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Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload Hardcover – Illustrated, June 15, 2007
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From the Back Cover
This is The Elements of Style for the digital age.
- Seth Godin, author, The Dip
Mark Hurst has written the indispensable guide to the digital era. Instead of a mere "how-to" guide, Hurst shows what's really going on when we struggle with e-mail and todo lists. For anyone who has ever used a computer, this will not just wildly increase their productivity (as it has for me!) - it'll also let their ideas fly.
- David Bodanis, author, E=mc2 and Passionate Minds
An informative and clear step-by-step guide on how to turn the ever-increasing avalanche of bits into a force that will propel your life and career.
- Tom Hughes, Chief Design Officer, Idealab
Mark Hurst is the smartest person thinking about ways technology can make our lives easier rather than harder. If you're willing to give up some of your useless bytes for true knowledge and crowded RAM for zen clarity, then get bit-literate today.
- Douglas Rushkoff, author, Get Back in the Box
A lot of people feel left out of the whole Internet and computer thing, but realize it could be really valuable for them. Bit Literacy provides the basic skills required for anyone to engage the wave of informational change.
- Craig Newmark, founder, craigslist.org
Most of us learned how to deal with digital technology in piecemeal fashion. We developed habits that served us well for a time. But for the modern digital age, almost all of our habits are bad. In Bit Literacy, Mark Hurst provides brief, no-nonsense, clear, and unbelievably helpful advice on how to replace those bad habits with good ones. Take his advice and instead of being tyrannized by the overload that comes at you daily, you'll be liberated.
- Barry Schwartz, author, The Paradox of Choice
The word 'empowerment' should be included in the subtitle of this book, as I believe reading it reduces the hypertension involved in our daily journey through the flotsam and jetsam of life. Bit Literacy helps make the complex clear.
- Richard Saul Wurman, author, Understanding USA
About the Author
As the founder of Creative Good and Good Experience, and host of the renowned Gel conference (Good Experience Live), Hurst and his companies help organizations work more productively and create better customer experiences. Hurst holds bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science from MIT. He lives in New York City with his wife.
- Item Weight : 15.4 ounces
- Hardcover : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780979368103
- ISBN-13 : 978-0979368103
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.56 x 9 inches
- ASIN : 0979368103
- Publisher : Creative Good, Inc.; Illustrated edition (June 15, 2007)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,185,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This would be a great book to read if you are feeling the overload from your inbox and especially if you have more than one email inbox! The author's point of the book was neither to delete everything in your inbox when it gets overcrowded nor to live completely off of the grid. The point was to make the bits easy for you to manage. One of the ways to manage bits is to ask yourself, “is this leaving me empty?” or “what do I really get out of this?” I put down the book at this point and thought long and hard about my usage of Facebook. After I finished reading the book I actually took the time to clean up my Facebook of “friends” and business pages that I was following. I then took the time to actually unsubscribe to email lists that I no longer have interest in. Usually I would just delete the emails without reading them, but this Bit Literacy made me realize that they were still wasting my time by ever showing up in my inbox in the first place.
* People who are afraid of technology and people who are obsessed with technology really have the same relationship with technology-fear.
* Technology is here to stay. The impact it has on our lives is increasing and we must more and more vigilant about where and how we allow technology into our lives
* Technology can answer the how, but humans must answer the "Why" and "What for?"
Going to the Solutions part of the book, I was little disappointed. I was still confused about what bit literacy means and how it differed from computer literacy. I was given clues about it, but never really got a clear grasp of it. I also came across some phrases like:
"Emptiness is at the heart of bit literacy..." (pg. 211)
What does that mean? It sounds deep, but I missed the boat on that.
Moving beyond that, the book does have some really good guidelines about how to better select your information sources (especially overload). I say guidelines because they are more general in nature. When specific tips are given, they are highly detailed (leading to overload in reading them). Other details, while good, really didn't add anything to my repertoire though because most of the tips I already implement or I wasn't interested in. It's a good book, but it's gets lost in the process of trying to simplify the process.
If you read my blog then you are aware that I have already begun to put some of what is mentioned in this book into practice. I have started with my email. I am working to eliminate the overload of data that comes from my email, Twitter, social network sites, blogs, RSS Readers, etc. One thing I never considered as being part of this formula is digitial photography, but after reading about this it all makes complete sense.
This book opened my eyes to many things that I do in my life that could be eliminated and allow me to be more bit savvy. About every single thing mentioned in the book that is viewed as doing it wrong, I currently do. From my email inboxes as storage devices, to writing out long to-do lists on paper with no set daily goals to always being connected online with my feeds.
This book has set me up with some key parameters to help make life easier. I have already elminated on email account down to 4 emails(I cannot get down to 0 for another month). Check out my previous posts to understand why. I still have a few more email accounts left to go, but it is a start.
I read this book on my Kindle App and used the highlight and note tools to keep track of key parts of the book to go back and visit when I ready to move on to another part of my bit life.
This book is a MUST READ for anyone who needs some guidance in making sense in the bit world. We are saturated in so much information that it take some serious work to sort through everything effectively. This book will help you do just that. Check it out to let the bits go.
Top reviews from other countries
This book aims to provide some basic advice on how to handle the constant stream of incoming data, by using the technology in a way to do some of the work for you. It is written in a plain, easy to understand way, and I would suggest that most people could start to implement some of the advice pretty quickly and that it would make their lives considerably easier. You do have to start at the beginning, but after that, you can dip in and out of certain sections.
The author does make quite a big thing of a product that he has developed; but don't think that the book is just an advert for that service, you can use other products as well. All in all, it is well written, full of practical advice, and if the advice is followed, would make many people's lives better organised.
The information in this book is pretty good and I received some good tips.
Its not a great book for the Kindle. There are many many notes which are all bundled together at the end of the book.
I would have been a little disappointed if I paid for it but as it was free its not a bad book.