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Blog 10: Republic.com 2.0

Cass Sunstein’s book, Republic.com 2.0, was a very interesting read. To me it really reinforced a lot of the ideas and topics that we’ve touched on in class and the ideas that I already had a good grasp on. Just like I always like to do, I compared this book to the sporting world (obviously something that I have more knowledge in). And when I did, everything made a lot of sense, but there were definitely a few things that I didn’t necessarily agree with.

This short clip talks about how personalization makes life easier for us through conversion. I thought some of the point that were brought up were really though provoking. It is a little dorky but puts this idea into a different perspective.

In one chapter Sunstein talks about polarized blogs and claims that conservatives will only read conservative blogs and vice versa. This made me think a little…Obviously I’m going to be more inclined to read a sports blog than a political blog, which I guess is a like-minded decision, but as you break it down even further I’ll read blogs that have a different opinion than I do. I really feel like I go about it in that way so that I can get even more heated about what I’m trying to argue about! So I guess you could say that I go into those foreign blogs with a close mind, but I do stumble upon them!

The thing that I really liked about this book was how he talked about how personalized we can make our information consumption. He’s absolutely right with this idea…take a look at your bookmarks on your computer, this is definitely personalized. I’m not going to put a bookmark for a site that I wouldn’t frequent on a daily basis (side note: when I got my computer it came installed with bookmarks…I got rid of all of them).  I absolutely love the idea of personalization, I sure don’t want to waste my time going through websites that I don’t necessarily care for in order to find something that I do care for! I’m a college student with a lot of other responsibilities, it’s all about being able to manage my time, right?!

So that was something that I agreed with, that you can personalize practically everything that you’d like to, but I don’t agree with a part of it. All the websites that I go to have links to different stories and websites. A couple nights ago I got caught up in clicking on links from website to website. I started out reading an article on espn.com and ended up on a democratic website…all without ever typing in anything, just by massive amounts of mouse clicks! So I feel like I could argue that I ran across websites and articles that I didn’t really have any interest in but then I actually think deeper into it and it was a personalized journey through the internet world because I controlled the clicks…so I guess I just ran full circle right there!

Another thing that I didn’t necessarily like about the book was how redundant it was. I feel like you could’ve read the first chapter and really gained the same amount of information as someone who read the whole book. I guess the chapters just became very predictable to me.

I don’t think I would recommend this book to anyone else because I feel as if most people already understand most of the concepts that are covered in this book!The people that I would recommend this book to would be the citizens who oppose the fact of personalization. But if you would like to purchase the book, click here!


  1. April 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Good arguments here. You’re right about personalization. It is very convenient and even necessary given all the information that is available. But I’m guessing your tendency to read sports commentary from other teams to get more “heated” is probably not the behavior of a typical sports fan. I like to do the same thing with politics, read stuff from the craziest perspectives on the other side of an issue, but that is also probably not normal. I think most people typically want their information to support their views, so if they are Mizzou fans they are probably going to want to go read about why Mizzou will win this weekend, not why they are going to get crushed, written by someone from Kansas.

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