digital | November 16, 2016

Can We Imagine Social Media as Biology—As a Living Thing? Michael Casey’s New Book The Social Organism

In his new book, The Social Organism, out yesterday, fintech expert Michael Casey proposes an intriguing theory: that social media “functions on every level like a living organism.” But what does this mean, for both individuals and organizations? And how does it change our understanding of digital culture?

Social media is arguably the most transformative change in communications since the Gutenberg bible. It has radically altered the way information is distributed and shared, and it seems to mutate and grow almost of its own accord. In fact, as Casey and co-author Oliver Luckett argue, social media adheres to the seven rules that define biological life: it mirrors cellular structure, possesses metabolism and homeostasis, grows toward complexity, reproduces, and adapts and evolves.


Comprehending the evolutionary nature of social media has untold benefits for any business. The old rules of sales and marketing are falling away, being supplanted by a newer, decentralized, open-source framework.  Successful brands, argues Casey, embrace this collaborative milieu instead of fighting it. Understanding how it functions should be their first step.


The Social Organism is already being hailed as groundbreaking. Here’s what key thinkers and industry leaders are saying:


“Social media is the most obvious recent way that human life is being forever changed by technology. This book’s brilliant unifying metaphor, the Social Organism (which is the converse of my mentor Marvin Minsky’s book Society of Mind) illuminates how the ground is shifting beneath our feet. As Luckett and Casey conclude, social media will begin to act more and more like a global brain. The implications for our way of life, our governments, and our businesses are immense. I cannot recommend this book enough.”

― Ray Kurzweil, inventor, author, and futurist


The Social Organism’s exploration of social media goes far beyond a recipe for clicks and ‘likes’ and presents a deeply convincing theory of how life is changing in the digital age, and how you can use social media not only to transform your business but to help change the world.”

― Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post and #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sleep Revolution


“In less than a decade, social media has gone from fringe to mainstream. In the next decade, it will reorder the ways people communicate, work together, trade, and pursue ideas. Luckett and Casey have written the quintessential guide to understanding our social future.”

Marc Andreessen, co-founder and general partner, Andreessen Horowitz


“When I started my first business in 1992, there was no social media. Today, no successful business is launched without a social strategy. This book is the best guide out there. Want to build a brand or a cause? Start by reading this.”

Daymond John, CEO of FUBU, CEO of Shark Branding, Co-Star on ABC's Shark Tank, bestselling author of The Power of Broke


To book Michael Casey, co-author of The Social Organism, as your next keynote or conference speaker, contact The Lavin Agency, his exclusive speakers bureau.