Friends, Followers and the Future

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

Press Reviews


"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

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

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

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."

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