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Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution
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Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  867 ratings  ·  33 reviews
From Tokyo to Helsinki, Manhattan to Manila, Howard Rheingold takes us on a journey around the world for a preview of the next techno-cultural shift-a shift he predicts will be as dramatic as the widespread adoption of the PC in the 1980s and the Internet in the 1990s. The coming wave, says Rheingold, is the result of super-efficient mobile communications-cellular phones, ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 16th 2003 by Basic Books (first published 2002)
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Jonathan Mckay
When this book was published, I was in 8th grade and 100mb zip drives were the hottest technology to enter my school. This book was written Facebook was invented, before wikipedia became important, and while 'wireless internet' was still a geek fantasy. Upon seeing the publication date, I wondered how much weight this book could hold considering the rapid recent advances.

So after reading the wonderfully concise book of 210 pages I was amazed to find that Rheingold had seemed to have taken the b
Jun 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: tech-junkies, history buffs, and creative thinkers
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a great way to introduce people to the programs and ideas possible with today's technology. Even though Rheingold wrote this foray into the world of Scandinavian and Japanese text messaging back in 2002, it appears the US still hasn't entirely caught up with them and a lot of the points he makes are as prevalent today as they were more than half a decade ago (a feat, considering the rapid progression of today's technology by old-timey standards).

Ultimately, I walked away from this book
Richard Seltzer
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mark this one MUST READ
This book is so jam-packed with insights into human behavior on the Internet and related technological advances, that you might miss the main point, which is crucial.

Even before the Web, Rheingold sensed the importance of social interaction in his experiences with the online community at the Well. He explored the implications of new kinds of behavior and relationships on the Internet in his seminal book The Virtual Community.

Now that much of what he foresaw has become rea
Earl Gray
This is the one that got me into Moblogs - mobile blogs - and I landed on Textamerica. It's now defunct, although I was able to find a lot of my friends from there and reconnect on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram - all of these are connected to the ideas that Rheingold writes about in this book.

Smart mobs. Flash Mobs. Social networking. All of it is so fascinatingly covered - and pretty accurately - 10 years after he wrote this.

Read this book to get a great feel for where things were headed
Feb 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Reading this book (published in 2003!) now was pretty cool because it casts some perspective/context on nascent mobile tech and just how rapidly phones have developed in the past few years. An interesting read if you're interested in how these technologies could be leveraged for social change (both good and bad), especially when the mobile phone becomes the preferred or sole internet access/communication tool of choice. *Also, I want to be Howard Rheingold when I grow up. His research seems infi ...more
Jun 15, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2007-08
This book examines the ways in which mobile technologies are drastically changing the ways that people interact with each other and as a result new forms of communication are possible that have never been imagined. Rheingold looks at both the positive and negative effects of this but overall feels sees that people are ultimately creating communities with mobile technologies. In this book he is speaking about more than just cell phones, but also mobile internet through cell phones. Rheingold writ ...more
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Let me just start by saying that this book is somewhat dated. This book was published before smartphones really became a thing (the original iPhone is from 2007; this book is from 2002) and before FaceBook (founded in 2004). Just so we're clear on just how far back we're looking.

It may be nearly 20 years old but many of the warnings (about surveillance and lack of privacy) have been borne out in the years since.

For those of us who deal with open source software, we're familiar with terms like "f
L. Farmer
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is some deep thinking introspection right here. Recommend.
Ashwin Ramaswamy
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
prescient in many places.
rambles at times.
worth a read
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
his is an important book, especially for anybody interested in the future of mass communications, politics and/or our society. Rheingold talks about how portable devices, pervasive connectivity and increasingly powerful hand-held computing is leading to the creation of virtual communities tied together by their devices and not by their physical proximity. Remember Moore's Law applies to hand-held phone/computers. Most of his examples are not in the US. Rheingold makes the point that we are far b ...more
Srav Chag
Feb 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
Outdated, obvious analysis that fails to delve into the philosophical or functional meaning of social technology. Totally missed its opportunity. There is no reason to dedicate 3 pages to describing what a blog is. You are better off with Ray Kurzweil's book or any book on complex adaptive systems. ...more
Apr 02, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: yippies
Shelves: non-fiction, pop
Remember the Flash Mob craze? This is a nice exploration of the phenomenon, its technological origins and implications for the future. While perhaps not as relevant or "hot" as it once was, the thoughts on technologically inspired social phenomena (txt messaged organized resistance) are still interesting. The ubiquitous wireless future is not here and will likely not be a reflection of Rheingold's musings, but this is still an entertaining read. ...more
Sep 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Fine overview. Better than "Crowdsourcing," even if they explore slightly different subjects - the premises are pretty similar. I am frustrated that a discussion of technology and how it impacts humans can ignore the work of Neil Postman. But perhaps that relates to a lot of what books in this genre reiterate - the growing knowledge, expanding ideas, flourishing so-called knowledge culture. That pervasive idea gives the permission slip not to know it all. But, it still bothers me. ...more
Jul 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book takes a look at the increasing popularity of mobile "pervasive" technologies and explores what the implications might be.

Do you know the impetus for the invention of eBay? A husband invented it because his wife collected Pez dispensers and wanted to exchange with others. Now they are billionaires. READ THE BOOK for more tidbits like this ;)
Dec 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Just reread this... Still amazing to me how Rheingold predicted and identified the extent to which social media exactly like Twitter, facebook, etc would change our world. This was written in 2002! I don't think half the stuff really sank in when I read it in 2003... Would like to read what he is writing about now! ...more
Matt Bigelow
Mar 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: geeks, nerds & dorks
Great Read
Howard []Rheingold explains why technology matters and what it means for human relationships. A bit thick on sociology at moments, but all in all he does an excellent job of distilling the academic speak to why it's important. Great book.
Mar 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read if you text message, e-mail etc. on your mobile device. The author accurately, and in an almost visionary way, describes how communication technologies are changing social interaction - for millenials ...

Megan Mcdowell
Dec 16, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book leans a bit toward the techno-utopian side of things, but is easy and entertaining to read. Rheingold focuses on specific ways technology is drastically changing (for the better) the ways in which we communicate, but glosses over the possible negatives.
Nov 06, 2009 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This book really opens your eyes to how technology is changing our society and the way we relate to people. It was such a fun read. The kind of information that would make for good conversation at a party or a social gathering.
Oct 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
An interesting premise.
Oct 17, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: sociology
Very good book, but perhaps I'm too close to the subject. I found it a little bit of a thin broth. ...more
Jan 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Rheingold always manages to stay at the cutting edge of emergent media and the exciting developments in the realm of digital collaboration.
Jul 28, 2009 is currently reading it
about mobile net,pervasive computing,and reputation system
Steven Farmer
Mar 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book -- you must read.
Oct 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An important book in understanding the origins of participatory culture.
Rui Chen
Jul 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent book on the digital society with various examples on the telecommuting, Internet and so on. It was published in 2002, but can be viewed as a forecast for the current social networks trend.
May 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Great stuff but now dated. Read more recent book or follow author on Twitter for current updates.
Tom Smyth
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
4 stars for prescience. Rheingold was writing in 2002. His use of the word 'revolution' is a little problematic and symptomatic of a general lack of capitalist analysis or critique. ...more
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Interesed about this book. Later a will accounced my opinions
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Made me realise the potential of the mobile revolution.
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