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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What does social networking mean for people & businesses?
Throwing Sheep is both a fascinating & entertaining read. The authors have captured the key elements of online social networking - identity, status & power - & looked at what these mean.

Social networking is already having a profound impact on the way individuals connect & is starting to do the same for business. This book is a 'must' read for anyone interested...
Published on 4 Dec 2008 by Jonathan Jensen

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Erudite Rather Than Illuminating
The chances are that if you're considering reading this book you'll already be aware of (and probably affected by) what the authors refer to as the "Facebook Phenomenon"

The impact of social networking through websites such as MySpace, YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook and (increasingly) Twitter is quickly rippling through society and is dangerous to ignore,...
Published on 9 May 2009 by Graham S


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Erudite Rather Than Illuminating, 9 May 2009
This review is from: Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom: How Online Social Networking Will Transform Your Life, Work and World (Hardcover)
The chances are that if you're considering reading this book you'll already be aware of (and probably affected by) what the authors refer to as the "Facebook Phenomenon"

The impact of social networking through websites such as MySpace, YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook and (increasingly) Twitter is quickly rippling through society and is dangerous to ignore, particularly as a generation is emerging for whom such networking is the norm for personal interaction. It is this explosion in virtual relationships that the book explores. It's not just a book about social networking: also covered in significant detail is the challenge to the dominance of the CD thrown down by the arrival of file-sharing alternatives that call into question the fundamental concept of ownership in the domain of popular music.

At around 300 pages, what this book offers is a profound, learned and sociologically-driven overview of how individuals, organisations and society are beginning to be affected by the advent and development of social networking. The use of analogies such as the dominance exercised (and lost) by the Knights Templar will enlighten and amuse some readers, but irritate and confuse others, so it's a case of buyer beware!

If there is one particular weakness in the book it's the fact that the growth in social networking is so rapid that the book was practically out of date as soon as the printing ink was dry. (Twitter, for example is given a mere three mentions)

So who should buy the book? If you're interested in the overall impact that social networking is having on the 21st Century, and you're prepared to exercise your brain, you'll be educated and informed by the end of the book. If you're looking for specifics on the individual networking sites, or are perhaps thinking that the book will offer some light refreshment, then it's not the one for you!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What does social networking mean for people & businesses?, 4 Dec 2008
By 
Jonathan Jensen (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom: How Online Social Networking Will Transform Your Life, Work and World (Hardcover)
Throwing Sheep is both a fascinating & entertaining read. The authors have captured the key elements of online social networking - identity, status & power - & looked at what these mean.

Social networking is already having a profound impact on the way individuals connect & is starting to do the same for business. This book is a 'must' read for anyone interested in these trends & who wants to maximise the benefits that social networking can bring them.

I would have perhaps liked to see a little more focus on the power of Twitter to connect people, in particular because many people struggle to understand how effective Twitter is.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom - How Online Social Networking will transform your life, work and world, 5 Jan 2009
By 
K. Nellies (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom: How Online Social Networking Will Transform Your Life, Work and World (Hardcover)
If the title seems strange wait until you start reading. What you think is a book about how social networking will change corporations begins with the medieval Popes army - The Nights Templar. Weird, but effective as it links the web2.0 revolution with historical and anthropological perspectives. The perpetual conflict between centralising institutions and horizontal networks.

The title of the book is derived from the Facebook feature of being able to throw virtual objects at your friends. It would be unfair to describe this as just another web2.0 business title as it covers how society as a whole and not just corporations is being changed and challenged by online social networks.

The book is split into 3 sections which the authors describe as I.S.P - identity, status and power.

The notion of identity online is more fluid and multifaceted than the physical world where we are constrained by institutional norms and values. In cyber space you have more freedom to be who and what you want to be. Liberating stuff but there is a dark side; paedophilia and cyber bulling are amongst some of the more frightening examples given. Also the idea that your past online becomes an indelible digital tattoo that is with you for life. Those funny moments captured flat on your back at university and posted on Facebook suddenly become a lot more embarrassing when Googled by a future employer.

The section on status moves away from the social individual and into the corporate world where there is a command and control model or as the book describes it a vertical structure. Social technologies are horizontal in nature and have a bias towards performance and efficiency. This allows the smartest ideas from whoever and wherever to rise to the surface. Middle managers in particular view this as threatening as they see their ascribed status and position as gate keepers of information undermined.

Power is fundamentally about who is the boss. Social technologies are pushing power to the margins rather than it being monopolised. The old command and control dynamic is dying, now anyone can contribute as the barriers and cost of entry is almost zero. This is resulting in new commercial realities.

In the music industry the revolution of social networking sites and peer to peer networks has forced the development of a new business model.

In corporations the adoption has been slower but web2.0 tools are now being used for communications functions that don't necessitate organisational change.

In Politics, Obama's victory in 2008 is the first Facebook election and a vindication of the power of grass roots technology. The same social tools he used to sweep to power now offer an opportunity to reconnect Government to the people.

The authors conclude by examining the issue of trust and state that the web2.0 revolution may depend on the capacity to find a proper balance between loosening controls and losing control - between self regulation and legal constraints.

Overall this is a good book that is stuffed with well researched examples and is written from the perspective of the realist rather than the evangelist. It knits together the past, present and future in a highly readable narrative.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great title and concepts, shame about the execution, 29 Mar 2009
This review is from: Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom: How Online Social Networking Will Transform Your Life, Work and World (Hardcover)
I was so excited about this book, that when it arrived, I gave up slaving over a hot keyboard, and immediately indulged in what I hoped would be sage wisdom to help me better utilise social networking, 'in my life, work and world' as promised in the sub-heading.

And oh how disappointed I became.

First 50 pages or so - brilliant, exciting, motivated me to read through..
150 pages of guff - what the heck has this to do with medieval politics and the Knights Templar???
100 pages of interesting and often useful insights

GUYS! if you only have 150 pages of great content, then please don't waste my time to read 150 pages of not-that-exciting average stuff. Just give me the 150, and as they say on Broadway, 'leave them wanting more'...

Gary 'The Expediter' Plunkett
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