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And Then There's This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 11, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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- Kurt Andersen, author of Heyday and host of NPR's Studio 360
"Bill Wasik is a guerrilla mischief-maker, a mad scientist of the meme. Irreverence is not a bad starting point for making sense of the web, and Wasik takes full advantage, pushing buttons and pulling puppet strings. The combination of his restless mind and the explosive new medium yields insights that are provocative and, often, hilarious."
-Ted Conover, author of Newjack
"I was the guy who got Bill Wasik's first flash-mob e-mail but was too lazy to put on pants and go. It was a mistake. Bill understands not just how viral culture spreads ideas and scams and energy- drink-purchasing opportunities; it's also a completely new way to tell-and experience- stories."
-John Hodgman, author of The Areas of My Expertise
"This book will last far longer than its allocated fifteen minutes of fame. It's well researched, funny, irreverent, and addictive. Useful, too. One of those rare books that dissects a cultural phenomenon in a way that resonates."
-Seth Godin, author of Tribes
"What if the revolution was what Bill Wasik calls a 'nanostory'? It would begin with a flash mob disrupting business as usual and then die the following day, at a Ford Motor Company 'flash concert' echoing through Boston's New Brutalist downtown. And Then There's This is deeply troubling, but it's also the wittiest book I've read in years-an ingenious and, in the end, hopeful response to the sound and the fury of our twittering times."
-Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family and co-author of Killing the Buddha
"As to the engenderings of the new and newest media-when to YouTube and how to viral, where the microtrend begins and why the nanostory ends-I know of no more reliably informed source than Bill Wasik's And Then There's This. An epistemological wonder to behold."
-Lewis H. Lapham
Top Customer Reviews
Besides the information glut, shortening attention spans, and overall exhaustion this creates, the really good content gets lost after its fleeting 15 minutes of fame (if that). And despite the broader array of news and opinion available to us, we have not necessarily broadened our horizons, but rather self-segregate ourselves into smaller & smaller niches of like-minded individuals.
The same themes were picked up in a Financial Times article last week, which noted that for many, social media has become "a more personal filter to the infinite world of the Internet." Where people use to turn to traditional portals like Yahoo! or AOL as their entry point, they are now turning to Facebook or their preferred feed aggregator, reading just the news & information that comes in from friends or other trusted sources. Ray Valdes, a media analyst from Gartner is quoted: "We are moving toward a world of `snackable' news'that'can be shared like pieces of candy or a pack of gum...Unfortunately, we run the risk of losing substance and nutritive value."
Wasik closes his book with a brief look at some of the "solutions" to Internet fatigue.Read more ›
Wasik's book is a collection of stories about the way he created online buzz. In one example, he entered a contest sponsored by Huffington press where websites competed for the most visitors. Wasik was supposed to cover the event as a reporter but ended up entering and winning. In another chapter, he tries and fails to stop the buzz on an indie band.
Wasik's point seems to be twofold. On the one hand, stories capture the imagination of the Internet world. While you're hot, bloggers wite about you and you're known everywhere. But these days stories have a really short shelf lne.
On the other hand, the stories don't get famous because they have such great content. Theyget famous because people like Wasik know how to spread the word. For instance, Wasik created the Mob scenes where hundreds of people descended on a particular place for no reason at all.
The book is enjoyable: fun to read with aIt would have been more satisfing if Wasik could explain why some stories go viral and some don't. How dos he know how to choose topics and create blogs that get attenton so fast? Is this a skill that others can learn?
Recommended for anyone interested in the Internet, the arts, communication theory or sociology. It's a livng lesson.
There is a blurb on the back that says the book has a timeless quality to it and whoever said it is totally right. It could be The Image for my generation. The notion of process journalism, which I think is a stupid rationalization for lazy reporting - a way for blogs to abdicate responsibility for their actions - the way that we consume the stories we created ourselves like some oblivious ouroboros; all these things are discussed thoughtfully by someone with actual experience in the matter. In fact, I think it's the first time someone who knew what they were talking about has attempted to do so. It's short, definitely worth reading. A peerless book thus far.
Bill Wasik digs himself well out of the whole he created by starting flash mobs a few years ago. He should be rewarded for this thoughtful, unique and important book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very interesting perspective on the prominent space of the "online", what it really means to be an online consumer, the extent of anonymity online, and furthermore, the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Terrible book and completely worthless as a textbook companion! The author spends most of his time pontificating and showing off his detailed grasp on the lesser used and... Read morePublished on July 10, 2014 by Rod D. Swartz
I am reviewing this book from the standpoint of a Christian worldview though the book is not Christian. Read morePublished on December 19, 2013 by SLIMJIM
Wasik sprinkles academic research results (social science experiments from various university groups) in the book, but these results are at best superficial and at worst imprecise... Read morePublished on November 15, 2012 by Evan Tick
This is a tiresome read. Wasik seems to be more interested in showing off than anything else. Written in the mould of Malcolm Gladwell but not close to filling it. Read morePublished on October 18, 2012 by will81
At first I thought that Wasik was going to spend the whole book congratulating himself on his brilliance. Read morePublished on February 12, 2011 by Gaetan Giannini
Wasik is not only describing a new world in which stories have a short half life. He is also wittily inserting himself into that world while writing about it. Read morePublished on December 13, 2009 by Jonathan Groner
Wasik's general point is that we're overwhelmed with so much information and entertainment from our web addiction that we can't see the forest for the trees, or rather it's the... Read morePublished on October 26, 2009 by Inquiring Mind