But if you're on a lunch break, try this article from Salon.com on 'viral culture'.
It's an interview with Bill Wasik, 'internet instigator' and original inventor of the flash mob.
It's insightful, pragmatic. In particular I like his analysis of the Susan Boyle phenomenon and what he calls the 'nanostory' (there's a lot more to the article than SB but thought it worth mentioning).
She becomes this giant symbol and all this meaning gets heaped upon her. But then of course, there's nothing to sustain it. She became this giant micro-star at a point when she wasn't going to be on television again for many weeks. If you can't feed the machine, then it shuts down. We'll just be distracted onto the next thing if it doesn't give us more to keep us going. That, to me, is a classic example of a nanostory. It is a short-lived media phenomenon that is driven by the sheer quantity and speed of the contemporary conversation. So many hours of cable news to fill, there are so many blogs that need refreshing. Now there's Twitter and more. And so we seize upon these tiny little things and try to elevate them into sensations, but of course they can't bear up under the weight of it."For a different viewpoint, you can check our Henry Jenkin's view here