...This is an extremely handy book for investigating the impact of the Internet in terms that should not baffle the technically illiterate but might confuse philosophical layman as it does rely on some of the terminologies we often take for granted in cultural studies - if it didn't this book could easily be about 500 pages too long. What is best about this book is how the author cites very relevant core texts and explains them in a extremely accessible manner that is nuanced sufficiently to invite further examination. As I feel the area of "Internet Studies" will become a subject all its own - and coming to a University near you (if it hasn't already)- this is required reading for all. My only suggestion - and not a complaint - is that some of the assumptions the author centers in his argument are often taken too uncritically, but alas I feel that these are obvious enough to generate excellent discussions that should profit the discipline for years to come. I wish more books were as sober and thought provoking when dealing with the Internet as this.
Having worked in new media for some time, I was looking for a book which discusssed the merits of the Internet and the impact it is having and will have from a sociological point of view. This is it. Like all good philosophy texts, this book asks many more questions than it tries to answer, but as a thorough grounding in the fundamentals without ladling on the heavy stuff this is an excellent introduction and easy bedtime reading. It is very easy to get caught up in the excitement and race to Internet nirvana (and equally easy to pour scorn on it as well). This book should be required reading for anyone who feels the need to comment so that they are at least a little more informed.