In 2003, Bill Wasik sent an anonymous e-mail, inviting people to convene for unknown reasons. Thus began the phenomenon of the “flash mob,” the impetus for “And Then There’s This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture.” Through a variety of internet experiments, Wasik, a senior editor at Harper’s, examines herd mentality and the dissemination of information in the digital age. Time Out New York says, “Poised somewhere between meta-gonzo reporting and Malcolm Gladwell–esque pop psychology, ‘And Then There’s This’ charts how “nanostories” are reflective of today’s competitive, often consumer-driven media and just how easily they can be manipulated.” Publishers Weekly praises Wasik’s “deft style and provocative insights,” and Steve Weinberg, in a special to The Dallas Morning News, says:
Wasik is more than just another commentator about digital culture. He distinguishes himself two ways in his book: as a big thinker using language that less brilliant thinkers can easily grasp, and as a provocateur running experiments to test his hypotheses.