Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
on 19 May 2013
George Takei, once known only for his role as Sulu on the original Star Trek series, tells us about his presence on the Internet. This primarily concerns his Facebook page, although he also discusses his use of Twitter and YouTube. There are three kinds of things to learn from the book.
First, it discusses what George Takei is up to lately. He writes about his life with his husband Brad and his involvement as a gay activist in the marriage equality issue. There is some Star Trek content, but a great deal more about the play he is helping to produce about the internment of Japanese-Americans during the Second World War. Particularly for someone in his seventies, George has an active and busy life.
The second type of information available in the book is more directly concerned with Facebook. George talks about his experiences, both before and after he earned an "in" with their engineers. We learn a few things about how Facebook algorithms decide what to include in our newsfeeds. George also has suggestions about timing posts, selecting the best format, and making one's language consistent and distinctive.
The primary focus of the book, though, is how all of this comes together in George's online presence. He discusses how he learns of new events, how reliable online information is and isn't, and the role his fans play in giving him feedback about his online behavior. He faces daily decisions about what to pass on, how to comment, and how much "Takei" to include with the humor. He sees himself as building and maintaining an online community. Certain communication techniques, content selection strategies, and rules for his own behavior have proven helpful in this effort. There have been some mistakes, too. George does not flinch away from describing them.
The book is worthwhile for its integrated treatment of these topics. I found its insights on community-building the most valuable. There is more here about maintaining an engaging Facebook page than any other source I have read. The technical tips are helpful, but more helpful is getting inside George Takei's head and seeing how he thinks about his fans, what he feels he owes them, and how he strives for the right boundaries between his online presence and the other aspects of his life.
I recommend Takei's book to anyone who posts content to Facebook on a regular basis--and wants to build lasting connections with the people who read it.