Spreadable Media is convincing in its argument that “successful creators understand the strategic and technical aspects they need to master in order to create content more likely to spread, and they think about what motivates participants to share information and to build relationships with the communities shaping its circulation.” Toward that end, the book provides detailed advice to content producers, such as using “transmedia touchpoints” to listen to what fan publics are telling them about their products, rather than using social media as just another channel for broadcast promotion. If you are in the music, movie, television, or game business, this book is a must-read.
Taken together, the signals and lenses described in the three best business books on digitization this year provide us with a clearer understanding of the positive and negative social, economic, and political changes that socialstructing, spreadable media, and big data could create in the near future. We are already seeing tectonic shifts in politics that are being caused at least in part by socialstructing. The influence of spreadable media can be seen in transmedia and mass-media products, which include hashtags and other spreadability affordances emanating from entertainment companies. And most wide-reaching of all, big data is influencing more and more aspects of life—surveillance and sales, public health and financial markets, politics and science—which is why Big Data is my choice as the Top Shelf selection for digitization.
- Howard Rheingold has been exploring digital culture for 30 years. His books include Net Smart: How to Thrive Online (MIT Press, 2012), Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution (Perseus, 2002), and Tools for Thought: The History and Future of Mind-Expanding Technology (2nd ed., MIT Press, 2000). He has taught at Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley.