Kelley's Reviews > Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It's Becoming, and Why It Matters

Say Everything by Scott Rosenberg
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's review
Feb 13, 2010

really liked it
Read on February 13, 2010

I'm reading Scott Rosenberg's Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It's Becoming, and Why It Matters. Rosenberg wrote Dreaming In Code which I reviewed here and on my linkedin page more recently. I wasn't big on the book when I first saw it, but having finished Auletta's Googled Friday, I was in need of more reading material at lunch. Library's new book shelf provided respite.

So far, it's excellent stuff. Rosenberg is a good writer with a keen sense of how to explain complicated technology.

What I'm most amazed at is his ability to recount various online flame wars. It's not an easy thing to do. Flame wars are difficult to convey to an outsider, the ins and outs, the things that set people off, are often so esoteric as to be maddening to explain. But Rosenberg does it with finesse. I'm in awe. currently reading his portrait of the inimitable, irascible Dave Winer. Fun!

BTW, I can't recommend Auletta's _Googled_ enough. It is really a fine, if long, read: a balanced look at Google. He concludes with a much needed critique of the ideology of Free! peddled by Chris Anderson and others. Anderson, he notes, has finally conceded that free isn't going to work. It has to be coupled with paid. Well, no shit - at least in a market economy.

Auletta makes a convincing case against the Clay Shirkys of the world who insist that the death of newspapers is a fine thing. Auletta notes that it's not about the medium - print or online or whatever. It's about things like investigative reporting and the social context within which story ideas are vetted. It's a social process, not an individual one. The blogs that Shirky thinks will become the new mediator of "news" simply cannot reproduce investigative journalism, and it doesn't (yet) promote a more collective understanding of publishing that is anything like what professional journalism has to offer - even for all its drawbacks.

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