The social life of information


The social life of information

John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid

Harvard Business School Press, c2002

  • : pbk

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Includes bibliographical references (p. 293-310) and index



"Should be read by anyone interested in understanding the future." - "The Times Literary Supplement".For years pundits have predicted that information technology will obliterate everything - from supermarkets to business organizations to social life itself. But beaten down by info-glut, exasperated by computer crashes, and daunted by the dot com crash, individual users find it hard to get a fix on the true potential of the digital revolution. John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid argue that the gap between digerati hype and end-user gloom is largely due to the "tunnel vision" that information-driven technologies breed. We've become so focused on where we think we ought to be - a place where technology empowers individuals and obliterates social organizations-that we often fail to see where we're really going. "The Social Life of Information" shows us how to look beyond our obsession with information and individuals to include the critical social networks of which these are always a part.John Seely Brown is the Chief Innovation Officer of 12 Entrepreneuring and the Chief Scientist of Xerox. He was the director of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) for ten years. Paul Duguid is affiliated with Xerox PARC and the University of California, Berkeley.


  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Tunneling Ahead
  • 1. Limits to Information
  • 2. Agents and Angels
  • 3. Home Alone
  • 4. Practice Makes Process
  • 5. Learning - in Theory and in Practice
  • 6. Innovating Organization, Husbanding Knowledge
  • 7. Reading the Background
  • 8. Re-education
  • Afterword: Beyond Information
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • About the Authors

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