Thursday, April 10, 2008

Blogging about Blogs: A selection of books on the blogging revolution

Added by Matthew Horowitz '10

Blogs, Youtube, and Wikipedia are certainly captivating today’s younger generations and transforming the very fabric of American cultural achievement to date, but what are the implications of this new participatory Web revolution? In The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing our Culture, Silicon Valley guru Andrew Keen takes up this very question. He offers a critical, yet compelling denunciation of today’s Internet as a dangerous forum for the proliferation of an amateur and undermining culture. He argues that this “cult” threatens to devour our most valued cultural institutions such as magazines, music, movies, and even newspapers. Beware. Your perception of our generation’s favorite pastime might never be the same.

Andrew Keen. The Cult of the Amateur: how today's internet is killing our culture. Doubleday/Currency. 2007. Burling 2nd Floor. HM851.K44 2007

In Ultimate Blogs: Masterworks from the Wild Web, Sarah Boxer, the original Web critic for The New York Times, presents an entertaining anthology of some of the Web's most vibrant blogs. The book features a diverse array of the very best posts from blogs including Becker-Posner, a chillingly clear blog written by a Nobel laureate in economics (Becker) and a U.S. Court of Appeals judge (Posner) about hot-button issues such as immigration and global warming, and Micrographica, an online cartoon blog starring a piece of crap and a rodent. Think of Ultimate Blogs as the product of many many hours of searching the Web in hope of finding that interesting tid-bit that will brighten your day.

Sarah Boxer. Ultimate Blogs: Masterworks from the Wild Web. Vintage Books. 2008.
Burling 1st Floor. AC5.U45 2008

In BLOG: Understanding the Information Reformation that’s Changing Your World, Hugh Hewitt offers up the unofficial history of the blogging movement. With literally millions of blogs regularly being visited on the Web, the blogosphere represents a new and fast moving information highway. BLOG is an essential road map to this highway so you don’t get lost or left behind.

Hugh Hewitt. BLOG: Understanding the Information Reformation that's Changing Your World. T. Nelson Publishers. 2005. Science Library. TK5105.8884.H48 2005

In Blog!: How the Newest Media Revolution is Changing Politics, Business, and Culture David Kline and Dan Burstein take an energetic look at the rapid emergence of the Internet blogosphere. Through a series of interviews, they take you into the minds of the world's newest, yet suddenly powerful elite: influential bloggers. Included are people like Joe Trippi, former National Campaign Manager for Howard Dean, whose use of blogs as fund-raising tools and grassroots organizers has revolutionized politics. Although Kline and Burstein acknowledge blogs as the new growth industry on the Web, they argue that they have their limits. The newest vehicle for the voiceless in politics, business, and culture is seemingly destined to fall short of the glorified hyperbole currently surrounding its name.

David Kline and Dan Burstein. Blog!: How the Newest Media Revolution is Changing Politics, Business, and Culture. CDS Books. 2005. Science Library. TK5105.8884.K55x 2005

Blogs are the newest medium for political expression and are quickly proliferating around the World Wide Web, but how will they impact our democracy? This is the focus of David D. Perlmutter's book entitled Blogwars. Perlmutter argues that blogs like DailyKos, The Huffington Post, Powerlineblog, Instapundit, and Talking Points Memo are becoming an essential part of our political dialog that professionals simply can no longer ignore. By providing a diversity of opinions and a space for lesser voices, blogs offer a great venue for deepening our democracy. As blogs are increasingly replacing traditional news mediums as a source of information, Perlmutter offers an important examination of this often controversial, new cultural phenomenon.

David D. Perlmutter. Blogwars. Oxford University Press. 2008.
Burling 2nd Floor. JA85.2.U6 P45 2008

In We're All Journalists Now: The Transformation of the Press and Reshaping of the Law in the Internet Age, Scott Gant takes a look at how bloggers are recasting the mold of journalism.

Scott Gant. We're All Journalist Now: The Transformation of the Press and Reshaping of the Law in the Internet Age. Free Press. 2007. Burling 2nd Floor. KF2750. G36 2007.

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