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Network Smarts: How to Thrive Online

May 24, 2012

"We’re in a period where the cutting edge of change has moved from the technology to the literacies made possible by the technology," writes Howard Rheingold in his new book, "Net Smart: How to Thrive Online." For more than 25 years, Rheingold has been exploring and mapping the digital frontier--ever since he coined the term "virtual community" back in 1987. Now with Net Smart, he discusses how to make mindful use of digital media and not be distracted to death by the firehose of information and inputs coming our way. While Net Smart covers five aspects of digital literacy--attention, participation, collaboration, critical consumption of information (or “crap detection”), and "network smarts"--on this call we'll focus mainly on the last on that list, looking at how to make the most of social production and filtering of information, how to tune and feed your own personal learning network, and how to use tools like Twitter and Facebook most effectively.

About @hrheingold

Howard Rheingold is the author of best-sellers Virtual Reality, The Virtual Community, Smart Mobs, and Net Smart, as well as editor of best-seller The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog.

As Howard Rheingold himself puts it, "I fell into the computer realm from the typewriter dimension, then plugged my computer into my telephone and got sucked into the net." A writer and designer, he was among the first wave of creative thinkers who saw, in computers and then in the Internet, a way to form powerful new communities. In 1996, his website Electric Minds was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the ten best.

He's taught at UC Berkeley, Stanford University, and De Montfort University in the UK; from the latter, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Technology degree. He's a frequent keynote speaker, and has appeared on major news programs across the globe.

He currently runs Rheingold U., a totally online learning community that teaches personal knowledge tools, network literacy, social media for educators, participatory media/collective action, introduction to cooperation studies, and attention skills in an always-on world.

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