By Mark Mavrigian Posted June 15, 2009, 6:12 PM EDT
These days information comes at us from all directions, and constantly—what's new seems old quickly. In And Then There's This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture, out this week from Viking Press, Bill Wasik, senior editor at Harper's Magazine, takes a look at the very young history of new media culture and its effects on society and marketing. As one of his case studies, the author explains how he originated the 2003 flash mob phenomenon, discussing how he sent a mass email directing a large group to form, spawning a fad and copycat mobs. Wasik also digs into examples of how companies and organizations go viral in the quest for buzz, from Ford's appropriation of the flash mob for a concert to promote a new vehicle to consumer-involved campaigns from companies like Diesel, Nike, and Procter & Gamble.