I have used shorter publications over the years to share thoughts that don’t have enough information yet (or I don’t have time yet) to develop into full publications. These fall into two categories… and the boundaries between them are kind of fuzzy.
Conventional white papers are often completed for a specific purpose or for a specific client.
Short Shots are longer than a white paper, but shorter than a book, and they’re designed to give a solid piece of content to chew on, but in an easy-to read format. I love this format because it’s intended to be somewhat experimental. In manufacturing, a short shot is a small production run of a bottle blow or similar container that’s designed to give an inexpensive test before you start running thousands of them.
Some of my Short Shots grew out of presentations I’ve given (I like slides with few or no words on them, but those are hard for people to use to refresh their memories later). Others are ideas I wanted to explore but didn’t have time to fully work out, or elements out of longer books that I thought could be useful on their own
Here’s a few of my Short Shots and white papers:
Online Public Engagement: Doing it Right for Everyone (Including You)
What We Thought We Knew: And What We Can Do: The Secrets of Retail District Revitalization
Diagnosing and Strengthening Community around Disadvantaged Entrepreneurs
The Local Multiplier Effect (revised version, prepared for the American Independent Business Alliance)