Avec Mainstream, Frédéric Martel avait décrit la guerre mondiale de la culture et des médias ; avec Smart, il prolonge l’enquête dans toutes les capitales numériques. De la Silicon Valley au Japon, du Brésil à l’Afrique du Sud, et jusqu’à Gaza, ce livre raconte la bataille d’internet et son futur. Ce faisant, il montre qu’internet n’a jamais été véritablement global, qu’il existe autant d’usages du web qu’il y a de territoires, que les frontières demeurent.
Smart est la première grande enquête de terrain sur le nouveau monde qui vient.
Everything in this book is accelerating. Digitisation is increasing globalisation tenfold; social networks have gone mobile: telephone, television and towns themselves have gone “smart”. How did China manage to create clones of Google, Facebook and YouTube, and build its own censored version of the internet? How do Arab countries use social networks for their revolutions, and how has Israel become a “start-up nation” thanks to the web? Is there a real danger that English will become the world’s “default” language on the internet? Why is there no Minister for Communications in the United States, and why does no one regulate the internet there? From Silicon Valley to Tokyo, from Brazil to Washington, from South Africa to southern India, and all the way to Cuba and Gaza, this unprecedented investigation in the field covers the whole battle of the internet and its future.
In Mainstream, Frédéric Martel described the global war between culture and the media; with Smart, he continues the investigation in all the digital capitals. Drawing on hundreds of interviews in about fifty countries, he analyses the interplay of key figures on the web and the logic of American internet giants, and he examines the different “internets” on five continents. In so doing he reveals that we are moving into a connected, globalised world, but also a territorialised one. The Americans may currently be worried about the “Balkanisation” of the internet, but this book shows that the internet has never been truly global, and that it will become increasingly local.
Frédéric Martel owns a doctorate in sociology and is a researcher at EHESS, specializing in the United States. He is a columnist for France Info, and for eight years he has presented Soft Power, the most important programme on France Culture devoted to creative industries and the internet. He also directs the non-fiction element of the literary criticism site Nonfiction.fr. He has written nine books, including Mainstream which was an international bestseller and was translated into nine languages.