Smart Mobs

Last month I finally got around to reading Smart Mobs, which is, admittedly a little late. Published in 2002, the book mostly covers ground that we’ve already surpassed, which is what makes it a great read. To read a then-future possibility, and recognize it as being a modern fact of life, is really startling. After reading, and thinking about what I’ve read, the book is really about trust (and networks of trust). You can see the foundations of Howard’s current work in this book as well – certainly his pillars of 21st Century Literacies are bubbling underneath the surface of some of Howard’s discoveries about social networking in a mobile culture. It would be really interesting to revisit these ideas now, although I’m sure Howard is already ten years into the future, and other people have picked up his mantle.  Has trust changed because of the explosion of mobile media? Has community changed because of YouTube? What about the civility within communities?  I suspect that they have.

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