It's been quite a long time since I did one of these posts, but as the summer reading season approaches I thought I'd highlight a few interesting items that are coming out soon.
- Free: The Future of a Radical Price (Amazon.ca)
In his revolutionary bestseller, The Long Tail, Chris Anderson demonstrated how the online marketplace creates niche markets, allowing products and consumers to connect in a way that has never been possible before. Now, in Free, he makes the compelling case that in many instances businesses can profit more from giving things away than they can by charging for them. Far more than a promotional gimmick, Free is a business strategy that may well be essential to a company's survival.
- Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It's Becoming, and Why It Matters (Amzn.ca)
In Say Everything, Scott Rosenberg chronicles blogging's unplanned rise and improbable triumph, tracing its impact on politics, business, the media, and our personal lives. He offers close-ups of innovators such as Blogger founder Evan Williams, investigative journalist Josh Marshall, exhibitionist diarist Justin Hall, software visionary Dave Winer, "mommyblogger" Heather Armstrong, and many others.
These blogging pioneers were the first to face new dilemmas that have become common in the era of Google and Facebook, and their stories offer vital insights and warnings as we navigate the future. How much of our lives should we reveal on the Web? Is anonymity a boon or a curse? Which voices can we trust? What does authenticity look like on a stage where millions are fighting for attention, yet most only write for a handful? And what happens to our culture now that everyone can say everything?
- Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future (Amazon.ca)
In Unscientific America, journalist and best-selling author Chris Mooney and scientist Sheril Kirshenbaum explain how corporate interests, a weak education system, science-phobic politicians, and hyperspecialized scientists have created this dangerous state of affairs. They also propose a broad array of initiatives that could reverse the current trend and lead to the greater integration of science into our national discourse--before it is too late.
- We-Think: Mass innovation, not mass production (Amazon.ca)
Charles Leadbeater explores the ways in which mass collaboration is dramatically reshaping our approach to work, play, and communication.
Society is no longer based on mass consumption but on mass participation. New forms of collaboration--such as Wikipedia, Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube--are paving the way for an age in which people want to be players, rather than mere spectators, in the production process. We-Think explains how the rise of mass collaboration will affect us and the world in which we live.
We think therefore we are. The future is us.
- Don't Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style (Amazon.ca)
After nearly a decade on the defensive, the world of science is about to be restored to its rightful place. But is the American public really ready for science? And is the world of science ready for the American public?
Scientists wear ragged clothes, forget to comb their hair, and speak in a language that even they don't understand. Or so people think. Most scientists don't care how they are perceived, but in our media-dominated age, style points count.
Enter Randy Olson. Fifteen years ago, Olson bid farewell to the science world and shipped off to Hollywood ready to change the world. With films like Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus (Tribeca '06, Showtime) and Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy (Outfest '08), he has tried to bridge the cultural divide that has too often left science on the outside looking in.