How do you title a book well?

We are down to the little things to finish up our book, which is currently titled “Stewarding Technology for Communities of Practice.” Some of the feedback we’ve gotten from our friends is that the title is… well…. BORING!

Today we sat and brainstormed on the phone. We are struggling to come up with something more interesting. Our requirements are that the title express what the book is about, and if we get clever, we have to get REALLY clever. Half-clever just won’t do. If we go with some clever title, the subtitles will most likely be something like “stewarding technology for communities of practice…”

To give you an example of our challenges, here is the result of our brainstorms!

  • A-mazing
  • Beyond geekiness
  • Bridging the tech divide:Stewarding technology for communities of practice in the connected era
  • Bridging worlds; stewarding technology for communities of practice
  • Building community homes…
  • Communities on steroids
  • Community bridge builders of the 21st century
  • Compass and a friend: stewarding tech…. (ref to orientations)
  • Community lighthouses I’ve known and loved and navigated by
  • Connect me, baby….
  • Connecting the tech dots for communities of practice
  • Creating a new practice
  • Creating community landscapes
  • Dial me in baby
  • Exploding communities Image of fireworks, big, expanding outwards
  • I’m not such an idiot
  • It’s all local….
  • Kinship to a nest builder:
  • Landing on planet technology
  • Landscaping
  • More than magic:…..
  • Nestweb
  • Nestwebs
  • Net nests
  • 6 twigs, spit and the web: stewarding tech….
  • New affinities….
  • New nests for communities
  • No @#$%^ing way
  • Nova
  • One foot on the dock
  • Over our heads: stewarding….
  • Painting our own reality:….
  • Putting a bow around your community
  • Putting your eggs in the right basket
  • Rain dance
  • Realizing a flock of doves
  • Ship ahoy!
  • Six twigs and a prayer
  • Stewarding tech…. (Ref to orientations)
  • Straddling
  • Steward be nimble, steward be quick, Stewards jump over the community stick
  • Stewarding Tech for CoPs: weaving community nests in the 21st century
  • Straddling
  • Tech to connect
  • Techsavant
  • The insider job
  • The nerd and the socialite
  • The secret life of community technology stewards
  • The social geek
  • The Tao of tech stewardship
  • Throwing pots
  • Tieing it all together
  • Walking a maze
  • Walking the tech maze
  • Weaving community nests in the 21st century
  • Webnests
  • Webs to nests:
  • Yeah! Stewarding technology for communities
  • You want me to do what? A guide to stewarding….
  • Zen and the art of community tech stewardship
  • When Tables Sprout Wings: stewarding technology for communities of
    practice in the 21st century
  • When Communities Sprout Wings: stewarding technology for communities
    of practice in the 21st century
  • Beyond Imagination: stewarding technology for communities of practice
    in the 21st century
  • Connected Communities: stewarding technology for communities of
    practice in the 21st century

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16 thoughts on “How do you title a book well?”

  1. I’m giggling, Josien. Mesh turned to MESS in my head. Yes, stewarding tech for your community can get both very meshy and messy!!

    John, John Smith was riffing around identity – in this case, the identity of the steward and the newish role it has in communities!

    Matt, you are always buzzing!

  2. You crack me up! What a great list!!! 🙂

    What about:
    Community Technology Stewardship, aka Herding Cats

    Seriously, I like “Tech to Connect”; what about something like
    Tech to Connect: Community Stewardship in the Digital Age

    I can’t wait to see the book!!!

  3. Amy’s suggestion is great I think Nancy. I know you have been pondering the term Stewardship for a while. ‘Host’ is the only other word I could think of that has some close nuances. From Margaret Wheatleys “hero to host” talk. Not all the other top down kind of notions. – Derek

  4. Wonderfully creative, fun list and comments.

    Tech to Connect is great. The rhyme makes it stick.

    Online Cat Herding: Stewarding technology skillfully for communities of practice

    Practicing Virtual Communities (“practicing” as an adjective and a verb)

    Always Connect: Stewarding technology for communities of practice

    Communities Shaping Technology Shaping Communities (OK, too long, but you get the idea)

  5. Hi Nancy,

    What a great post and the brainstorm is perfectly named! What fun, uh, I mean work. As I read through the list and the comments my mind jumped to a remembrance from Wikinomics, that we have entered the Age of Participation. Maybe a title like, Connected Communities: Stewarding Technology in the Age of Participation.

    Good luck on selecting a title for the book – can hardly wait to buy a copy!

  6. Nancy,

    My first question is:
    Who is the intended audience for your book?

    From the brainstorm examples I would surmise that it aims at people who are in some way ‘technical’ and likely aware of potential/possibilities of CoPs. If so, then “Tech to Connect’ with one of the taglines above that includes ‘community’ and/or ‘stewardship’ would be good.

    If you are aiming at general audience, then a single word, catchy and generating curiosity is essential. How about STEWARDOLOGY? Or COMMUNISHIP? They merges Stewardship, technology and community. Finally TECHUNITY is my favorite.

    Good luck and do count me in as early script readers for comments before final print version!

  7. How about just Practice?

    Printing on demand enables you to change the title whenever you find a better one. Last week my Learnscape Architecture morphed into just Learnscaping.

  8. The feedback and suggestions are FANTASTIC, y’all. Thank you so much. We are meeting today and I’m going to present a summary of your ideas and suggestions. Hopefully we will close on this soon.

    Jay, your point about flexibility is good… but it also causes some confusion along the way. It will be interesting to see what the impact of the “un book” format you are championing has on us. Will we flow with that flexibility, or get lost? (I suspect BOTH!!) Flexibility and complexity carry their own “loads!”

  9. I was browsing my blog stats and as it turns out, this little blog post has been one of the most “hit” posts on the site. Now, I presume people were finding it via a search, so it may not have been relevant, but clearly this question of titling a book is hot! So I thought it might be worth circling back to say that since we titled the book in September, “Digital Habitats: stewarding technology for communities” I still like the title. Now THAT is an acid test!

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