Customer Review

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better and more useful than you might expect..., 13 Oct. 2001
This review is from: Design for Community (Paperback)
I've read most of the New Riders series of books, and they vary in usefulness - as you would expect - depending on whether you are the target market. Jeff Zeldman's book was pretty much useless for me - although it was a good read I knew most of the stuff in it. Jeff Veen's stuff was interesting mainly because it pointed to a completely different future approach to writing books of this kind - start with CSS and wander off from there.
Of them all, so far I'm most impressed with Derek's book. Those of us who have spent time on his sites... know how passionate and committed he is to online community building and how he has managed to generate several profoundly cool community-centred sites. He's not a web programmer - and nor is this a book for web programmers - and that just goes to show that the issues that will confront you are not necessary ones of software and content management.
I've been building community sites for a few years too - not as successfully, perhaps - but I know roughly what I'm talking about, and what I can say for certain is that I learned more about some of the less obvious elements of the subject directly from Derek's book.
Things that hadn't occurred to me before included (among many others)
1) That making it harder to post, and burying submit buttons encourages fewer, but better posts.
2) That the colour and feel of a site may determine its attitude, which may in turn be reflected in the kind of posts and community that emerges there.
3) That communities sometimes will and sometimes SHOULD die after a while.
This is not necessarily the book for someone looking to start out on their first community venture - but it is CERTAINLY the kind of book that you should be reading if you've started one already - albeit small and faltering - and you want to understand ways in which you could broaden it, expand it, refine it, make it work TREMENDOUSLY well...
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