Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age is Revolutionizing Life, Business, and Society
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Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age is Revolutionizing Life, Business, and Society

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  639 ratings  ·  93 reviews
A visionary and optimistic thinker examines the tension between privacy and publicness that is transforming how we form communities, create identities, do business, and live our lives.Thanks to the internet, we now live--more and more--in public. More than 750 million people (and half of all Americans) use Facebook, where we share a billion times a day. The collective voic...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2011)
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Luke Burrage
I listened to this one instead of reading it. Jeff Jarvis is a good narrator of his own material.

The content is very interesting, though only a few parts are brand new if you are a regular listener to the This Week in Google podcast. What it does do is set out all the concepts and thoughts very clearly in a slightly more scholarly way, and not as a conversation as on the TWiG show.

As for the topic of Publicness complimenting Privacy, this is something I've been aware of since I first got online...more
André Spiegel
I had been looking forward to this book for months. When it came out, I was glad I didn't have to camp in front of a bookstore to get my copy — it was delivered wirelessly to my e-reader a few seconds after publication. And yet, having read it, I cannot deny a mild sense of disappointment.

I feel a bit like a choir being preached to. I'm on Twitter, on Facebook, on Google+, and a host of other online services. I publish my precise physical location online, and I've got my own blog. I haven't yet...more
Megan
In this book, Jeff Jarvis writes as an advocate for the public culture the Internet has fostered. While at times I would call him overly optimistic, he highlights ways that the Internet’s culture of publicness has positively affected our lives. He discusses the meaning of public versus private, what the terms meant in the past, and what they mean now.

While I do not agree with everything he writes (I tend to err on the side of caution and, yes, privacy), I can see that many of his points are val...more
Simon Howard
In Public Parts, Jeff Jarvis counterbalances arguments about the sinister effects of erosion of privacy in the modern world. He argues that openness and sharing, on balance, improve the world. He coins the word 'publicness' to describe open sharing, and argues convincingly that 'publicness' is not the polar opposite of 'privacy'.

This is a book which stimulates thought. I particularly appreciated Jeff's elucidation of the argument that regulation should focus on the use of information that has be...more
Jenny
Interesting plea for publicness, which I agree with, for the most part, and it made me think about the choices I make and why I make them - and re-affirmed my opinions and choices.

Here's what I want to remember:

The 1999 quote from Douglas Adams:
"I suppose earlier generations had to sit through all this huffing and puffing with the invention of television, the phone, cinema, radio, the car, the bicycle, printing, the wheel and so on, but you would think we would learn the way these things work, w...more
Terry
Jeff Jarvis has written a rhetorically tight, logically sound, and presentably quotable speech on the importance of publicness in modernity. I say speech specifically as the presentation is more persuasive than scholarly and argument is more woven than partitioned. The debate style was very continental, constantly invoking previous scholars work but without the analytically rigorous support that I would have liked. Large numbers are presented as facts provided by Internet notables rather than as...more
Gary
Enjoyable and highly listenable book on how our perceptions are changing regarding privacy and how in general it is very beneficial for us.

While listening, I kept harping back to some other books I've recently listened to and for which I thought the similar topics in this book were covered much better. The books are 1) Too Big to Know, The smartest person in the room is the room meaning the internet we have at our fingertips empowers us like never before 2) Tipping Point, networking and crowd so...more
Robert Chapman
This is the second book I have read which was written by Jeff Jarvis, the first was What Would Google Do (WWGD). I loved WWGD so I pre-ordered Public Parts at the very first opportunity. The book came at an opportune time for me as I had just recently turned from a social network hater into a serious user and the notion of publicness was very relevant.

The book discusses publicness in relation to the technologies and ideas which are pervasive today. It starts by looking at the impact to our perso...more
Aaron
I ended up really enjoying this book that looks into the concept of privacy and the Internet. I have to admit that I went into the read already agreeing with the concept that there is a certain paranoia about privacy with regard to how we use the Internet and social media sites specifically.

I think that Jarvis does a great job of looking and trying to define the terms privacy and publicness to identify whether we really are in danger (as long as we act responsibly) on the Internet. He also touch...more
josh
Mar 15, 2012 josh rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to josh by: shelf @ UAPL
i will admit right off the bat - i read this because i wanted to read an opposing view to the one i hold. the author presents a good argument for openness - but i think it's a bit too optimistic and overlooks the fact that people are basically self-serving.

fortunately, he does point out that what he's asking in his idealized world is contrary to the interests of govt's & businesses - hedging bets that his optimal plan will likely go unrealized (in the foreseeable future, anyhow). additional...more
Kelsey
Public Parts by Jeff Jarvis is a really easy, yet interesting read. Jarvis uses personal and cultural examples to illustrate the importance of public sharing, and also highlights the challenges in separating public and private life. Jarvis's arguments in regards to businesses being more open in sharing ideas and interacting with their customers is especially strong. While I personally do not agree with publicness online to the extent that Jarvis does, I found that his logic for the most part mad...more
Aaron Bollinger
Jeff does a very good job laying out the argument for being more public. He also reaches the same conclusion I've been thinking for several years now - that it is getting harder and harder to separate private and public lives and what will ultimately give is society's strict standards. I believe someday everything from drinking pictures to religious and political declarations will be shared on Facebook without a thought of "I could be fired" or "these people might hate me". Ultimately, we're all...more
Velanche
I've listened to this title as an audio book, shortly after its release. I have just listened to This Week is Google (TWIG), where Jeff Jarvis, the author, is a co-host. He's made some pretty compelling arguments on the show that privacy and the Internet can have unintended consequences, especially when companies create products (mainly software and services) that could ultimately very useful, even if a company may use data I volunteer it for other purposes. Google is a good example; though it c...more
Adam
Mar 14, 2012 Adam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I've been reading Jarvis for more than a decade, I think, on his blog and then twitter, and I've quoted him to journalism classes. So I knew what to expect here, but the explanation of the ideas -- many of which I think I've just internalized -- was still interesting. A few notes I made:

Hadn't heard his idea of us being atoms in society that reform our molecules.

"What's public is owned by us, the public" even if we do it as individuals Finan Times said "the streets belong to everyone and that m...more
Craig Dube
This book had its moments but just not enough of them. This book is about publicness and the open sharing of information for both businesses and professionals. It talks about topics such as public vs. private; the benefits and pitfalls of being open, honest and transparent; what the past has shown us and what he believes the future holds. I found both the beginning and end section to be a bit dull and long winded. The end also gets a bit preachy as he maps out what he believes society needs to d...more
msd
Oct 02, 2013 msd rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: bloggers, twitterers, digital content creators
As someone who's been knocking around the internetz for about a decade now, I enjoyed the hell out of this book because it tackled quite a few of the issues I've always had, like sharing and privacy and the associated hang ups as a content creator and social networker. There's that compulsion to share and exchange information and ideas, but there's similarly just as strong a compulsion to retain a level of privacy and distance.

This book focuses on the benefits of sharing, while asking exactly w...more
Amy
I think this was a great explanation of how sharing information has evolved and highlighted the benefits of sharing. I appreciated his optimism.

Publicizing information and ideas may not mean we are any less private. Maybe sharing a selfie or an idea is a way for an individual to get feedback which can help an individual grow. Maybe the value in publicizing ideas for the individual is the feedback but for the public it's the opportunity to provide feedback.
Mark Dodson
In a bigger sense, this book is more about current economic and cultural shifts than privacy and sharing, altho both of those factor into it.

I’m familiar with Jeff’s work from the TWIG (This Week in Google) podcast where he covers similar ground. That said, the book goes a bit deeper with some historical background that relates to the present, and some examples of how the “privacy” can be interpreted differently in other parts of the world. A chapter covers how radical and disturbing the concept...more
Pete D'angelo
as a semi-regular listener to this week in google, there wasn't much new here, but a decent summary of mr. jarvis' ideas on publicness and openness. while i agree with most of his ideas, i do find him almost naively optimistic at times. some things will always remain private. google will NEVER open-source its search algorithm, for example, for obvious reasons. it's their core asset and a major barrier of entry to would-be competitors. medical records are another example of something i think maki...more
Brian Kirby
This book is written on a higher level than what I am used to reading. That isn't a bad thing but it did not help my understanding of Mr. Jarvis' points. I also read this book in small parts over a long period of time and that did not help me either. I also did not enjoy how it felt like Mr. Jarvis was preaching at me or talking down at me.

The content of the book was good and he had some excellent points. felt as though he was "beating a dead horse" towards the end of each chapter with the amou...more
Kent Winward
I do like to read the technological optimists. My main critique of the book is not that it didn't flood me with ideas and inspire me to explore the digital sharing realm more -- it did that. No, the problem was the book felt organized around those same sharing principles. I would have liked more organizational structure imposed by the author -- isn't that the point of the book or whatever it is we call the authorial voice compiled in one digital file?

In the end, the book felt like lots of great...more
David Everling
Jarvis says so much of what I want to convey to people about privacy, both on the internet and as a basic concept. Thank goodness he and others like Clay Shirky are willing to put in the time and effort to break the issues down and make a reasoned case for publicness explicitly; this argument roils up worst-case fears and is not easily won.

Whether you're more intrigued or concerned by the rapid shifts in privacy that are accompanying the digital age, Public Parts is worth a read for supporters...more
Chris Wood
Public parts is an excellent counter-argument to the strong privacy advocates surrounding the internet, social networks, facial recognition, and other challenges within today's society. Jarvis presents his points of view in well written, non-emotional (often found in privacy articles) and factual manors, both challenging as well as complementing privacy concerns. He takes the perspectives from many cultures, looking at their history & diving into why different countries are pro or against va...more
Rebecca
One of those books I saw an ad for in FastCompany or something, so it is about the tech industry and who, what, where, when, how should we keep stuff private? What are the limitations? How have things changed as technology has changed and what does it mean for us now? Thankfully, I quick read. Too much history for me. I like stuff that takes place in "the now" rather then a history lesson. But the author had to frame everything up. Also, the author threw in way too much personal stuff, but then,...more
Donovanme
Insightful primer on modern approaches for businesses to embrace openness. Tons of innovative perspectives. Love Jeff on TWIG, this book puts a mute button on the rest of the panel :)
Nazary
A very important book about a very important topic written rather poorly. Jeff Jarvis makes some excellent points in this book about the roles of publicness in our lives, what it means to be public, and the positive benefits of being public. His style wasn't for me however - it was like a series of random blog posts stapled together relying on random anecdotes then a cohesive whole. That being said moments of profound truth do poke out and this is clearly a topic he cares about and wants people...more
Patrick Matte
J'ai adoré ce livre.

Jeff Jarvis explique la "publitude" (publicness ou le fait d'être public) sans être en opposition à la vie privée. Il ratisse large: le printemps arabe, Facebook, Google, les lois de l'union européenne.

Il parle aussi de la période que nous vivons actuellement comme l'une des période les plus importante de l'histoire de l'humanité, au même titre que l'invention de l'imprimé par Gutenberg. À ce sujet, il fait des parallèles fort intéressants entre les deux époques.

Je le recomm...more
Netz
extract out of a blog-discussion on which i was taking part,,,
,,,the book is quite good, not quite a page turner, but then you wouldn't expect that from this kind of book. I'm just over half way through.
There are quite a few eye openers, bits of food for thought pop up every now and again, but mostly this is +Jeff Jarvis giving his opinion air, which is - in it's own right quite weighty and refreshing, but you shouldn't expect science here.
Actually I'm hearing this book, via Audible, Jeff reads...more
Karen Mardahl
Thought it was a bit superficial and too buddy-buddy with Facebook and Google at first. Then he starts getting at the heart of the matter about how we share our data. He raised valid questions and proposed good definitions of privacy and publicness. Still learning to take notes in audiobooks and finding I prefer paper books for non-fiction. Not sure marking in Kindle is good enough for my way of marking up a book. :)This is definitely a book to rerun to again and to share and to discuss. I like...more
Rich Mccue
Jeff Jarvis is preaching to the choir in my case.
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Jeff Jarvis is an American journalist writing for publications such as New York Daily News, the San Francisco Examiner, and The Guardian. In 2006 he became an associate professor at City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism, directing its new media program. He is a co-host on This Week in Google, a show on the TWiT Network.


Picture by Robert Scoble
More about Jeff Jarvis...
What Would Google Do? Gutenberg the Geek Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live Regret the Error: How Media Mistakes Pollute the Press and Imperil Free Speech Free for All: The Internet's Transformation of Journalism

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“What’s insidious about the fear of what others will say is that you rarely hear them say it. You imagine what they’d say. You imagine they care that much about you. The fragility of our own egos gets the better of us” 0 likes
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