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And Then There's This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample And Then Theres This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture, by Bill Wasik
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (154 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bill Wasik Narrator: Bill Wasik Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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An entertaining and eye-opening look into the new frontier of idea making - breaking news, fresh gossip, tiny scandals, trumped up crises - every day we are distracted by a culture that rings our doorbell and then runs away. Stories spread wildly and die out in mere days, quickly replaced by more stories with ever shorter shelflives. How we participate in these stories has changed, too. No longer do we sit on the sidelines waiting for monolithic media giants to tell us what's happening. Anyone on a computer in his or her local Starbucks can spread a story almost as easily as The New York Times, CNN, or People - in fact blogs are now often the source for journalists working in big media.

And Then There's This is Bill Wasik's journey along the unexplored frontier of our churning and rambunctious viral culture. Covering this world - watching new bands promote themselves at South by Southwest; reporting on a website contest while secretly entering it; and creating a site that aggregates all blog smears against the presidential primary candidates - he ends up conducting six experiments himself. He doesn't always get the results he expected, but along the way he meets a cast of characters who are capable of getting their information into our brains - and they're not who you think.

And Then There's This reveals how our culture is now created from the ground up. Wasik proves that any one of us can cause a small ripple that can turn into a tsunami. Anyone involved in journalism, business, or information technology - and those who want to be - must read this book. And for the rest, Wasik's tour is great, eye-opening fun. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Reviews

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Review by Heather Denkmire | 2/17/2014

    " I can't stand giving up on books, but sometimes it doesn't feel like a struggle. I read a review of this somewhere that suggested maybe the problem with the book is the subject matter (elusive, fast moving, insubstantial) not the book itself. In any case, I had to mark this "read" to get it off my "to read" or "currently reading" list but have marked it "given up," also. Meh. It felt too much like a waste of time. There's probably irony in here somewhere but I'm not sure where to find it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Review by Patrick | 2/6/2014

    " Ten years ago I read Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death, and it forever changed how I watch (or rather, now, don't watch) television. Bill Wasik's And Then There's This, while not as groundbreaking for me as Postman's book, nonetheless is an insightful follow-up for those now living in the age of the internet (Postman wrote in 1985). Wasik shows how the internet encourages us to trivialize ourselves to death, and provides a fairly interesting account of how that occurs. The book could have been better, but I appreciate anything that spurs me on to think more carefully about any major aspect of my life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Review by Ihancock | 1/2/2014

    " As I read this book I often had moments of reflection, interest, confusion, skepticism; in fact, I felt pulled in many different directions. This is, I guess, to be expected when the book describes itself as part memoir, part field report, part manifesto, and part deconstruction of a decade. I found the book initially to get into for this very reason. However, as the book went on, either I became more acclimatized to the editing and writing style or the book became clearer at defending its thesis. I am not sure that I agreed with the authors assertion that the rise of memes coincides with the rise of boredom and or the increasing "multitasking" brain. I more think that it is a symptom of a society that has learned that it can have a voice and that sometimes this voice gives rise to someone that others want to seek out and connect with. This used to be the realm of professionals but more than ever it is amateurs who seek each other out and confer this status on each other. This is more than boredom. It is people who want to bask in popularity; want to go for that moment of fame which is altogether more possible in the internet world. However, there were many moments I did agree with including the rapid rise and fall of stories or websites as people find the "next big thing" then move on as the site becomes crowded and no longer new. I think one of the challenges for storymakers and website developers (and one that I think Facebook is facing right now) is how to not only keep things new but also how to keep the initial flood of people who signed on at the beginning and excitedly "helped" the website or story gain importance/mature. I myself know this feeling as someone who has excitedly been involved in a website ad it began and am now feeling like my contributions are being lost as the site grows in users. Selfish? Maybe but when new web 2.0 sites look to initial users and connect with them as a way to grow their site some thought has to be placed onthis concept I think. I also agreed with the author about the need to reach out beyond what we feel agrees with our opinions. The Internet has made this far to easy but it will be a challenge to overcome for precisely the reasons given by the author. All in all, a good book; interesting anecdotes, difficult to get into to start with but easier if you stay with it. As with most of these books I also would not purchase it. Will it stay relevant as time goes? Maybe, maybe not. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Review by Jordan | 12/30/2013

    " Nicely written, and really interesting. "

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About the Author
Author Bill Wasik

Bill Wasik is a senior editor at Wired magazine and was previously a senior editor at Harper’s, where he wrote on culture, media, and politics. He is the editor of the anthology Submersion Journalism and has also written for the Oxford American, Slate, Salon, and McSweeney’s.