The soft decloak

I just commented on one of Pete’s earlier posts The Power of Many: Book competition?, and that reminded me that I wanted to mention the status of public discussion of the book.
The associate publisher told me that it’s OK to start mentioning the book in public (on my other blogs, for example) as long as I don’t specify the publication month (but he said I can say summer), or other details of the book.
He also said that for now this blog should stay password-protected and its contents not yet made part of the public record for the book (eventually this site should focus on promoting the book). We would probably make this blog public in about a month? I forget the key milestone.
I can live with that, although I do have a sense that we shouldn’t worry too much about competition knowing what we’re doing any more than we mind looking at what else is out there as we inform ourselves about the ideas. That’s just part of my “openness” ethic, in which I think the value of secrets tends to be overestimated.
As I said in my linked comment, of the three of four books that have been identified as competition, each seems to be framing these issues in a different way from PoM.
I suppose other publishers might be working on entrants into this area that we don’t know about, so of course I am going to defer to the publisher’s wishes. I just wanted to air my own preferences.
Here’s a similar story: Someone from East Bay for Dean didn’t like that my Oakland for Dean website had links to the local Kerry and Clark sites. I did this in the ethos of “does Macy’s recommend Gimbel’s?” – trusting the voter/customer to do their own analysis of the available information, and trusting them to come back to your site because of the content and message and dynamism there. I was told, however, that my site is a partisan site and linking to your opponent is “just not done.” So, I deferred to their wishes and removed those links.