Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And Then There's This How Stories Live And Die In A Viral Culture by Bill Wasik

Bill Wasik

And Then There's This How Stories Live And Die In A Viral Culture

This book is by the inventor of internet "flash mobs" or groups of people who spontaneously formed when suggested to by internet messages. Bill Wasik is what might be called a memetic engineer or a person who creates quickly spreading ideas. This book is pure infotainment at its best.

Some of the different categories of idea he writes about are in politics, advertising, corporate culture, and indie rock. The writing is both critical and ironic in content.

There is a very hip, left wing slant to the politics in the book. It is genuine reminder that we don't have to buy into advertising or spin, we have the right to choose what we view on the internet.

Bill Wasik visits some of the "digerati"-- the digital elite to look at how they create spin with new media. He mentions The Huffington Post, Bzzagent, KEXP Online Radio, Youtube, and many other internet sites.

In his view we have started surveiling ourselves to create a kind of giant popularity contest where the most views win. People are absorbed into the public consumption of blogs and other social networks.

This is a fun book to read by a very erudite and funny author. It is a mix of geeky avant garde, new media and social engineering. Bill Wasik is a senior editor at Harper's and has written for Salon magazine. This shows with very smooth prose that sounds like he is talking to you personally.

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