Hostile observers have always painted bloggers as barbarians thronging before the gates of a besieged culture…. But it has always been a fantasy. Bloggers are writers who sit down to type character after character, word upon word, day by day, steadily constructing, out of their fragments, little edifices of memory and public record. In this activity they resemble not the hordes outside the gates of a city, but rather the studious scribes within.
Ironically, Rosenberg’s extended encomium of blogging also turns out to be an implicit defense of another allegedly endangered form: the book. Only by such an extended and well-organized presentation can Rosenberg both give us a comprehensive account of blogging and successfully argue for its importance. The pages of Say Everything provide not only an expertly curated burst of information, but also entertainment for several evenings. The book provides thought and provocation. It illuminates the deep economic challenges of the Internet. And, as is the case with blog postings, Rosenberg speaks with the clarity and wit of an authentic voice — even after the highly filtered, far-from-real-time processing of a major publisher. That’s why I think Say Everything is the best technology-related business book of the year.
- Steven Levy is senior writer at Wired magazine and previously was senior editor and chief technology correspondent at Newsweek. His most recent book is The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness (Simon & Schuster, 2006).