A man searches for videos on the YouTube Web site.
A man searches for videos on the YouTube Web site. - 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

Sometimes at night I'll wonder what's on TV. Surf around for a while, not find much, and get on the computer instead. There, I might update Facebook, tweet something on Twitter. And I'll think, "It didn't use to be like this." Time away from work and responsibility used to be passive, we watched TV mutely, we read a book. We didn't post videos to YouTube or edit Wikipedia. Online culture has meant that instead of just consuming culture, we also create it and share it. We don't just watch Lost, we watch it and then go on message boards or even make our own videos.

This is a shift detailed in Clay Shirky's new book Cognitive Surplus: creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age. He teaches at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU and has been a big thinker on the way we work together online for many many years. We talk to him about what this shift means for society in the long term.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.