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Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

“The Victorian Internet” by Tom Standage, business editor at the Economist, offers a concise history of the rise and fall of the telegraph. The well-written history takes into account the parallels that can be drawn between the telegraph and the Internet, as well as the adoption cycle of new technology. Standage intertwines factual statistics with humorous biographical information about the telegraph’s inventors and users. The book offers a fun and informative read. (more…)

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In today’s digital age of inexpensive and accessible media production and distribution means, it is clear that “We’re All Journalists Now.”

The book of this title by Scott Gant explores the current era’s transition in journalism and the laws associated with the changing times. Gant’s book examines today’s definition of “journalist” and to whom journalistic rights ought to be afforded. There are many well done elements of his book, ranging from its historical accounts, to modern day examples, to its strong central message and arguments. This is an excellent book for a classroom discussion, as its message has many points that can be debated. While the author’s position is at times questionable, this is a book that should be read. “We’re All Journalists Now” is a worthwhile, thought-provoking work.

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How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom is an apt subheading for The Wealth of Networks by Yochai Benkler. The book encompasses topics as broad as the name suggests. 

 

The five-hundred page book provides a sweeping take on networks, covering nearly everything from the history of radio to the future of information law and policy. The dense Introduction may take readers several days to wade through, but offers the core messages of the book, compacted into twenty-eight pages. After breaking further into the book, the weight is lifted as the author’s ideas are presented more freely, with space dedicated to supplementary explanations and examples.

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The Long Tail. Chris Anderson. Hyperion, 2006. 238 pp.

The digital age has thrown a curve ball at traditional economic theory. Disrupting the institutionalized notion that economics is about choice under scarcity, the Internet has introduced economists to a world of abundance.

Chris Anderson’s book The Long Tail examines the non-traditional markets that emerge when people are faced with abundance and infinite selection. This model allows the public to deviate from the accepted norm of being fed “hits” that are corporately designed for mass-appeal. Anderson’s Long Tail theory proves that by opening the door for consumers to access niche choices and tools of creation, the Internet has unveiled a means of “turning unprofitable customers, products, and markets into profitable ones” (p. 11). The Long Tail refers to the market share that is made attainable by the Internet’s introduction of “abundant shelf space, abundant distribution, and abundant choice” (p. 143).

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