Selected Works


Selected Works: Nominate your favourite books about New Media


Over the past years several books have been published about New Media. Some are worth reading, others aren't. We ask your help to separate those great books from the others. Help us to compose a list with the best new media publications of the past five years by sending in your favourites. Write (in English or Dutch) a comment to this posting about your favourite books to nominate them!

Tell us what books are canonical to you. What books made you change your perspective on the role of media in society? And maybe even more interesting: what books, according to you, have been ignored and should definitely be on this list? There are no strict guidelines, just make sure the publication of the book was somewhere between 2006 and last year. 

Write (in English or Dutch) a comment to this posting about your favourite books to nominate them (deadline: 10-06-2011) for the Selected Works that will be published here on Fiction, non-fiction, academic and non-academic literature are all allowed. Of course you may nominate multiple books! Please add the author, title and year of publication and write in max. 100 words per book what's your motivation to nominate it. That information might be quoted in the final article. 

Hopefully we can soon present you a beautiful list with the best new books about new media! And if you can’t wait for that, make sure you take a look at the Golden List of New Media Titels by the NMDC-staff from 2006.

Nomineer jouw favoriete boeken over Nieuwe Media

De afgelopen jaren zijn er talloze boeken verschenen over Nieuwe Media. Sommigen zijn het lezen waard, anderen minder. We roepen jouw hulp in om het kaf van 't koren te scheiden. Help ons met het samenstellen van de lijst met de beste titels van de afgelopen vijf jaar door jouw favorieten in te sturen.

Vertel ons welke boeken een baken voor jou vormden, een referentiepunt. Welke boeken leerden je anders kijken naar de rol van media in onze samenleving of hielpen je om media beter te begrijpen? En misschien nog wel interessanter: welke boeken zijn volgens jou over het hoofd gezien en moeten zeker in deze lijst verschijnen? Harde eisen zijn er niet, behalve dat het boek voor het eerst verschenen moet zijn in het jaartal 2006 tot en met 2010. 

Schrijf (in het Engels of Nederlands) in de comments op dit bericht welke boeken jij wilt nomineren (deadline: 10-06-2011) als Selected Works van Het mag zowel fictie, non-fictie, academisch of populaire literatuur betreffen. Je mag uiteraard meerdere boeken nomineren! Vermeld in ieder geval de auteur, titel en het jaartal van het boek en omschrijf in maximaal 100 woorden waarom een werk volgens jou zo belangrijk is. Jouw motivatie kan worden geciteerd in het uiteindelijk artikel. 

Hopelijk kunnen we je binnenkort een prachtige lijst presenteren met de beste nieuwe boeken over nieuwe media! Heb je daar geen geduld voor? Kijk dan zeker eens naar de Golden List of New Media Titels die in 2006 werd samengesteld door de NMDC-staf.

Image credits: Dennis Roberts 


Digital Material

It's kind of obvious, but I think we ought to add the book every student is using for every paper, the 'bible' of our master programme: Digital Material. (2009) - Edited by Marianne van den Boomen, Sybille Lammes, Ann-Sophie Lehmann, Joost Raessens, and Mirko Tobias Schäfer. It gives a great overview of the variety of themes we discuss and write about in the master programme. A homegrown classic :)

Top 5

Linked - Barabási
Long Tail - Anderson
Wealth of Networks - Benkler
Free Culture - Lessig
Convergence Culture - Jenkins

grtz Meindert

Just a few that spring to mind...

Gibson, William. Spook Country (2007)
Near-future fiction with a great sense of what Augmented Reality might become.

Gitelman, Lisa. Always Already New (2008)
From a media-archaeological perspective, explores and tracks how changes in the materiality of mediated information, old and new, change that information's ontology. The introductory chapter alone is worth the money.

Lanier, Jaron. You Are Not a Gadget (2010)
The pioneer of Virtual Reality warns us to not let ourselves be dragged down to a simplistic understanding of ourselves when interacting with so-called intelligent or social media.

MacKenzie, Adrian. Wirelessness (2010)
Still actually have to find the time to start reading the book but from the glances I took I guarantee this is a must read if you want to know what is behind the incessant drive towards a networked, ambient, magically connected society. Probably the book I should have written a few years ago.

Stross, Charles. Halting State (2007)
A bank robbery in a virtual world, Chinese hackers, pervasive games and 419 scams. And oh yeah, it's got some Augmented Reality in there as well. Need I say more?

I am not a gadget

I only just started on Lanier's book "You are not a gadget". I read chapter 1 and a little bit of the second chapter, but i just wanted to say that I already totally agree with you on the importance of this book! It's very well written and actually rather fun to read! This should be an obligatory read in so many of the MA courses. To all students: read it!

wikinomics - don tapscott

wikinomics - don tapscott

you're kidding?

you must be kidding to nominate that crap

wikinomics crap @ anonymous

explanation: I am not nominating it for its quality, but rather for it being read a lot, which means that many people get a certain (utopian) idea from reading it. that is something we have to take into account, and to be able to counter its one-sidedness

Popular works I like

Googled - Ken Auletta (2009)
Explains about the wave Google created and what effects it has on traditional media companies.

Blown to bits - Abelson, Ledeen & Lewis (2008)
Popular work about a wide selection of new media topics, from privacy to encryption. Helps to put the pieces in the puzzle.

grtz, Jan Zoutendijk

Carr and Turkle

Carr, Nicholas - The Shallows: What the internet is doing to our brains (2010)
Turkle, Sherry - Alone Together (2011)

Don't have the time to read these books (yet), and still want to know what's in them?

Watch Carr talk about his research on The Shallows at Clark University: (1h 18min)
Watch Turkle talk about her research on Alone Together at Google Talks: (1h 11min)

The image of the city - Kevin Lynch

This book describes the way people find their way through the city, using landmarks, personal logic and mental images. Very useful in understanding the use and impact of locative media. I discovered the book while researching for my thesis about Locative media art.

Canonical works

I should first explain that I consider canonical books that are strongly representative of the academic and/or popular discourse in the set period. People reading these books should get some notion of the theoretical currents in the field since the publication of the Golden List.

Lev Manovich – Software Takes Command
Manovich published this book in .doc and .pdf format, making it the first major theoretical work released in this manner. Calling for the appreciation of software as a worthwhile object of study in its own right, Manovich made an important intervention in the new media discourse. If we are serious about analyzing cultural practices, says Manovich, we must recognize software as being an integral component of many of them.

Evgeny Morozov – The Net Delusion
In this book Morozov launches a powerful attack on what he calls 'cyber-utopianism', the naive belief that digital media have inherent emancipatory qualities, and 'internet-centrism', the belief that every issue in modern society revolves around the internet. It is an absolutely vital contribution to the popular discourse in a time when everything from WikiLeaks to Twitter is lauded as having liberating potential, while too little attention is being paid to the repressive uses of these technologies.


Several lists, for several reasons relevant

The Future of the Internet - Jonathan Zittrain
About the generativity of the PC & the internet - what is important about it, why we have to defend it, and how it is under fire from things like SPAM, the PS3 and

Program or be Programmed - Douglas Rushkoff
A short discourse which goes beyond what Zittrain says: if you only use programs you are not being generative... which means that you do not have control... which means that others control your life - what you see, what you hear, what you think, what you do. Without the ability to change things you will not understand what is happening and your life will be lead for you.

Content - Cory Doctorow
Basically a set of articles /speeches he wrote in order to show why Net Nutrality is so important and why Copyright needs a rehawl.

Groundswell - Charlene Li / Josh Bernoff
Yes - even now it's still interesting for most people as no one seems to really be making a social strategy but just are doing social (hint: you'll fail!) Far better than books such as New Rules of Marketing & PR as they always seem to go to the hands-on level (which is important... but AFTER the strategy level has been done)

Free - Chris Anderson
Personally think this is an underrated book because most people think that in todays world it's not on topic as Free seems to have lost a lot of value..... but they are forgetting the entertainment & media industry - which are quite big.... and not to mention the coming DIY revolution which will do for a lot of manufacturing what BitTorrent did for the music industry

I have not read it yet, but the premisse of it seems very interesting:
Fun Inc. - why gaming will dominate the 21st century
In the preface he argues very well why the term 'gamers' should be banned (we all do it... even 70% of Fortune 500 CEO's do it - so let's get over it) and seeing how gaming mechanics are permeating throughout society he could have a point.

Smart Swarm - Peter Miller
About how animals react in swarms and how we as a society should look to this and benefit from it. Sounds like these dynamics are a sure part of the internet now that Social is no longer a destination, but a lenze through which we should perceive the internet (social being interpersonal contact - which through something like facebook connect can be implemented on EACH PAGE of the internet)

Also sprach Zarathustra - Nietsche
No... it's not digital, it's not marketing.... but it's all about free thinking.
We have a problem and that is that we are getting so much info from all kinds of places that we have difficulties formulating independent thought. This fis the quintessential book for all who want to see how important this will always be (though it is a boring read... I agree)

Blogs, Journals etc.

How about keeping up with our day - and add the blogs to follow:

Boing Boing:
Henry Jenkins:

and journal:
First Monday:

not to forget:
TED talks:

My nominees

David Lyon - Surveillance Society 2001
A very concise edition about the surveillance society we live in now and the possibilities of datamining and social sorting.

Philip K. Dick - Human is... 2007
The book contains various of Dick's short stories about androids, aliens and humans and many are about what makes a human a human.

Orson Scott Card - Ender's Game 1977
A compelling book which takes games to learn difficult tasks, like wiping out an alien invasion, very serious.


The Rise of the Network Society - Manual Castells (2006)

excellent analysis of the links between the international financial marketing gone digital, the (global) economy and the internet.

I've seen a lot of good books

I've seen a lot of good books in he suggestions. We actually have different criteria in choosing the books that we are going to suggest. I guess I should stand in the middle because if the book will cost you a personal loan and it is not advisable for this kind of economy. Though, it is assured that it is a good book since it is sold at a high price. On the other hand, there are also a lot of good books that are not highly recommended but can be found for a cheaper price. I guess it will just all depend to the reader himself to judge the contents of a specific book. What is more important is we know that we gain knowledge upon reading it.

So what's your best book on spam?

Hehe, excellent piece of spam, well done! :D

Wendy Chun

Regarding the above comments on Wikinomics, this does bring forth the question whether books are selected because of their quality or popularity.

My nomination:
Wendy Chun - Control and Freedom, Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics (2006)
In Control and Freedom, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun explores the current political and technological coupling of freedom with control by tracing the emergence of the Internet as a mass medium. The parallel (and paranoid) myths of the Internet as total freedom/total control, she says, stem from our reduction of political problems into technological ones.

Quality of popularity

@Ryanne: that is an important question indeed. Therefore we ask people to motivate their nominations. When we pass the deadline, we're going to discuss all that and see what titles should and should not be in the final list of selected works. Maybe we even write some longer reviews about the books that make the final selection.


De deadline is vandaag. Voor nominaties die ná vandaag worden ingestuurd geldt dat we niet kunnen garanderen dat ze nog worden meegenomen in de uiteindelijke selectie.

Ik wil iedereen die een nominatie in heeft gestuurd hartelijk bedanken!