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Digital Vertigo: How Today's Online Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing, and Disorienting Us Paperback – 24 May 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Constable (24 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780338406
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780338408
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 531,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A vital and timely book that's terrifying, fascinating, persuasive and reassuring, all at the same time. (Paul Carr)

From Hitchcock to Mark Zuckerberg and the politics of privacy, a savvy observer of contemporary digital culture reframes current debates in a way that clarifies and enlightens. (Sherry Turkle, author of Alone Together)

In this timely and important book, Andrew Keen once again thinks one step ahead of social media pioneers, posing questions they will need to answer or risk facing a digital uprising. (Parag Khanna)

A voice of informed caution, a Silicon Valley insider warning against false prophets and a future that may destroy as much as it creates. (Mark Bauerlein)

Book Description

Why Social media - Facebook, LinkedIn, Groupon, Twitter - is bad for you.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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One of the very few books I have reread.

Andrew Keen's book is a brilliant critique of social networking as we know it.

Keen did his research - be that it looking back to ancient philosophers, the history of computing, social change in the US and globally - and has managed to explain much of what has happened.

The book is interesting in that he builds it (1) around his interactions at a conference in Oxford, with a number of the 'leading lights' of social networking and (2) the characters of Alfred Hitchcock's movie, 'Vertigo'. He quotes widely from those who promote the benefits of social networking and those, like himself, who doubt its real value.

He does not mince his words (P118) - 'you see, social media has been so ubiquitous, so much the connective tissue of society that we've all become like Scottie Ferguson, victims of a creepy story that we neither understand nor control...It's a postindustrial truth of increasingly weak community and a rampant individualism of super-nodes and super-connectors'.

The references alone could tie you up for weeks. But I believe he has done all of us a service in highlighting what's wrong with much of what is being put over as good for society. Well worth taking the time to read.
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This is an absolutely outstanding book that carefully outlines the debate that should be taking place about what is acceptable use of personal information and what disclosuree should be (properly) made. Most 'participants' in social media and users of the Internet and smartphones clearly have no idea how much information they are providing to so called 'free' service providers and the vast fortunes that are being made with their personal information by those providers. Andrew Keen stands apart from the 'crowd' of enthusiastic commentators on social media in that he actually thinks independently about what is going on and is not afraid to voice his views and concerns.

In my opinion, it is not being over-dramatic to say that every one of us should read this seminal book before it is too late.
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This book offers a great view on digital revolution and where it's heading.
I haven't finished reading it but I am enjoying it. It's a great and useful read for anyone interested in digital media.
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I only half liked this book, I really did. His last book, The Cult of the Amateur, was a great big rummaging individualistic versus collectives philosophy rant, and, I must admit, Andrew Keen was right! Rather than being the Socratic coffee party imagined by the old generation of cyberspace utopians, today's internet is indeed an amateur cult (at the bottom and that is; Digital Vertigo concentrates on the monopoly at the top) and the phenomenon of trolls and mobs jumping on any opinion that doesn't suit their particular opinion is the name of the game.

Keen was also right in arguing that the internet does switch off the individualist tap and the future, according the Andrew Keen and his ilk, is a good old fashioned sci fi nightmare were the directing brains of the future internet will be working to keep those inside, you and I, in a perpetual childhood.

If you don't take offence at the somewhat snobbish manner of the messenger, then this is all true. The Internet isn't how they say it is and if you can't see this today, then you will see it sometime next decade. So instead of the new egalitarian garden of delights, how about the old fashioned old-boys caste system? Who do you think is building the social spaces that you and I will inhabit? It certainly isn't you and me! Its a new aristocracy that looks like you and me but owns our data and is making bags of money from tagging our personalities. This digital-aristocratic elite isn't some luddite rant hatched by Andrew Keen in his bedroom. Digital Vertigo is dense with quotes and references from many many books and articles written by other very smart thinkers, and so, if anything, this book is an excellent reference manual for researches because it really digs deep into what is hatching out of Silicon Valley.
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