robin’s Bookstore is open for business until 7:00, customers are likely to be present at this time.) 

7:00 – 7:40:  After welcome and introductions, we’ll have our book selection process – which will work something like this… 

  1. We’ll have 3 x 5 cards for all candidate books.  These include : a) books listed on our Google spreadsheet of titles that people have already suggested (and to which you can still contribute via the form); and b) names of books that people bring up then and there.
  2. We’ll eliminate those 3 x 5 cards of any books for which there isn’t at least one person present who has read the book and is willing to talk about it (or read an excerpt from it).
  3. The room we’ll be in will be set up for 3 simultaneous breakouts.  We’ll take the cards that remain and distribute them among either 6 slots (3 breakouts x 2 20-minute sessions) or 9 slots (3 breakouts x 3 15-minute sessions).  Depending upon the number of books and interests of participants, a particular slot might have more than one book, or a very popular book may occupy more than one time slot.

7:40 – 8:30:  Breakout discussions.  If it’s a book you’ve read, you may want to say something about what you liked (or didn’t like) about it, or maybe read a section or two that were particularly memorable.  If it’s a book you haven’t read, this is a great opportunity to find out what you’ve missed, and to decide if it’s worth your time to read it yourself.

8:30 – 9:00:  Regather as a whole group to share any insights or surprises.  People should feel free to share, sell, loan or give away any of the books that they’ve brought; and forms will be available from Robin’s for ordering new books at a discount (usually 20% for non-academic titles).

So that’s the deal.  Bring along your curiosity and enthusiasm, maybe copies of books you’d like to discuss, and, if you like, a friend to join our experiment.  See you there.

Over 25 great books have been recommended so far on the Google spreadsheet, including Wikinomics, Here Comes Everybody, Technology and Social Inclusion, Tribes, The New Community Rules, and others. You can add your own suggestions via the form. Of course, none of us has read ALL of these books. So, why should YOU come to the Book Unclub?

For those books you haven’t read, come to the Book Unclub to:

  • decide in which, if any, of these books you might want to invest your limited reading time.
  • hear about some of the most exciting, cutting edge thinking in this brave new world

For those books you have read, come to the Book Unclub to :

  • share the exciting or meaningful ideas the books provoked for you
  • connect with others whose interest and passion was also sparked by such books

RSVP’s via Meetup or Facebook are appreciated but NOT requried.  Just bring yourself (and, if you can, bring some books to show, share, read from, lend, sell or give away). 

We greatly appreciate Robin’s Bookstore for providing space for this event.

Questions or ideas?  Let me know.  Thanks,

Seth Horwitz

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