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

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,301 ratings  ·  99 reviews

A journalist and visionary internet optimist's compelling argument for increased openness online in the digital age.
Published September 27th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published January 1st 2011)
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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
Luke Burrage
Oct 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Simon Howard
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Joel Cigan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
302.30285 JAR
CD 302.30285 JAR

My review: The hymn of publicness. the whole author's view of publicness is conversation, the relationship. Too exaggeration of benefit of public, not emphasis people need time to solitude, meditation. In the age of information deluge, how do we hold ourselves as deep-thinking individual? There are a lot of things we take for granted. e.g the meaning of public and private is kind of fixed in the certain kind of culture. We do not even notice the meaning of those keep
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, non-fiction
Public Parts is a book exploring the lesser-mentioned benefits and gains from publicness in the digital age. In a time where privacy remains a hot issue, it is rare to see anyone speak out for the side of publicness and how we could potentially reap more benefits by being more public and willing to share whatever information we possess. Hence, when I first started reading this book, it provided a refreshing viewpoint which contrasted with the ubiquitous laments of losses of privacy that you'll s ...more
Feb 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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). additionally -
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Aaron Bollinger
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rodrigo Gómez Morales
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've been into social media since I first heard about it, and, honestly, I've enjoyed the most amazing benefits from it. Generally, I'm a very public person: I share my thoughts on Twitter, I Instagram my best pictures, I announce my location on Swarm, and I review my books on Goodreads. I've made the most wonderful friends through Twitter and I generally check if any acquaintances are near my location, sometimes just to say hi. I've never had any privacy issues, and I consider myself a lucky pe ...more
Robert Chapman
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: privacy
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
Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
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
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
Oct 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technology
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
Mark Dodson
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Kent Winward
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
David “Skip” 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
Muhammad Khan
Jeff Jarvis, like he did with his previous book, "What would Google Do", has latched onto something big here:presenting the challenges of Public V Private, Open V Closed. The implications go way beyond the mass social network phenomenon, fast becoming relevant to the way companies and corporations are perceived, the power and value that open collaborative, participative relationships bring to the workplace and positive impact on society and communities. Jeff presents some interesting arguments f ...more
Oct 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
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
Chris Wood
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 variou ...more
Karen Mardahl
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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

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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
“if we become too obsessed with privacy, we could lose opportunities to make connections in this age of links. The link is a profound invention. Links don’t just connect us to web pages, they also allow us to connect to each other, to information, to actions, and to transactions. Links help us organize into new societies and redefine our publics.” 0 likes
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