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Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder [Hardcover]

David Weinberger
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 May 2007
Business visionary and bestselling author David Weinberger charts how as business, politics, science, and media move online, the rules of the physical world - in which everything has a place - are upended. In the digital world, everything has its places, with transformative effects: Information is now a social asset and should be made public, for anyone to link, organize, and make more valuable; There's no such thing as "too much" information. More information gives people the hooks to find what they need; Messiness is a digital virtue, leading to new ideas, efficiency, and social knowledge; Authorities are less important than buddies. Rather than relying on businesses or reviews for product information, customers trust people like themselves.With the shift to digital music standing as the model for the future in virtually every industry, "Everything Is Miscellaneous" shows how anyone can reap rewards from the rise of digital knowledge.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 277 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company Inc; First Edtion edition (1 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805080430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805080438
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 16 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 379,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"* "Perfectly placed to tell us what's really new about [the] second-generation Web." - Los Angeles Times" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

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 University, Weinberger writes for such publications as "Wired" and the "Harvard Business Review" and is a frequent commentator for NPR's "All Things Considered." In 1994, he founded Evident Marketing, a strategic marketing firm on technology issues. He lives in Boston. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful chaos 6 Nov 2009
... Well ok, maybe not chaos - the central idea is that ordinary people, unleashed at random on the world, tagging whatever they want, however they want to do it, are the most powerful organisational force on the internet. In fact, they're the only force that comes close. Google runs off people's links, Flickr relies on tags and favourites; Yahoo shut down it's indexing program long ago, Weinberger argues, and in it's place, we've got something far more wide-ranging and useful.

I'm studying to become an information professional ("librarian" to everyone else) and a couple of my lecturers mentioned this title; they seemed to find his occasional references to traditional card catalogues infuriating, as if he was accusing librarians of advocating them and clinging to the past (and no librarian anywhere misses card catalogues), but I think he tells a great story about how the internet has reformed itself into the strangely effective mess we skim through so easily every day.

The book could do with more of his thoughts on what's going to happen next - Weinberger seems content with telling us the back-story, and doesn't attempt to make any predictions about the future development of the internet. Then again, given the nature of the beast, that's probably the wise. A fascinating book that seeks to explain how the internet got like this and how it works.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
If you don't know what a lumper is, or what a splitter is, you should read this book. In fact, you should read this book anyway - especially if you work in a place with a network drive, do any kind of filing, work with anybody who does any kind of filing.

I'm splitting too much. If you store information in any shape or form, then you should read this book. It's fairly obvious that the future will be full of information and data - this books about that and it's good.

If you like the sound of this, you might like Glut: The Deep History of Information Science: Mastering Information Through the Ages too.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great small work on information organisation 15 May 2008
This book is really nice as a primer and fresh-up on how information is organized and what it means to us. It explains old organization methods, like the one the libraries use and the organization of organisms that was introduced by Linnaeus. It then compares those 'atom based' organization methods with the new ones we can perform with digital means. Of course Amazon is mentioned where everybody has basically his or her own version of a bookstore.

Worth reading if you are interested in taxonomies, ontologies, information organization and categorization.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading 26 Dec 2011
Amazing analysis of how we have been trying to organize the world's information, for centuries, looking for a universal formula, particularly in the context of libraries.

The question is: is it possible to apply a universal formula without limiting the knowledge or should we let each individual create their own systems of organization according to their needs?

Weinberger describes how an organization of a 3rd order in a digital world, without the limitations of the physical world and therefore where each item can be in multiple places at same the time, may become more usable for each user, and expand the knowledge of each one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Weinberger says Amazon is a star! 11 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Reading a book on categorisation and classification? Don't tell you friends, if you have any, in my case I have now be labelled under Boring...

A very good book and quite readable given the subject matter. You will learn more about classifying and the shortcomings thereof than you will have learnt in your life (unless you are already an expert.) Excellent stuff and the only reason it doesn't have 5 stars is that Weinberger doesn't cover those items which are fixed within a particular organisation such as a 'sales order' or 'terms and conditions'. Sometimes things are simpler than he says!
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