Keen On

TechCrunch TV: Keen On… Connectivity, with Clay Shirky and Charlene Li

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In this guest post, author Andrew Keen introduces the second episode of his TechCrunch TV show, Keen On

If the Web 2.0 age of the first decade of the 21st century was about user-generated-content, the Social Media age of the second decade of the century is about the way in which technology is changing our lives. Yesterday’s Web 2.0 was all about data; today’s social media is all about people.

An increasingly collaborative and social Internet appears – at least to those who believe in its efficacy – to be becoming the vehicle with both society and business can be radically transformed.

Two important books published last month, Clay Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age and Charlene Li’s Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead both make this point eloquently.  In his Cognitive Surplus, Shirky – who teaches at New York University and is the author of the 2007 hit Here Comes Everybody – argues that the collapse of a centralized mass media ecosystem frees us up from watching television and allows us to become more creative and generous citizens. Li – the Founder of the Altimeter Group and the coauthor of the 2008 bestselling Groundswell – argues that social media technology is enabling business leaders to make their companies more effective, decisive and thus profitable.

So is social media really revolutionizing the world? I invited both Li and Shirky onto the second episode of my show to learn more about these two new books and get each of their visions of about how, exactly, the Internet is radically transforming business, society and culture.

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