Kirkus Reviews, June 2, 2009 (starred review):
Rosenberg offers an elegantly accessible history and defense of a now-ubiquitous Internet phenomenon — the blogosphere….
[The] phenomenal growth of blogging…was initially due to adventurous, and at times decidedly odd, men and women who both saw the potential in the totally free expression blogging allows and developed the software that made it simple and easy. Rosenberg energetically chronicles these ’90s pioneers…
Blogging allows for new possibilities in form and content and the blossoming of new talent; it’s also fun. Yet Rosenberg also acknowledges the critiques of such an unbridled flood of verbiage. With patient detail—and for the most part jargon-free language—he addresses the concern that the blogosphere is nothing more than a mindless morass of trivia—that it may be creating an “echo chamber effect” where we talk to only those who agree with us, and may lead to cultural disintegration as millions of monologues replace a common discourse. Though he never dismisses them out of hand, the author concludes that these complaints are mostly baseless or overwrought. Rosenberg suggests that blogging’s “outpouring of human expression” should “delight us.” This fair and fascinating account should delight as well.
Comments from early readers
“Scott Rosenberg brings order and a robust sense of fun to his history of the raucous art of blogging. Say Everything says just enough, and a lot you wouldn’t expect and don’t know.”
— Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court
“Scott Rosenberg is the best defender blogging has ever had. He eludes hype. He comes with no motive to debunk. He knows the history cold, and tells his stories calmly. On what to credit blogging with, and how to delimit it, there is no one with finer judgment. And he is poetic on blogging as a democratic thing. Say Everything is where I’d tell you to start if you want to understand where blogging came from, and why it’s important.”
— Jay Rosen, creator of PressThink.org and professor of journalism at New York University
“This is a terrific history of blogging and a convincing case for its enduring significance. Rosenberg mixes the personal with the conceptual in the same wonderful way that the web does.”
— Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe and CEO of the Aspen Institute
“Blogging gives everyone a printing press, unleashing a social force comparable to the printing press. Say Everything tells the story of the people, culture, and technology that made that happen and gives us an idea of where it’s going, from a guy who saw it happen around him.”
— Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist
“Eminently readable and historically definitive…Rosenberg has made it clear why the blogging revolution matters. Certain to be a classic.”
— Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs and Visiting Professor of Digital Journalism at Stanford
“The best history makes up for narrow focus with rich detail. Rosenberg’s book delivers exactly that plus his personal insider’s view of famous and familiar bloggerati — the technology, the fiefdoms, the whuffie, the money, and the love. I learned new things about people I’ve known and read for years.”
— Lisa Stone, cofounder and CEO of BlogHer, Inc.
“A wonderful read. Anyone who wants to know where blogs come from — and why they matter — should read this book. Rosenberg, who’s been doing new media from its very start, as well as writing about it, is the perfect person to tell this story.”
— Joshua Quittner, editor at large, TIME
“The more you know about the blog world, the more illuminating Say Everything will be. Scott Rosenberg has put recent history into a perspective that makes me look at today’s websites — and tomorrow’s — in a new way.”
— James Fallows, national correspondent, Atlantic Monthly
“Engaging and important, Say Everything tells the story of the people and the movement with the strange name that has changed our world.”
— Jeff Jarvis, creator of BuzzMachine.com and author of What Would Google Do?
“Scott Rosenberg provides an excellent fifteen-year history of the ‘voice of the person’ on the Web, from Talking Points Memo to Twitter, and profiles both idealistic pioneers and scrappy entrepreneurs. He offers a cogent look at not only what’s new, but also what’s next.”
— Greg Mitchell, editor, Editor & Publisher
“Scott Rosenberg deftly recounts blogging’s raucous rise, with a storyteller’s skill, a journalist’s care, and a blogger’s verve.”
— David Weinberger, coauthor of The Cluetrain Manifesto and fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society