May 24, 2007

Book Short: Blogging Alone?

Book Short:  Blogging Alone? I usually only blog about business books, but since I read Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, by Robert Putnam, because of its connection to the topic of Internet community and social media, I’ll record some thoughts about and from it here. It’s an interesting read, although a little long.  Putnam’s basic thesis is that America’s social capital — the things that have brought us physically and emotionally together as a country throughout much of the 20th century such as church, voting, and participation in civic organizations like the PTA or the Elks Club — are all severely on the decline.  The reasons in Putnam’s view are television (you knew all those re-runs of The Brady Bunch would eventually catch up to you), suburban sprawl, two-career families, and “generational values,” which is Putnam’s way of saying things like people in their 60s all read newspapers more than people in their 50s, who all read newspapers more than people in their 40s, etc.  He believes the decline is leading to things like worse schools, less safe neighborhoods, and poorer health. The book does a good job laying out the decline in social capital with […]