The Peep Diaries: Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Introducing Peep Culture
The transition from pop culture to Peep culture. The social implications of the rise of Peep culture. A veritable barrage of statistics and cultural shifts. Plus: whatever happened to Peeping Tom?

Chapter 2: Become a Peep (Product) Person
In the age of peep, individual lives become commodities. Hal hangs out with Lisa Sargese, a blogger who’s spent the last five years intimately chronicling her life pre and post gastric bypass surgery. He also spends time with Justin of and a 20 year old YouTube diarist. He looks at how stardom has lead to peep, and gets to know a woman who intersperses her wildly popular blog about being a slave to her husband master with the details of her domestic life as a house wife and mother of two.

Chapter 3: Faking the Real: Everyday Secrets and the Rise of Peep TV
Meet the Egly family, who were on Trading Spouses in 2004. Hal makes the case that the Eglys are the every-family of reality and represent the way TV has helped make Peep a normal activity in our society. The history of television and film is explored, and Hal traces the path from documentary to “reality”. Hal attends a Reality TV fan conference in Nashville and gets rejected for a Reality TV tryout. A casting director is consulted, as is the head of Fox Reality.

Chapter 4: Breaking the Seal: Gossip, Grooming and the (Secret) Allure of Peep
What happens to gossip and secrets in the age of peep? The rise of the shaming site, the viral video and the online exhibitionist tradition are discussed. Hal spends time with the creator of and sends in a postcard. Hal visits the offices of Twitter and establishes the Breaking the Seal theory - that the easier we make it to Peep, the more addicted we become.

Chapter 5: Watching the Detectives Watching the Neighbors in the Golden Age of Surveillance
Peep teaches us to love surveillance. Hal makes this argument with statistics, visits to the Surveillance Project at Queen’s University, and his own firsthand attempts to track his wife. He installs a surveillance camera in his back alley and watches his wife bike to work and back via a GPS tracker. Hal explores the idea that television prepared us for the surveillance age and contemplates the explosion of websites and video compilations that “catch on tape” everything from sex and murder and robbery to school yard brawls. Do people do crazy things just so they can upload their antics to YouTube?

Chapter 6: Escape from the Castle: Privacy in the Age of Peep
What happens to privacy in the age of Peep? In this groundbreaking chapter Hal talks about his attempts to reveal his private life in his blog and how difficult it is. He contemplates the giant corporations who encourage us to peep each other while insisting that they want to protect our privacy. He argues that the peep age reveals just how little we actually value privacy in an age where we are desperate for community and meaningful connection. Hal drops in on Dave Sifry, the creator of live blog search engine Technorati, and finds out that the captains of peep industry are deeply uneasy about what their creations.

Chapter 7 Future Peep: Why No One Came to My Party and Other Semi-Transparent Conclusions
The concluding chapter debunks the myth of a transparent future, arguing that until there is economic equality, among other things, there can never be true transparency. Nevertheless, Peep is also a potent force for good: the camera records things that were supposed to be secret and exposes hidden abuses of power. Is it possible to find a balance between the desire to connect to each other and reveal our lives and the way our utterances are starting to be used against us? And why didn’t anyone come to Hal’s party?



The Book: The Peep Diaries

The Peep Diaries will be Published by City Lights Books in May 2009
ISBN 1991022

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The Publisher: City Lights

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...


Author! Author!

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...