May 1, 2007
Human beings are information omnivores: we are constantly collecting, labeling, and organizing data. But today, the shift from the physical to the digital is ripping, burning, and mixing our lives apart. In the past, everything had its one place – the physical world demanded it – but now everything has its places: multiple categories, multiple shelves. Suddenly, everything is miscellaneous.
In Everything Is Miscellaneous, David Weinberger takes us on a rollicking tour of the rise of the miscellaneous. He examines why the Dewey Decimal System is stretched to the breaking point, how Rand McNally decides what information not to include in a physical map (and why Google Earth is beating them out), how Staples stores emulate online shopping to increase sales, why your children’s teachers will stop having the memorize facts, and how the shifts to digital music and playlists are not just transforming the music business but stand as models for the future in virtually every industry.
Weinberger charts the new principles of digital disorder that are remaking business, media, education, politics, science, and culture, with profound consequences for how we work and how we live:
- Information is most valuable when it is thrown into a big digital “pile” to be filtered and organized by users themselves
- Instead of relying on experts, groups of passionate users are inventing their own ways of discovering what they know and want.
- Smart companies do not treat information as an asset to be guarded, but let it loose to be “mashed up,” gaining market awareness and customer loyalty.
Finally, Weinberger shows how, by “going miscellaneous,” anyone can reap rewards from the deluge of information in modern work and life.
From A to Z, Everything Is Miscellaneous will completely reshape the way we think – and what we know – about the world.
David Weinberger is the co-author of the international bestseller The Cluetrain Manifesto and the author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined. A fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for the Internet and Society, Weinberger has written for Wired, USA Today, and the Harvard Business Review and is a frequent commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered. As a marketing consultant, he has worked with Fortune 500s, leading media companies, and many innovative start-ups and he served as the senior Internet advisor to the Howard Dean presidential campaign. Weinberger holds a doctorate in philosophy. He lives in Boston.