A few weeks back, the folks at the TLC book tours, asked me if I was interested in participating in the book tour to support the launch of Clay Shirky’s latest book, Cognitive Surplus. Despite the fact that my calendar looks like someone took a shotgun approach to booking time, and despite the fact that my spare time is absorbed by a cute three year old, and despite the fact that I read books at the pace of a snail, I jumped at the chance.
Cognitive Surplus takes the essay Shirky wrote a while back, “Gin, Television, and Social Surplus”, and turns it into a full book. The essay was a fascinating read, and Part 1 of the book takes a deeper look at his premise.
And to be perfectly honest, I haven’t made it past the first part of the book. It’s incredibly interesting, and I have highlighted the ever loving hell out of those pages. I’ve read the first part of the book twice, and may read it a third time before moving on to the rest of the book.
Shirky has, if his theory can be trusted, clearly shown a social and mental motivation behind the question “Who has time to do that?” When you eliminate millions, if not billions of hours of television watching from our collective schedules, suddenly you have plenty of time to edit wikipedia pages, post LOLcat images, help out in tech support forums, and update your Facebook status every 4 minutes.
This book isn’t a business book, and it’s not technically a history book. At least not yet. But I’m pretty convinced that when my daughter or my grandkids look back to find out how the history of this era unfolded, Cognitive Surplus is going to be one of the books that helps explain that history.
Even though I’m not all the way through the book, I strongly recommend reading. And while I work my way through the rest of the book, you should see what other on the book tour had to say. Here’s a few past and future stops:
Tuesday, June 22nd: Being Peter Kim
Thursday, June 24th: Graywolf’s SEO Blog
Tuesday, June 29th: Convince and Convert
Thursday, July 8th: Social Media Explorer
Wednesday, July 14th: Debbie Weil
Thursday, July 15th: Beth’s Blog
Monday, July 19th: A Whole Lotta Nothing
Wednesday, July 21st: Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang
Thursday, July 22nd: Six Pixels of Separation
Monday, July 26th: Community Guy
Wednesday, July 28th: Citizen Marketer 2.1
Thursday, July 29th: Nine By Blue
Tuesday, August 3rd: Socialbrite