“The social media landscape changes quicker than you can say ‘future shock.’  As soon as you think you’ve mastered one network, another pops up, demanding its share of time and attention. Thank goodness, then, for Howard Rheingold. He has identified the skills — simultaneously old-fashioned and cutting-edge — that not only will help you thrive in this tumultuous world, but also help you shape social media into a force for good. Net Smart is a lifeboat for people who want to participate in new technologies without drowning in the flood.”

– Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

“A desperately needed and wonderfully written guide to being literate in today’s digital, always-on world.  This book is not just descriptive.  It articulates a comprehensive set of social norms, practices and protocols that help us unleash the collective power of networked intelligence.  And, yes, using the web mindfully can indeed make us smarter, as this book will illustrate. A must read for anyone wanting to thrive in today’s increasingly connected world.”

– John Seely Brown, Former Chief Scientist of Xerox Corp and Director of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center; co-author of A New Culture of Learning

“Once again, Howard Rheingold has found a way of journeying into the future and coming back with gold. The questions he tackles here could not be more pertinent. Whether you’re thrilled at the amazing potential for online collaboration, or just stressed by your email in-box, his insights on how to achieve a new form of digital literacy deserve wide adoption.”

–Chris Anderson, TED curator

“Education today is woefully inadequate. It’s about teaching people information and skills as if we’re alone and disconnected, stocking knowledge and tools in our brains. Today, it is important to learn how to find information and how to collaborate. Written in the traditionally smart and fun-to-read Rheingoldian style, Net Smart is the guide on how to think, learn, survive and thrive in the post-internet era. An essential guide and a must-read!”

– Joi Ito, Director, MIT Media Lab


Nature, March 29, 2012:

“Fragmented attention, aimless dabbling — the pitfalls of Internet misuse are well known. Social-media writer Howard Rheingold argues that the solution to “always on” media is mindfulness and cooperation. His recipes for digital literacy, based on 30 years of internet immerstion, is to  hone attention, participation skills, critical approaches to information, collaboration and “network smarts”. Rheingold’s observations and solutions — from how tweeting is fuelled by dopamine to how to craft a thoughtful network — are informed by science and illustrated with apt, entertaining anecdotes.”

Forbes Online, April 26, 2012:

“The book is filled with wise and useful tips on how to thrive online and it is a fun and easy read. I recommend it to anyone who spends much time online, which if you believe Facebook, will soon be just about everyone on Earth.”

MIT Information Services & Technology, April 30, 2012

“Despite its title, Howard Rheingold’s new book, Net Smart: How to Thrive Online, is less about “how to” and more about context, know-how, and mindful strategies. There are many useful tips and pointers in Net Smart, but it’s not your go-to guide for setting up Google Reader or creating a LinkedIn group. Reading it is like taking a thought-provoking college class on digital literacies, a course full of terms and concepts – like invisible audiencesplaybor, and architectures of participation.”

Digital Family Summit, May 9, 2012

“Most importantly, Howard Rheingold points out that if we all individually thrive online, that there will be a societal net benefit, one that can go far beyond personal growth or empowerment or literacy.  If done properly, our indvidual small acts of publishing webpages,  sharing links, writing blogs, and creating digital media  could produce a more thoughtful society: a public good that would enrich everybody.”

Washington Post, May 11, 2012

“Technology writer Howard Rheingold ponders this in his latest book, “Net Smart,” which strives to be a sort of consciousness-raising how-to guide for all of us who are immersed in the Web era. Rheingold, who has been writing about the digital revolution for a quarter-century, praises and critiques the Web’s tools and diversions. It’s his aim to make readers more aware of both the benefits and the potential drawbacks of digital life.”

Beth’s Blog, May 23, 2012

“If you are going to purchase one book about using social media, this is the one to read.  It’s for people who want to go deeper and get practical know how, improved productivity, and integrate physical and virtual lives.”

Science, June 1, 2012

“The first serious popular science account of Web science, Net Smart provides an overview of much of the field’s best work.”

Curiouscatherine’s Blog, July 22, 2012

 “Net smart is a brilliant exploration of the social web – but it highlights the vulnerabilities of the participatory culture as it grows and develops. Perhaps the final point to take away is that that those of us who value the culture of the social web as it is now need to ensure that new participants learn this net smart skills in order to avoid overwhelming the environment with entrenched offline behaviours.”

21k12, July 26, 2012

 “Howard Rheingold’s Net Smart: How to Thrive Online is terrific: ambitious in scope but humble in tone; enthusiastic about opportunities but tempered by the recognition of the risks and downsides;  sweeping in its broad-brushed depiction of our new era of empowerment and participation while specific in its suggestions of precise techniques and initiatives we can take to best leverage our staggeringly new connectivity.”

Mindful Stew, July 30, 2012

 “I am giddy with excitement every time I read something that provides countless “ah-ha” moments.  Net Smart: How to Thrive Online by Howard Rheingold, is one of those texts.  I’ve finally come across a book that convinces me why I should use Twitter, how I can effectively juggle my various online accounts, and how I might begin to teach students to thoughtfully engage in the digital world, among other tidbits.”

Paying attention in an information-rich world, February 20, 2014

” I think this book is a goldmine of useful ideas for librarians looking for ways to expand and improve upon the practice of their craft as information intermediaries. Furthermore, Rheingold does not merely teach specific skills useful to librarians who want to better understand these emerging technologies, he has suggestions about how to build your own learning techniques and personal learning networks, so that you can stay on top of this rapidly changing world as the future unfolds.”


Howard Rheingold in Conversation with Mamie Rheingold for Authors@Google, April 11, 2012 (54 minute video)

Howard Rheingold in Conversation with with Andrew Blau, Global Business Network, April 2, 2012 (Downloadable 1 hour MP3 podcast)

Howard Rheingold in Conversation with with Andrew Blau, Global Business Network, April 2, 2012 (Three edited video clips)

Mediashift: Howard Rheingold: Knowing How to Collaborate is Essential by Roland Legrand, March 12, 2012

Trending Sideways: Howard Rheingold on Social Media, the Intelligence of Networks, and the Skills we Need to Understand Them.” by Carter Bowles, March 17, 2012.

Chris Gondek interview, MIT Press (Podcast)

Scott Butki interview, Blogcritics, April 27, 2012

Five Essential Skills for the Facebook Era by Steven Cherry, IEEE Spectrum April 27, 2012 (Podcast and transcript)

How to Thrive Online, Tech Nation (Moira Gunn), May 22, 2012 (34 minute podcast)

Henry Jenkins interview (Part One), Confessions of an ACA/fan, August 13, 2012

Henry Jenkins interview (Part Two), Confessions of an ACA/fan, August 15, 2012

Henry Jenkins interview (Part Three), Confessions of an ACA/fan, August 17, 2012

How to Get Netsmart and Use Mindfulness to Thrive Online, Elisha Goldstein, August 16, 2012

Circulating Ideas, Steven Thomas August 28, 2012 (Podcast)

Howard Rheingold: Net Smart,  KQED Forum (audio), August 29, 2012

Participatory Media: A Literacy in its Infancy,, September 24, 1012

CBC Spark Interview, Nora Young, October 19, 2012 (Podcast of radio interview)


Why You Need Digital Know-How — Why We All Need It,” by Howard Rheingold, European Business Review, May-June 2012.

Howard Rheingold on how the five web literacies are becoming essential survival skills, by Justin Ellis, Nieman Journalism Lab, May 11, 2012.

How to Use the Internet Wisely, For Your Health and the Country’s, excerpt, The Atlantic, May 9, 2012.

Howard Rheingold’s Net Smart – Living Mindfully in Cyberculture, by Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing, March 26, 2012.

Technology Can Push Our Crazy Buttons, Rewire Brains, by Sharon Jayson, USA Today,March 26, 2012.

What will you click on next? Focusing our attention online, by Tina Barseghian, MindShift, August 31, 2012

Get Net Smart and Thrive Online, by Russell Webster, September 7, 2012 Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five

What Can 135 Million Video Gamers Add to Our Collective IQ?, by Jennie Rose, MindShift, September 28, 2012


Utrecht University, April, 2013 (Video)

MIT Media Lab, May 10, 2012 (Video)

Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, April 24, 2012 (Audio)

UC Berkeley School of Information, April 18, 2012 (Audio)

New Media Consortium Presentation, March 20, 2012 (Video)

Microsoft Research Presentation, March 27, 2012 (Video)


Infotention Concept Map

Infotention Network

Howard’s Diigo Infotention links

Howard’s Infotention links


Critical thinking wiki


Crap Detection

Cooperation Theory

Network and Social Network Literacy



Stanford Social Media Course

Rheingold U: Introduction to Mind Amplifiers

Rheingold U: Toward a Literacy of Cooperation

2 Comments » for Resources
  1. admin says:

    Please use comments to suggest new resources or to correct errors in this resource list.

  2. click says:

    I Will have to come back again when my course load lets up – nonetheless I am getting your Rss feed so i can go through your web blog offline. Thanks.

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