March 02, 2010

Coming to SxSW: Production Copies of Building Web Reputation Systems!

Bryce and I are happy to announce that Building Web Reputation Systems has gone to the printers! We're absolutely excited to share this news with you all today. It's hard to believe it's been more than a year since we started. Thank you so much to all who've been reading our work as we developed it and providing such helpful feedback—it wouldn't be half as good as it is without you!

The book will hit the retail shelves on 4/1, but if you can't wait that long you have 2 options: (1) early copies will be available from the O'Reilly booth at SxSW!; and (2) there are some eBook codes that will be made available for those willing to review the book and post it online—see the booth or contact us via email (our address is over there → in the sidebar.) I guess it will depend on your blogging karma score. :-)

If Amazon sales rank is any indicator, sales are already picking up, so it seems that, after mobbing the SxSW booth, the fastest way to get a paper copy is to preorder at O'Reilly,
Amazon, Borders, or your favorite book retailer.

For those of you who don't already know what this book is about, here's the back cover copy:

What do Amazon's product reviews, eBay's feedback score system, Slashdot's Karma System, and Xbox Live's Achievements have in common? They're all examples of successful reputation systems that enable consumer websites to manage and present user contributions most effectively. This book shows you how to design and develop reputation systems for your own sites or web applications, written by experts who have designed web communities for Yahoo! and other prominent sites.

Building Web Reputation Systems helps you ask the hard questions about these underlying mechanisms, and why they're critical for any organization that draws from or depends on user-generated content. It's a must-have for system architects, product managers, community support staff, and UI designers.

  • Scale your reputation system to handle an overwhelming inflow of user contributions
  • Determine the quality of contributions, and learn why some are more useful than others
  • Become familiar with different models that encourage first-class contributions
  • Discover tricks of moderation and how to stamp out the worst contributions quickly and efficiently
  • Engage contributors and reward them in a way that gets them to return
  • Examine a case study based on actual reputation deployments at industry-leading social sites, including Yahoo!, Flickr, and eBay

December 01, 2009

Pardon our dust...

The book is coming into it's next phase, and we're cleaning up all the messy bits before we hand it off to O'Reilly. This entails renaming every image file and other grubbiness that is bound to break things for a day or two.

Please bear with us while we get things back in order on the blog and wiki.

Bryce and Randy

August 05, 2009

Polish & Predictability

Just a quick note. One development that Randy and I are excited about: we've solicited the help of a fantastic copy-editor, Cate de Heer to provide a third set of eyes on our draft chapters. Cate's help is, of course, is in addition to that of our superb O'Reilly Editor Mary Treseler.

We're hoping that early and ongoing copy improvements will help immensely in the latter stages of the book's development (which are rapidly approaching)—by the time our technical reviewers start their reviews, hopefully they won't be distracted by our errant commas (and my overabundant exclamation points!) Cate has already delivered revisions to Chapter 1, and we published them wholesale on the wiki, so please do check them out.

(And, if you're curious to see what a difference a thoughtful copy-edit can make to your writing, you can compare the current version with any version preceding the 'Copy Edits' checkin.)

Also, we're making an earnest attempt to be more regular with our blog-publishing schedule. So, starting next Wednesday, we'll be posting at least one meaty-sized essay on reputation matters every week. We're calling it Reputation Wednesday. A small, regular event mostly designed to keep Randy and I honest, and get us off our butts to push some of the thinking that we're putting into the book out there for conversation.

We hope that it will make some of the concepts more accessible to folks that may not have time to dive into the wiki. I'll also point out that—if you haven't done so already—now would be a wonderful time to subscribe to the feed for this blog. We promise to fill it up. I swear.

January 04, 2009

Our Plans

It's worthwhile to pause a second, and discuss our plans for this website. We think they're pretty straightforward, so bare with us... this'll be quick. (Oh, and subject to change as well—Randy and I are first-time authors, learning as we go here. So don't hold us to anything.)

This thing you're reading right now? This is our blog. (Duh.) You probably have seen one of these before. You probably have one of these, or several. (Or you did before you left them moldering and neglected to go play on Twitter all day long.) We're going to use this blog as a really freewheelin' discussion generation engine.

So some entries that appear here will definitely be destined for the book. Others might merely be top-of-the-head musings, or content that probably won't make it into the book. Unless you decide otherwise: entries that generate a lot of discussion will be promoted in the ranking of 'things we think people will want to know about reputation systems.' And, of course—because this is a blog—sometimes we'll just point to reputation-related links and current happenings, often with a bit of commentary.

The other major component to this site will be a wiki, that will house the in-progress draft of the book! This will come online soon, with our first chapter already roughed in. Again, we're kinda making this up as we go (though drawing inspiration where we can from other O'Reilly titles like Designing Social Interfaces and Real World Haskell.) Our current thinking on the wiki is that we may not enable full-text editing of chapters just yet—this is related more to our authoring-and-publishing workflow (which, again, is a work-in-progress. Are you sensing a theme here?) But there will certainly be a rich commenting capability and a couple pairs of eager ears to hear your voice.

We hope that those of you who are really interested in this stuff will spend a decent amount of time on both sides of the site. By all means, subscribe to the feed for the blog, leave comments, trackbacks and the like. But we're also really hoping that you leave some time for a deeper read over on the wiki. There's alot to be said about reputation online, and sometimes you just can't fit this stuff in a bite-size tweet!

(Oh, and—as soon as we figure out this XML-based Docbook-to-dokuwiki-to-html-and-back-again publishing scheme that Randy is working on, I'm gonna insist that he write a colophon entry. I think some of you will find it incredibly useful.)