The Social Media Reader

The Social Media Reader

edited by Michael Mandiberg – NYU Press, ISBN: 9780814764060, 299 pages, 2012, English
Although the majority of internet users have become greatly fascinated with commercial social media platforms, the cultural consequences of this mass adoption of new habits and conventions in daily personal expression has not been deeply analyzed. This book does not address this need, but it’s a well-curated anthology which portrays social networks as they are: as an incredibly popular phenomenon of contemporary communication whose rapid success in some respects epitomizes the precariousness and limitless of online media in general. Social media are nowadays considered absolutely essential for any online business (and personal reputation too) but at the same time there’s an embarrassing lack of tools and agreed strategies for living (and surviving) in these specific environments, much less a more general objective evaluation of their huge impact on changes to the perception of reality. Assembled for educational purposes this book includes a balanced quantity of essays including Tim O’ Reilly’s famous “Web 2.0″ and Chris Anderson’s “The Long Tail”, alongside significant texts by Felix Stalder, the Collaborative Futures collective, Lawrence Lessig, Gabriella Coleman, Henry Jenkins, and Marta Peirano (among others). Making it open to sampling and remixing (being released under an enabling Creative Commons license) the book wants to be a starting point for exploring the galaxy of this topic further, aiming to deconstruct platforms which, in author’s words, “have come to interface with everything.”