In a way the book doesn't have time on its side. Published originally in 2006, many of its themes were still emerging (and still are). I found the supporting evidence shaky, like the use of business ideas that didn't prove out, and have since failed. I even found some inaccuracies like the insinuation that it wasn't possible to play songs on an iPod that were purchased outside of iTunes as an example of DRM (any store selling the mp3 format would work). Given that I read the 2008 reissue, I though some of these issues could have been remedied.
I normally wouldn't critique a book about something like this but as a reader I felt overwhelmed with superlatives ("dramatically," "very") and made up buzzwords. The authors nearly recognize it themselves by calling out the hyperbole on page 12. According to Google Book Search there are 11 instances of "we call" followed by some made up word or phrase. "We call it" ....
- "wiki workplace"
- "precompetitive knowledge commons"
- "platforms for participation"
- "emergent or serendipitous innovation"
- "collaboration economy"
- "developer ecosystems"
- "wiki workplace"
- "designing for prosumption"
I think the book's success can be partly attributed to great timing and marketing: "Wiki-" a book that came out as Wikipedia was picking up steam, and "-nomics," to answer a question on many non-techies' minds, "why?" In a way I felt fooled, because there was little to no discussion around the economics of wikis, or how collaboration was was impacting economies at the micro or macro scale. I have The Wealth of Networks sitting on my bookshelf, and I think it will do a much better job of answering these types of questions.
There are other books that excel in describing the phenomenon of Web 2.0, networked media, collaborative workforces, or whatever you want to call it. Here Comes Everybody is the best IMO, including the non-web stuff. And if you want a book that gets to the heart of the web, Cluetrain is where to start. I just started reading the 10th anniversary edition (amazing after picking it up 10 years later how much the book described the framework of how the web works at its peak, and yet how far there is to go) More on that in a future post. ;-)