Dawn's Reviews > And Then There's This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture

And Then There's This by Bill Wasik
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Jun 18, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: 2009, knowledge-nf, waste
Recommended to Dawn by: NPR
Read in July, 2009

He invented the flash mob as a response to boredom. It got big, then died, as viral culture is supposed to. A success even in its downfall.
He started a blog against an indie band and staged a protest no one showed up to, but it's a success because antibuzz gained buzz!
He reported on a meme contest that he secretly also entered and he won $2,500.
He creates a website that compiles the rumors and smears of the 2008 presidential candidates, but ultimately gets little traffic.

And that was the problem with this book for me. By putting himself and his experiments into all of the chapters, this book becomes more memoir and less solid fact. It seemed like the author introduced each subject just so he could talk about himself and his experiments later on. In the fourth section (viral culture and corporations) it seems like he was trying to find a way to insert himself just to parallel the other chapters, even when it didn't really fit.

It was also pretty short, which makes sense because viral culture isn't that old. Still, at 187 pages you would think the author could have waited until he had more to talk about. At the same time it seemed like he rushed the book out before it became irrelevant too. Even so, he talked quite a bit about MySpace, which is now in its decline, so the book seemed dated even when it was trying not to be.

Overall some parts were interesting, but I would never pay $25.00 for it.

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