Very little blog activity from me, these summer months. I wished I could blame the waves and the surf board, which is just partly true (add kids, hot weather, travelling, reading books, watching season 4 of The Wire – and you get the whole picture). I had a fantastic vacation in Biarritz (France), and soon, I’m heading for some colder waves on the west coast of Norway. It is now 16 years since the first time I tried surfing (Newquay, UK), and 10 years ago, I used to enjoy the freezing cold waves at Alnes, Norway. Since then, my only surfing has been online. So out in the water in Biarritz I felt more or less like a beginner again. But it’s incredible fun still, and I wished I lived closer to a coast with funky waves.
But I also love the other surfing, the online one, even though I’ve been more off than on this past month. It has actually given me the chance to get some reading done, you know, books (testing if I had lost the ability to concentrate through a whole book, as Nicolas Carr writes about in his great article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”) And my best read so far has been Clay Shirky’s “Here Comes Everybody“.
He gives you all you need to know about social networks, how they work, and why the combination of new digital tools and social networks can (but don’t have to, it depends on us) change socities, both when it comes to politics, media, health, popular culture, etc. Similar to other social technology books, Shirky uses several examples to illustrate his points (ex Egyptian blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah who twitted his way out of an Egyptian jail), and I liked that he used so many international examples, not just American, which is more common in books like this. That shows how these changes are going on all the world. In my opinion, “Here Comes Everybody” is one of the best new technology books I’ve read for the past few years, similar to Chris Anderson’s “The Long Tail”.
If you have any suggestion for other technology books I should read, send them along!