Friends, Followers and the Future: How Social Media Are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands, and Killing Traditional Media (Paperback)
Award-winning journalist explores how social media is transforming not only politics, media, business, but the future of democracy and ourselves.
About the Author
Rory O'Connor is an author, filmmaker and journalist whose work centers around media and politics. Author of "Shock Jocks: Hate Speech & Talk Radio" (2008), and co-author of "Nukespeak" (2nd ed, 2011) his broadcast, film and print career has been recognized with two Emmys, a George Orwell Award, a George Polk Award, a Writer's Guild Award, among other honors.
"In his lucid examination of the effects of digital technology, the author asserts that the evolution of web-based platforms and the rise of the Occupy movement has caused a marked decrease in our culture’s dependence on 'traditional models of organization' . . . O’Connor pulls no punches and effectively tracks the gains and losses of the movement in clear, energetic language. An erudite, constructive analysis."--Kirkus Reviews
"Anyone who cares about the impact of the digital information revolution on democracy and culture can't afford to miss FRIENDS, FOLLOWERS AND THE FUTURE -- a story that moves as swiftly as the dizzying pace of change itself. Rory O'Connor combines journalistic integrity with a passionate belief in the power of ordinary people to change the world. Depending on your stake in the outcome, you will find this book inspiring, scary, or perhaps a bit of both." -- Andrew Heyward, Former President of CBS News
"This book is a comprehensive, up-to-date, and fair-minded survey of how social media are conveying -- and perhaps transforming -- what we want to know." -- Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education and author, most recently, of Truth, Beauty and Goodness Reframed
"Before Rory O’Connor writes, he researches, ask questions, and asks them again before calling the the insiders who are the targets of his inquiry. He is persistent, even relentless, as a hard-charging reporter which is why his blogs, columns and this new book 'Friends, Followers and the Future: How Social Media are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands, And Killing Traditional Media' (City Lights, 2012) leaves you questioning your own assumptions and often superficial take on the issue at hand. Personally, he is a refugee from old media and as a multi-media man (films, books, blogs, websites, etc) , an early adopter to the new. But he didn’t stop there: he is a practitioner who wants to know where all this is headed and how the digital innovators and entrepreneurs think about what they do. This is a book in the know with ideas that we will all need to know as we navigate our personal and collective futures." -- Danny Schechter News Dissector.com
"With laser-like accuracy Rory O'Connor spotlights the key challenges and opportunities in the world of news and information, where technology has upended the old rules of how media is created and consumed. O'Connor's wise, savvy 'Friends, Followers and the Future' is an essential examination of how social media is transforming the lives of individuals and society at large. Read it and share it." -- J. Max Robins, Vice President/Executive Director,
The Paley Center for Media
"...O’Connor has put together a trustworthy introduction to the current state of play."--Boston Globe
"If Glenn Beck keeps a J. Edgar Hoover-esque blacklist under his bed pillow, journalist Rory O’Connor is probably on it, appearing before Nancy Pelosi and George Soros. O’Connor turns a skeptical yet pragmatic eye to the likes of Facebook. He examines how such online networks empower citizens to create counternarratives to bullsh*t punditry, political spin, and corporate PR, while warning of the dystopian echo chamber they could realize, where every citizen becomes a bullsh*tting pundit, partisan hack, or corporate flak." --SF Weekly