No one knows more about using the new Real-Time tools and strategies to spread ideas, influence minds and build business than David Meerman Scott. He's a marketing strategist, speaker, advisor to emerging companies, and author of ten books including three international bestsellers.
E-books have become a very significant medium, partly because people can instantly see the value of a product that looks like for-purchase content but can actually be downloaded for free. In my opinion, e-books should be material people want to read, compared to the dense and usually boring white paper, which our buyers feel they should read but often don't.
For business-to-business companies used to the more traditional white paper, an e-book is a radical departure for one simple yet revolutionary reason: the goal. An e-book is about spreading ideas. But for most companies, a white paper is about generating sales leads.
If you've created and published a white paper for your business before, it's highly likely that you put all sorts of controls over its dissemination. If you offered it online, you probably required readers to fill out a Web form before they could download it. The form required them to supply their name, affiliation, email address, phone number, and perhaps more details like the size of their company. Most companies apply the same "give to get" philosophy to offline white papers, requiring interested readers to supply a business card or fill out a reply form.
An e-book is different, or at least should be. Make the content totally free with no registration requirement at all so people are more likely to download it and share with colleagues.
The ebook has been very popular with the corporate librarian buyer persona - a major target market for Dow Jones Client Solutions - who find the ebook through partner links on Association sites such as the Special Libraries Association, and events such as the Semantic Technology Conference, Taxonomy Boot Camp, Enterprise Search Summit, and KM World.
Disclosure: I've done consulting work for Dow Jones and have spoken at many of their events around the world. However, I did not work on the Taxonomy Folksonomy Cookbook.