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Speakers' Forum

Bill Wasik on Internet-Driven Culture

Jason Pagano
06/25/2009 at 8:00 p.m.

Remember Susan Boyle? "David After Dentist"? "Keyboard Cat"? All recent internet sensations, and all well on their way to being forgotten for the next thing. Bill Wasik is a senior editor at Harper's magazine. He's credited with organizing the first flash mob, in New York City in 2003. He points to similar Web–driven hits (and his own online pranks) to show how the internet has sped up the stream of culture. But not just for celebrities and funny videos: music, news, politics, advertising. Wasik says it all becomes "nanostories" that tumble over each other — "a churning culture of distraction." Bill Wasik looks at how the digital revolution is changing culture in his book, "And Then There's This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture." He spoke at Town Hall in Seattle on June 16, 2009.

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