2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Erudite Rather Than Illuminating,
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weakness in the book it's the fact that the growth in social networking is so rapid that the book was practically out of date as soon as the printing ink was dry.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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Initial post: 18 May 2009 22:29:42 BDT
Bored at Work Scotsman says:
I think this is a fair appraisal of the book. There were some fascinating chapters, such as the one exploring the nature of fame and celebrity, and the role social media play in generating these. As the reviewer says, it does suffer from the fact that this is such a fast-moving area: the book will have a short life. It also doesn't offer any practical insights into how to capitalise on the power of social media. I found the business-speak in the book irritating, and some of the neologisms - in particular, "e-ruption" - are contrived and don't add anything to the read. Where it's at its best is making the connection between how society operates in the real world and how this is now translating online. This is one of the first in-depth treatments of the sociological aspects of social networking I've seen. But I found myself skipping large tracts of it; in parts it feels like it's been lifted from someone's doctoral thesis, and the Knights Templar analogy is wheeled out at every opportunity to the point of tedium. Three stars is fair.
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