news items about the Peep Diaries book
Hal Niedzviecki, 40, is the author of eight books including The Peep Diaries: How We’re Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbours. For the documentary Peep Culture, which premieres on CBC on Feb. 16, he installed eight cameras in his home and dives into the culture of self-exposure for entertainment. Here, Niedzviecki discusses reality TV, voyeurism and what it all means to him. As told to Melissa Leong.
“Peep Culture” is the phrase I coined to explain the culture of voyeurism and entertainment. We are learning to entertain ourselves by watching each other go about our everyday lives — our friends, our neighbours and random strangers around the world. We have this whole other kind of popular culture, which is everything from viral videos to blogs about your sex life to tweets about what you ate for dinner.
This documentary evolved out of the original book, which was The Peep Diaries. In the documentary, I take it to the next level, including installing eight cameras in my house and living with those cameras constantly on, broadcasting to the Internet while keeping up a steady barrage of tweeting, blogging and Facebooking.
Nice review in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Here’s the last sentence of the review:
“All I know is that it’s time to post my review on Goodreads, order three more books from Amazon and update my Facebook status: “You all need to read ‘The Peep Diaries.’ ”
Hey everyone, here’s a short piece I wrote for AOLnews about why, despite all the warnings about privacy online, we just can’t bring ourselves to care nearly as much as we should.
A taste: “Oh but haven’t recent polls demonstrated that we are more concerned than ever about our privacy online? Sure they have. But they have also shown that our concern doesn’t actually translate into action. We may tell pollsters we are concerned about our privacy, but we don’t actually do much about it. Surprisingly few of us can actually be bothered to adjust the privacy settings available to us. (A Pew Research Study put the number of us who change Facebook privacy settings in the 25 percent to 44 percent range, which is to say that not even half of us are motivated to protect our most intimate details by taking five minutes to click a few buttons.)”
Read in full:
Pretty interesting article in the Sydney Herald (Australia) called “Peep show can claim a price”. Riffs off the ideas of Peep Culture and is inspired by the largely utterly failed Quit Facebook Day way back in May. The article concludes: “Facebook might have been deceptive about its use of our personal information, but we were already captivated by the peep show of our own lives.”
Ieee Spectrum Inside Technology column discusses the rise of Peep Culture and wonders: Peep culture may be the new pop culture, but is this really a two-way mass phenomenon? Maybe most of us have an audience of one: ourselves.
The Peep Diaries is described as a “bracingly informal book” in a 5 book essay/review that appeared in the recent issue of the London Review of Books. Check out the whole piece here. The other books discussed are
The Accidental Billionaires: Sex, Money, Betrayal and the Founding of Facebook by Ben Mezrich
The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future by Craig Watkins
Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America by Julia Angwin
The Tyranny of Email: The Four Thousand Year Journey to your Inbox by John Freeman
…is now available. Apparently it is doing well and has been reviewed by 4 newspapers. If you read Turkish, you can read a review of the book in the newspaper Radikal here.
What follows are the first couple of sentences:
Gündelik hayatta ya?ananlar?n mutlaka kavramsal kar??l??? vard?r. Bu kar??l?k ya haz?rd?r yada olaylar?n olgu derecesine yükselmesiyle olu?ur. Dil zorlan?r. Dil k?m?ldar. Tam da Deniz Baykal örne?inden hareket edildi?inde, nesnenin özne kar??s?ndaki zaferinden söz edilebilir.
Actually the headline should read: My reaction to the Reaction Videos article in the Washington Post that quotes my reaction to Reaction Videos. Got that?
Well, it doesn’t really matter. Check out the article, the piece does a nice job with the whole reaction video phenomenon. My take on it gets mocked (see the end of the piece), but I probably deserve it.
…and I help her column in Toronto’s Globe and Mail along with a few ideas about what the landline represents and why she’s feeling nostalgic even as most of the world is moving toward doing away with the home phone altogether. Read the piece here.
LasVegasNow.com recently did a special segment on Living in the Surveillance Society. I comment throughout. You can read the article and watch the two 4 minute videos here. It’s well done and their conclusion is important, if slightly vague – “Users sacrifice privacy, getting the power of the Internet in return.” What I wonder is if “users” even see giving up privacy as a “sacrifice”? And what, exactly, do they (we) get in return?
The Peep Diaries will be Published by City Lights Books in May 2009
City Lights Books
City Lights Publishers
In June of 1955, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, co-founder of City Lights Bookstore, launched City Lights Publications with the Pocket Poets Series. The first volume was a collection of his own poems, Pictures of the Gone World, which has since become a classic of beat literature and… more...
Hal Niedzviecki is a writer, culture commentator and editor whose work challenges preconceptions and confronts readers with the offenses of everyday life. He is the author of six books including the novel The Program and the nonfiction book The Peep Diaries: How We’re Learning to Love Watching Ourselves… more...