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The Power of You

Posted by: Rob Hof on June 16, 2005

We’ve gotten lots of comments from readers, nearly all insightful, about our recent cover story, The Power of Us. As you might expect, the comments are now an integral part of the story, at least at BusinessWeek Online.

One reader, Karel Frielink, suggested a book to read, Daniel Pink’s “A Whole New Mind.” It sounds intriguing, so I hope to check it out soon. But Karel’s comment reminded me that our story is indebted to several books and their authors, and I wanted to share them with those who may be interested in delving deeper into Internet-driven sharing and peer power.

Here they are:

* Howard Rheingold's "Smart Mobs" helps makes sense of the technologies and cultural trends driving what he considers the "next social revolution."

* Steven Johnson's "Emergence" entertainingly outlines the strange qualities of bottom-up organization displayed by everything from ant colonies to cities to Internet multiplayer games.

* James Surowiecki's "The Wisdom of Crowds" notes that, in many cases, groups of people can solve problems better than even the smartest individuals, explaining why open-source software, Wikipedia, and other peer-produced goods and services are surprisingly good.

* Dave Weinberger's "Small Pieces Loosely Joined" is, as the subtitle suggests, a unified theory of the Web, explaining how the nature of the medium makes possible all this joint activity.

* C.K. Prahalad's and Venkat Ramaswamy's "The Future of Competition" looks at how companies can enlist their customers to help them create better products.

* Dan Gillmor's "We the Media" provides a complete picture of how media is getting transformed by citizen journalists, bloggers, and others.

Those are just a few, so let me know what other books you like.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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