We tracked down a clip of UC Press author Siva Vaidhyanathan‘s appearance on The Daily Show from a few years back. This classic Trendspotting piece by Demitri Martin follows the “youth phenomenon” of social networking, proclaiming, “Besides candy, online networking is the thing young people like the most.” Martin brags about his 9,000 friends on Myspace, which was the top social networking site of the day. But the once-popular site could easily be replaced today with Facebook, or even Google Buzz, a new social sharing technology that has been criticized over concerns it violates users’ privacy. Vaidhyanathan talks about the paradox of communication technology, which seems to connect us better, but might in fact distract us from the risks and rewards of face-to-face contact.
He addresses many of the same issues in his new book, forthcoming from UC Press in March. The Googlization of Everything just received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, which praised Vaidhyanathan for “remind[ing] us that Google is a publicly traded, revenue-driven firm that is dangerous in many subtle ways. By valuing popularity over accuracy and established sites over new ones, Google sets its own agenda regarding what information is most relevant to users, altering their perceptions about value and significance.”
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
|Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
|Trendspotting – Social Networking