the web belongs to us

With brands and businesses invading our social spaces online it's often hard to remember that the web is completely people-powered. By that I mean the Internet, upon which web applications such as browsers sit, has been disruptive to culture and society in a good way and terribly disruptive to brands and businesses in a bad way. 

Brands and the agencies that work for them never understood in the beginning that the web was a completely new media platform that is disruptive to its core. As Paul Ford put it in his post 'The Web Is A Customer Service Medium' “…people in the newspaper industry saw the web as a newspaper. People in TV saw the web as TV, and people in book publishing saw it as a weird kind of potential book. But the web is not just some kind of magic all-absorbing meta-medium. It’s its own thing.” 

And within "its own thing" is a virtual paradise; virtual nooks and crannies and caves stacked with the good stuff. Brands are not welcome within the virtual caves I roam.

Which brings me to the book, Blood Horses: Notes of a Sportswriter's Son by John Jeremiah Sullivan that I recently bought.

The following actions are the ones I took in discovering and buying this book:

 

  • I followed a link in a tweet from Sasha Frere-Jones, a friend and the music critic at the New Yorker, @sfj which led to a NY Times magazine article on Disneyland by Sullivan he recommended
  • I found the magazine at home and duly read it. It was a fascinating read by a writer that I hadn't known until now
  • I looked up Sullivan on Wikipedia and discovered links to some of his articles in GQ magazine. I printed those out to read later. I highly recommend that you read them.
  • I noticed that he had a novel in print, the one mentioned above, so I went to Amazon.com
  • There was a paperback available for $15 with free shipping as I'm an Amazon Prime customer but even better - from an external vendor there was a used, first edition hardback copy for $4.98 plus $3.99 shipping. Sold! (This speaks to my tactile nature and my hoarding habits.)

 

All very satisfying thanks to the web. The story doesn't end there as the people-powered web covered one more important detail. This:

The web belongs to us.