Friends, Followers and the Future

Friends, Followers and the Future
How Social Media are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands, and Killing Traditional Media


"O'Connor, the cofounder of the independent media company Globalvision, writes in Friends, Followers and The Future: How Social Media are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands, and Killing Traditional Media that the Daily Me has yielded information silos fueled by Really Simple Syndication feeds, blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

O'Connor's book is a modern history lesson on how social media has changed journalism and politics, for better or worse."

—J. Victoria Sanders

"Want Thousands Of Twitter Followers? Put A Meme On It"
Oct 17, 2012

Rory O'Connor on satirical Twitter personas, i.e. @romneybinders & @invisibleobama (after Clint), this election season.

- Padmananda Rama, NPR

"Data dumpster-diving may determine US presidential race"
Oct 16, 2012

Rory O'Connor shares how data-mining techniques play into the US Presidential Race.

- Rory O'Connor, Al Jazeera

"Effective use of social media will determine 2012 election, says Rory O'Connor"
Oct 10, 2012

Rory O'Connor joined the Shorenstein Center for a discussion about how social media has influenced politics and traditional media.

- Janell Sims, Shorenstein Center

"30 Issues: Medical Marijuana; New Media; 'The Architecture of Innovation'"
Oct 10, 2012

Rory O'Connor speaks about the tension between new and old media.


"Old wine in new bottles: Social media in the US presidential campaign"
Oct 4, 2012

Rory O'Connor on the role of social media in the 2012 US Presidential Campaign.

- Rory O'Connor, Al Jazeera

Keynote Speech at 2012 Publishing Business Virtual Conference
Sep 13, 2012

Rory O'Connor was a keynote speaker at the 2012 Publishing Business Virtual Conference, September 13, 2012.  Register at this site for free access to his talk about what he thinks publishers need to do to survive in a world driven by social media.

- Publishing Business Virtual

"FDL Book Salon Welcomes Rory O'Connor"
Aug 5, 2012

The Firedog Lake Book Salon welcomed Rory O'Connor for a conversation about his book Friends, Followers and the Future: How Social Media are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands, and Killing Traditional Media, led and moderated by Beth Becker.

- Beth Becker, FDL Book Salon

Rory O'Connor interviewed by Max Robins
Jun 26, 2012

Rory O'Connor interviewed by media veteran Max Robins at the Paley Center's web site.  4 part interview.

- Max Robins, Max Media

"Could Facebook Get Squashed by a 'Better Mousetrap?'"
Jun 22, 2012

How I learned to stop worrying about Facebook's IPO and love being informed about their privacy violations:  Rory O'Connor discusses Friends, Followers and the Future on the PBS Newshour.

- Paul Solman and Rory O'Connor, PBS NewsHour

"No Action Yet from Supreme Court on Montana Appeal; Journalist Rory O'Connor on Perils of Facebook and the Web"
Jun 18, 2012

O'Connor offers many important insights into Facebook, its shifting privacy tools, Zuckerberg’s view that privacy is passe, and the CIA’s monitoring of Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.

- Peter B. Collins, The Peter Collins Show

"Google Is Evil"
Jun 12, 2012

Rory O'Connor discusses the private internet communications surreptitiously collected by Google during their "Street Views" program on Wired.

- Rory O'Connor, Wired

"Here Comes the First Digital Election"
Jun 12, 2012

Rory O'Connor discusses both Democrats and Republicans use of social media in the election process on The Huffington Post.

- Rory O'Connor, The Huffington Post
Jun 1, 2012

An Excerpt from Friends, Followers and the Future by Rory O'Connor starts on page 42.


Rory O'Connor was interviewed on KPFT, Houston
May 24, 2012

On May 24th, Rory O'Connor was interviewed by Wally James, host of The Progressive Forum on KPFT, Houston.  Go to this web site, scroll down to May 24th and The Progressive Forum, and choose Play or Download from the right hand column.

- Wally James, KPFT, Houston

The Media Report Interviews Rory O'Connor
May 24, 2012

What does it mean if a big TV network wants to be your friend? Rory O'Connor discusses brands and social media on Australian radio show The Media Report.

- Richard Aedy, The Media Report

"Rory O Connor talks about his book- Friends, followers and the Future"

"The future of media is social and mobile;" Rory O'Connor interviewed by Loraine Morrill on Philadelphia's Q102, Radio 104.5 and Mix 106.1.

- Loraine Morrill, Philadelphia's Q102, Radio 104.5 and Mix 106.1

"Traditional Media Companies Cling to Their Brands at Their Peril"
May 22, 2012

"If everybody's a brand then arguably nothing is brand." Rory O'Connor interviewed to discuss the "information revolution" and the diminishing power of big media brands.

- Adrienne LaFrance, Nietman Journalism Lab

"Book Examines Social Media Effect on Politics and News"
May 21, 2012

Rory O'Connor discusses the Facebook IPO, its role as a major media presence, and how to trust and verify the information coming through social media.

- Chris Lovett, Boston Neighborhood Network News

Rory O'Connor on the Future of Journalism
May 21, 2012

"Separate newspapers from the news." Rory O'Connor believes that because of the social media revolution, there's never been a more exciting time for journalists.

- WGBH - The Emily Rooney Show

Without trust, Facebook isn't worth $100 billion
May 19, 2012

Rory O'Connor's op-ed looks at Facebook's IPO and the value of trust.

- Rory O'Connor, Aljazeera

The News Dissector Interviews Rory O'Connor
May 18, 2012

Danny Schechter interviews Rory O'Connor for News Dissector Radio on the Progressive Radio Network.

- Danny Schechter, Progressive Radio Network

"We Need a Media War on All Fronts"
May 18, 2012

Friends, Followers and the Future mentioned as a "brilliant must-read book out on social media," and Rory O'Connor's ideas about social media providing tools for revolts and revolutions are cited.

- Danny Schechter, The Real News

"Rory O'Connor to Read From His New Book"
May 18, 2012

A few insights from the book are highlighted, and Rory O'Connor's May 22 reading at Brookline Booksmith is plugged.

- Dan Kennedy, Media Nation

"Rory O'Connor Digs Social Media"
May 14, 2012

Rory O'Connor interviewed in the Boston Phoenix, discussing how various social movements have effectively used social media.

- Dan Kennedy, The Boston Phoenix

"Facebook is More Than the Year's Hottest Stock Story -- It's a Cultural Phenomenon"
May 13, 2012

O'Connor quoted in front page story on Facebook's upcoming IPO.
"Rory O'Connor, an Emmy-winning former producer for CBS News and PBS, has penned a new book, Friends, Followers and the Future, that looks at how social media -- and Facebook in particular -- are changing political campaigns and the media's role in them. . . . O'Connor and others say this year's election will be even more dominated by social media -- and whoever uses it most effectively will win."

- Peter Delevett, San Jose Mercury News

"Politics 3.0"
May 12, 2012

O'Connor discusses the role social media plays in social movements.
(This essay will also appear in Coldtype's April issue).

- OpEd News

Friends, Followers and the Future Part 1, Rory O'Conner at City Lights Book Store
May 11, 2012

Excerpt from O'Connor's reading at City Lights, on Tuesday, May 1st.

To see Part 2, go to : .

Interview With Rory O'Connor
May 6, 2012

Show is syndicated on about 15 stations in 6 states including CA, IA, ID, MI, IL, TX.


KRON-TV interviews Rory O'Connor
May 6, 2012

Rory O'Connor, author of Friends, Followers, and the Future, talks with KRON-TV.

- KRON-TV Bay Area

Russel Layres Blog

"Rory O'Connor describes these pitfalls and highlights the importance of knowing what they are and why you should avoid them. He said that it is harder than ever to determine fact from fiction and truth from spin in all forms of media. He also emphasised that while the amount of information currently available can be empowering, it can also be potentially disruptive and present its own set of challenges to journalists and society as a whole."

—Russel Layres

"Is Google Facing an Existential Threat?"
May 4, 2012

Is the internet titan Google becoming the next Microsoft?  In his latest op-ed on Al, O'Connor discusses why Google may lose the social e-war it's waging, as it faces anti-trust suits on many fronts.

- Rory O'Connor, Aljazeera

Rory O'Connor on KALW's radio show Your Call
May 4, 2012

Rory O'Connor, author of Friends, Followers, and the Future, appears on KALW's Your Call.

- Malihe Razazan, KALW

"Friends, Followers and the Future: How Social Media Is Changing Our News and Our Lives"
May 1, 2012

Rory O'Connor, author of Friends, Followers, and the Future, discusses his book with AlterNet in relation to how social media has impacted the way we get news and where media might go in the future.

Rory O'Connor appears on an OpEd News podcast
Apr 30, 2012

Host Rob Kall says, "Rory has written a brilliant book on where the media is heading--and it's social."

- The Rob Call Bottom Up Radio Show Podcast,

"Journalist Rory O'Connor draws lessons from the past to forecast the uncertain future of the Facebook/Twitter age."
Apr 26, 2012

Rory O'Connor, author of Friends, Followers, and the Future, talks with the Santa Cruz Sentinel about the future of social media.

"Social media's role shifts in 2012 elections"
Apr 25, 2012

Rory O'Connor interviewed by students about social media's role in the 2012 elections.

- Marissa Cetin and Alex Fishler, Storify

SF Weekly

"If Glenn Beck keeps a J. Edgar Hoover-esque blacklist under his bed pillow, journalist Rory O'Connor is probably on it, appearing before Nancy Pelosi and George Soros.  O'Connor turns a skeptical yet pragmatic eye to the likes of Facebook. He examines how such online networks empower citizens to create counternarratives to bullsh*t punditry, political spin, and corporate PR, while warning of the dystopian echo chamber they could realize, where every citizen becomes a bullsh*tting pundit, partisan hack, or corporate flak."

—Paul M. Davis

"Triangulating Our Way to the Truth?"
Apr 24, 2012

An excerpt on the Huffington Post from Rory O'Connor's Friends, Followers, and the Future: How Social Media are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands and Killing Traditional Media.

- Rory O'Connor, Huffington Post

The Boston Globe

"His new book on the rise of social media is mostly celebratory, but O'Connor leaves plenty of room for healthy caution. . . . O'Connor has put together a trustworthy introduction to the current state of play."

"Facebook is Not Your Friend"
Apr 15, 2012

Facebook may be more nosy than we thought, but if you have doubts Rory O'Connor lays out the evidence in his latest article in the Huffington Post.

- Rory O'Connor, Huffington Post

"Paranoia Strikes Deep at Google"
Apr 4, 2012

Rory O'Connor strikes again, this time with a provocative post about how Google is headed for troubles as "social" is replacing "search."

- Rory O'Connor, Huffington Post

"Talking Social Media with Rory O'Connor"
Apr 3, 2012

Causemedia talks with Rory O'Connor, author of Friends, Followers and the Future, about how social media is changing communication and how nonprofit organizations can participate in the "digital revolution". 

- tamrah, Causemedia

"Rick Santorum: Bowling Alone in the First Digital Election"
Apr 3, 2012

Rory O'Connor. author of Friends, Followers, and the Future, discusses the use or lack thereof, on Santorum's part of social media in election pursuits.

- Rory O'Connor, Huffington Post

"One Year Later: Social Media & Politics 3.0"
Jan 25, 2012

On the anniversary of the "Arab Spring", Rory O'Connor, author of Friends, Followers and the Future: How Social Media are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands, and Killing Traditional Media, discusses the role of social media in organizing protests all over the world.

Oct. 13, 2011: Rory O'Connor's Nukespeak 30 years later
Oct 13, 2011

Rory O'Connor interviewed about his most recent book, the second edition of Nukespeak: The Selling of Nuclear Technology from the Manhattan Project to Fukushima on WGBH-TV in Boston, October 13, 2011.

- Emily Rooney, Greater Boston

Bill Moyers Journal

Author Rory O'Connor discusses the "hate talk establishment" of talk radio.

Kirkus Reviews

"Two-time Emmy Award–winning filmmaker and journalist O'Connor (Shock Jocks: Hate Speech and Talk Radio, 2008, etc.) acknowledges that 'the dichotomy between mainstream and digital media is rapidly disappearing.' In his lucid examination of the effects of digital technology, the author asserts that the evolution of web-based platforms and the rise of the Occupy movement has caused a marked decrease in our culture’s dependence on 'traditional models of organization,' a trend defusing the formerly ironclad influences of government-regulated businesses and media franchises. An era of participatory involvement is underway, and O’Connor offers both a history and a contemporary update on this modern informational superhighway with chapters highlighting the pros and cons of Internet name-branding, the visual prowess of YouTube’s innovative 'audience engagement,' Twitter’s 'micro-blogging' magnetism and the flap over privacy issues at monopolistic entities like Google and Facebook. Further supporting the author’s pro-digital thesis are the voices of leading researchers and executives, including Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, former Facebook Director of Marketing Randi Zuckerberg and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. Though all tout their respective products, they are fully aware of the cautionary characteristics of technological progress. An obvious proponent of the online-media revolution, O’Connor pulls no punches and effectively tracks the gains and losses of the movement in clear, energetic language. An erudite, constructive analysis." -- Kirkus Reviews