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Networks without a Cause: A Critique of Social Media Paperback – 21 Feb 2012

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Product Description

This book is a cutting-edge critical analysis of our contemporary networked world. Why are so many people so obsessed with social network sites like Facebook? Lovink dissects our collective obsession with identity and self-management together with the fragmentation and information overload endemic to contemporary online culture.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9ca80018) out of 5 stars 1 review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cbea0e4) out of 5 stars The information age 18 May 2012
By Damaskcat - Published on
Format: Paperback
What effect does all the information available on the internet have on us? How do we deal with information overload and why do we keep adding friends on Facebook? This book is a fascinating study of the information age and how much of ourselves we give away in our online presence without even thinking about it. It looks at the anonymity of the web and the way people can develop multiple online personas as well as discussing the meaning and effect of online comments on articles such as news stories.

The book is aimed more at the media student than at the general reader but anyone who wants to start thinking critically about what they do online will find the book of relevance to them and their lives. I was fascinated by the insight it gave me into the way different countries use blogs. Germany, for example, hasn't taken to blogging but Iraq - think Salam Pax - has seen blogging as a way to get the voice of ordinary people in the country heard by the rest of the world.

The chapter on internet criticism will be of interest to anyone who reads or writes reviews and it makes valid points about the value of the generalist reviewer. It also suggests that perhaps we have lost sight of the good points of specialist reviewers. Virginia Woolf's 1939 comment about a reviewer being `a louse' should not be forgotten here.

The book concludes with an interesting chapter about Wikileaks and suggests that the important thing about it is that the principle is here to stay `until it either scuttles itself or is destroyed by opposing forces'. I found the book interesting and well written.

There are comprehensive notes on the text and a select bibliography though there is no index in the paperback edition which I have.
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