30 November 2006

A short write up on an extended essay

I just finished Biz Stone's Who Let the Blogs Out? and found it overall an enjoyable read. However, it had the feel of being a really cool essay pulled like stretch armstrong to fill a novel. Chapters 3, 5, and 6 were insightful; the rest a bit better than filler, but filler nonetheless.

The most interesting piece of the work to me was Stone's review of Granovetter's article, "The Strength of Weak Ties." {Note to Stone's editor: get the spelling of this Prof's name right in the next version, ok? What is with editors lately...} I read Granovetter's article, and it is excellent but densely packed with academic jargon and not as accessible as Stone's representation - also, it is clearly dated, with references to 'Negro' instead of the more current "African-American" being used. The basic concept, to summarize the summarizer, is that weak relationships (such as a friend-of-a-friend) are more likely to lead you to new and actionable social contacts than are strong connections (such as your dad). In other words, it isn't who you know, it is who who you know knows.

After reading this, I was left with an appetite to go and reread Malcolm Gladwell's books, Blink and The Tipping Point, which are two favorites. I decided instead of reading to seek out the audiobooks for some commuting I have coming up - heck, my hopper is full as it is.


Liz said...

I LOVED "The Tipping Point," and probably ought to read "Blink" -- it sounds great. But here's the thing: all this knitting has really cut into my reading time. I gotta find a balance. Thanks for the reminder of how wonderful the wide world of books can be! (and, yes, I have visted your blog before -- I've just been very remiss at commenting).