The ebook edition of Anne Gentle’s book, Conversation and Community: The Social Web for Documentation, is now available for free on this site. The print edition is being taken out of print, but may remain available through used-book sellers.
The book is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, which is available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. While not technically an open source license as defined by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) (https://opensource.org/osd), the intention for choosing a Creative Commons license is to share and share alike.
In plain language, that license means that anyone can copy or adapt, and even distribute text from the book as long as the redistribution gives appropriate credit and does not charge for any adaptations created. This license choice means that people can reuse it in workshops, in classrooms, and even pull out parts of it for reuse in other works. You can even take a BY-NC original work and adapt it and release under a new license, BY-NC-ND (Non-Noncommercial, No Derivatives) or BY-NC-SA (Non-Noncommercial, Share Alike).
Anne Gentle’s Conversation and Community, has become the go-to reference for social media and technical communication. Her clear-eyed survey of the social media landscape has been adopted by many universities and is widely used by technical communicators.
The second edition contains new chapters on building a content strategy, analyzing web techniques, and developing an open source strategy. Along with a greatly expanded bibliography and updates throughout, there are more interviews and more case studies, making this ground-breaking book even more useful.