Book Deal of the Week: The Wisdom of Crowds

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05/18/2009 11:39 AM |

610a/1242661164-worldaccordingtotwitter.jpgTimes technology correspondent David “Rum, Sodomy and the Lash” Pogue writes, on his website:

During a talk, I was trying to demonstrate the real-time nature of Twitter. On stage, I typed: “Anyone got a pun that can fit in 140 characters?”

Your responses started flowing within 10 seconds. In fact, the one-liners rained in for days:

*I used to work at an orange juice factory, but they canned me because I couldn’t concentrate. (@alancshaw)
* She was only a moonshiner’s daughter, but I loved her still. (@matthewdooley)
* Two TV installers met on a roof and fell in love. The wedding ceremony wasn’t so great… but wow, the reception! (@marqueO)

Man, this was AMAZING! Real-time feedback from the masses!

Next, I posted a picture of a squirrel in my yard, and asked for captions. You turned out to be the wittiest caption writers ever (click here to read).

And soon all these Twits will become a book, to be called The World According to Twitter, perfect Christmas-stocking stuffing for that aunt you hate.

If the generally pro-Internet Mike Conklin were in the office today he would say something like, “Blast it Mark you confounded snob [he really does talk like this, it’s awesome], Twitter is ‘neutral’… and so it becomes exactly as good or bad, or as stupid or smart, or as useless or useful as the person using it.

To which I would say: “Yes, Mike, but if it was not for Twitter this book would not exist, and thus I would not be buying this book the day it comes out and reading it out loud to you, in its entirety, one mind-numbing Twit at a time. And don’t bother putting on your headphones, I’ll just use iChat instead in that case.” I fully expect Mike to be joining me in my Unabomber cabin by the Words of Wisdom chapter.

On the plus side, it seems as though the guy who wrote “Man, this was AMAZING! Real-time feedback from the masses!” will not actually be contributing much prose to this book, which can only be a plus.