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Net Smart: How to Thrive Online Hardcover – March 16, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (March 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262017458
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262017459
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #548,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The social media landscape changes quicker than you can say 'future shock.' As soon as you think you've mastered one network, another pops up, demanding its share of time and attention. Thank goodness, then, for Howard Rheingold. He has identified the skills -- simultaneously old-fashioned and cutting-edge -- that not only will help you thrive in this tumultuous world, but also help you shape social media into a force for good. Net Smart is a lifeboat for people who want to participate in new technologies without drowning in the flood.

(Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind)

A desperately needed and wonderfully written guide to being literate in today's digital, always-on world. This book is not just descriptive. It articulates a comprehensive set of social norms, practices and protocols that help us unleash the collective power of networked intelligence. And, yes, using the web mindfully can indeed make us smarter, as this book will illustrate. A must read for anyone wanting to thrive in today's increasingly connected world.

(John Seely Brown, Former Chief Scientist of Xerox Corp and Director of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center; co-author of A New Culture of Learning )

Once again, Howard Rheingold has found a way of journeying into the future and coming back with gold. The questions he tackles here could not be more pertinent. Whether you're thrilled at the amazing potential for online collaboration, or just stressed by your email in-box, his insights on how to achieve a new form of digital literacy deserve wide adoption.

(Chris Anderson, Curator of TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design))

Education today is woefully inadequate. It's about teaching people information and skills as if we're alone and disconnected, stocking knowledge and tools in our brains. Today, it is important to learn how to find information and how to collaborate. Written in the traditionally smart and fun-to-read Rheingoldian style, Net Smart is the guide on how to think, learn, survive and thrive in the post-internet era. An essential guide and a must-read!

(Joichi Ito, Director, MIT Media Lab)

That Rheingold has written a smart and enjoyable guide is unsurprising....Rheingold does us an important service by offering a number of insights into, and strategies for, the 'net smarts' we need to function more efficiently in our increasingly online world.

(James Hendler Science)

Here, I'd point to the work of my friend Howard Rheingold and his new book Net Smart, which is an excellent guide for how to be a digitally fluent user of all the technologies we have available to us now. It's an excellent book and I think the FCC should include it in their plan for training the digital educators going into schools!

(Christopher Mims Technology Review)

If you are going to purchase one book about using social media, this is the one to read. It's for people who want to go deeper and get practical know how, improved productivity, and integrate physical and virtual lives.

(Beth Kantor)

About the Author

Howard Rheingold, an influential writer and thinker on social media, is the author of Tools for Thought: The History and Future of Mind-Expanding Technology, The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier (both published by the MIT Press), and Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution.

More About the Author

Howard Rheingold is the author of:

Tools for Thought
The Virtual Community
Smart Mobs
Net Smart
Excursions to the Far Side of the Mind
Mind Amplifier

Was:

editor of Whole Earth Review

editor of The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog

founding executive editor of Hotwired

founder of Electric Minds

Has taught:

Participatory Media and Collective Action (UC Berkeley, SIMS, Fall
2005, 2006, 2007 )

Virtual Community/Social Media (Stanford, Fall 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010; UC Berkeley,
Spring 2008, 2009)
Toward a Literacy of Cooperation (Stanford, Winter, 2005)

Digital Journalism (Stanford University Winter, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 )







Customer Reviews

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to have a richer experience online.
Shel Israel
It took me a long time to review this book because I read this book a few times over as a reference book.
A. Jaokar
Howard Rheingold has written another great book looking at technology and life online in new ways.
Scott A. Butki

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Tom Parsons on March 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
In Net Smart, Howard Rheingold details how the digital world is reshaping our minds, our culture, and itself, faster than any but the very young and the very dedicated can keep up with.

However, as he shows with examples from his college teaching, the very young lack the perspective to do much more than ride the wave they are part of, even though they provide its power. They cannot clearly evaluate its history, present impact, or possible futures. But he showed me how this no-longer-young person can play a worthwhile part in all that, improve my own mind, and have more fun at the same time.

I thought I was fairly net-savvy from decades of playing and working with computers and being online. But I was surprised by how much I learned from Rheingold, who has been seriously involved at the frontiers of the net and its communities for all the years that I have just dabbled as a user (which should maybe have an "l" in front of it).

Net Smart rearranged a lot of what I sort-of-knew into a more coherent picture that also included a great deal that I didn't know. It is a book that will show you how to interact with the net more productively, and also how to use both your online and offline time in positive-sum games that benefit others as well as yourself.

Despite the electronic title, there is a significant amount of just plain self-help here that I found very worthwhile in its own right. As Rheingold says, "Learning the latest knowledge about the brain's capacity to rewire itself - known as "neuroplasticity" - can increase your power to actually direct your brain's self-rewiring function rather than just being affected by it".

Net Smart will help if you have children and want to participate in their world and help shape it (or them!) for the better.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By roy christopher on May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Media literacy involves grappling with the ways a new medium not only changes but also reinforces our uses and understandings of the current ones. For example, the onset of digital media extended the reach of literacy by reinforcing the use of writing and print media. No one medium or technology stands alone. They must be considered in concert. Moreover, to be literate in the all-at-once world of digital media is to understand its systemic nature, the inherent interrelationship and interconnectedness of all technology and media. As Walter Ong put it, "Today, it appears, we live in a culture or in cultures very much drawn to openness and in particular to open-system models for conceptual representations. This openness can be connected with our new kind of orality, the secondary orality of our electronic age..." "Secondary orality" reminds one of the original names of certain technologies (e.g., "horseless carriage," "cordless phone," "wireless" technology, etc.), as if the real name for the thing is yet to come along.

These changes deserve an updated and much more nuanced consideration given how far they've proliferated since Ong's time. 'Net Smart: How to Thrive Online' collects Howard Rheingold`s thoughts about using, learning, and teaching via networks from the decades since Ong and McLuhan theorized technology's epochal shift. Rheingold's account is as personal as it is pragmatic. He was at Xerox PARC when Bob Taylor, Douglas Englebart, and Alan Kay were inventing the medium (see his 1985 book, '
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Raimondo on March 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a pleasure to follow Howard Rheingold on this provocative journey into how best to make sense of the near-now through developing some new and distinct basic competencies. In a way the book is Howard's travelogue through his own cognitive atlas as he sagely builds a set of models for how to now only survive, but thrive in the face of ever-accelerating demands on attention and in the sheer volume of information encountered daily.
As Rheingold skillfully builds his case for acquiring a new set of tools with which to deal with information, he also introduces us to a plethora of experts across a broad swath of disciplines: IT, engineering, learning, cognitive science, and neuroscience to flesh out the concepts he's inventing to help himself make better sense of the world. At the same time, the book provides detailed step-by-step examples of how to implement the dashboard, Radars, agents, and sensors that Howard has arrayed to bring coherence and amenity to his own info-space.
At the book's heart is a key notion of Infotention-a neologism Rheingold coined, and which really sits at the middle of a radical proposition. Developing the cognitive capacity to effectively adopt a "mind-machine combination of brainpowered attention skills and computer-powered information filters" is a deceptively simple proposition with deep implications. Very little in most people's education provides them with the ability to effectively develop the mindset of focus and awareness that Infotention calls for.
Rheingold also brings a deep understanding of the underpinnings of the social platforms that have exploded on to the scene.
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