If the service is free, you’re the product. How Facebook, Google and the rest use our data against us. My May 2nd 2018 conversation with JONATHAN TAPLIN, Director Emeritus of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, former tour manager for Bob Dylan and The Band, producer of films including Scorsese’s MEAN STREETS. His book, MOVE FAST AND BREAK THINGs: How Facebook, Google and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy comes out in paperback in June.
“If it doesn’t spread, it’s dead,” is the simple consistent message of a new book, SPREADABLE MEDIA: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture, that maps the changes taking place in our media environment. For all their consolidation, concentration, and money, corporations can no longer control media distribution. Millions are now directly involved in the creation and circulation of content.
“Stickiness” – focusing attention in centralized places — has been the measure of success in the broadcast era. No more. “Spreadability” – dispersing content through formal and informal networks, with and without permission – is the new goal.
What does this mean for media? For information? For culture? For the distribution of power? And how can you take advantage of the new realities to have greater impact and influence?
I’ll be talking about all of that this week with one of the book’s authors, HENRY JENKINS. He coined the term “participatory culture” and he’s been paying attention for decades to the crowd on the other side of the camera, the microphone, and the screen.
In CONNECTED, as her father battles brain cancer and she confronts a high-risk pregnancy, TIFFANY SHLAIN, co-founder of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences and a Fellow at the Aspen Institute, asks what it means to be connected in the 21st century.
The documentary film continues at three theaters in the Bay area, opens 09/30 at the Arclight Hollywood (Q&A w Shlain)and at the Angelika in New York 10/14 (Q&A w Shlain).
TIFFANY SHLAIN, honored by Newsweek as one of the “Women Shaping the 21st Century,” is a filmmaker, artist, founder of The Webby Awards, co-founder of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences and a Henry Crown Fellow of The Aspen Institute. Her films include Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness, about reproductive rights in America and The Tribe, an exploration of American Jewish identity through the history of the Barbie doll, Yelp: With Apologies to Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, about our addiction to technology and the importance of “unplugging”, and her newest Connected: A Declaration of Interdependence
How much technology do you use? Email, texting, facebook, twitter, second life, etc. How's it working for you? Has it freed you up, given you more time, or has it added new demands to your life that actually make you feel you have less time? If you're using social media regularly, do you feel more connected with your friends and family or less?
Clinical psychologist SHERRY TURKLE has been studying our relationship with technology for most of her career, and has written several books about what she's experienced and learned. Of her newest, ALONE TOGETHER, she has said, "This is a book of repentance. I have been studying computers and people for thirty years. I didn't see several important things. I got some important things wrong." I was already interested in talking to her, but that really grabbed my attention. I'm interested in people, maybe especially experts, who are willing to change their minds.
Turkle writes: "Technology promises to let us do anything from anywhere with anyone. But it also drains us as we try to do everything everywhere. We begin to feel overwhelmed and depleted by the lives technology makes possible. We may be free to work from anywhere, but we are also prone to being lonely everywhere. In a surprising twist, relentless connection leads to a new solitude. We turn to new technology to fill the void,but as technology ramps up, our emotional lives ramp down."http://www.alonetogetherbook.com/
How did the Egyptian people overthrow longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak and are the people of Egypt better off today?
I am very excited to speak with WAEL GHONIM, the Egyptian web exec who played a leading role in last year’s Tahrir Square protests. With the first anniversary of those protests and the recent elections in Egypt, we have a lot to talk about.
WAEL GHONIM was a little-known 30-year-old Google manager, unwilling to publicly criticize the Egyptian regime — silenced like many by resignation and the fear of reprisals — until he anonymously launched a Facebook campaign to protest the death of one particular Egyptian man at the hands of security forces. In his new memoir, he tells us – from his experience — why and how the Egyptian people finally rejected 30 years of oppression and found their voice.
Let me read two quotes from WAEL GHONIM: “Social media allow ideas to be shared. They are places where people can unite, Revolutions can begin. A new type of Revolution – Revolution 2.0”
and finally — “People have called me a hero, but that is ridiculous – this has not been a revolution of heroic individuals, but about people coming together to overcome dictatorship.