Right now I am reading two books on the benefits of collective intelligence, and have just finished two others with focus on optimizing your website technically, in conversion rates, through usability and performance.
All these books are of interest to people who takes a scientific approach to developing and tuning the website he/she is running.
Steve Souders covers all the different sections from YSlow on how to speed up your website. He shows that you will get most effect from putting your efforts into perfomance tune the frontend before working on backend tuning. I found this book really worth reading as it is spot on on every issue, and very focused on describing gains and implementation details for each and every single section of performance tuning on the frontend. I really recommend this book because I feel that for a serious website owner this book will pay itself in a couple of weeks with more generated sales and less used bandwidth.
Andrew B. King also focus on optimization and tuning of your website, but the focus is on SEO, PPC-campaigns and Conversion Rate Optimization. He also tries to write some chapters on performance tuning, but when it comes to frontend performance tuning I recommend Steve Souders book instead. This book is really good for people who would like to learn more about optimizing PPC-campaigns and start tracking and incread conversion rates. I recommend this book for those chapters, which are really good and have help me increase incomes on the websites I have PPC-campaigns for.
Toby Segaran guides us in building smarter web applications based on Collective Intelligence. The book mixes theory and practice and shows how “easy” it is to actually create applications with community based product recommendation system and other intelligent solutions. I found this book interesting as a starting point on how to technically implement some of the web 2.0 features users have become used to use online.
Wikinomics is the book I have just started reading and it focus on how the community trend will change the enterprises. The focus is on how the masses create something of big value through collaboration. An interesting thing of course is the fact that a lot of people interact in larger communities building a greater value (Wikipedia, Youtube, Linux etc, etc) without getting paid, still the quality of the outcome often exceeds the alternatives built traditionally with labour and investment banks.