on 4 October 2007
Much like the cyberculture events that Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba cherish, their book is fun, jazzy and almost habit-forming. They spin tale after tale of individuals and communities that are doing new and exciting things online, demonstrating just how much the emerging "social media" movement has changed the media landscape. Although fan sites devoted to particular cars or fictional universes are similar to older media phenomena such as fan magazines, spontaneously arising mass movements dedicated to saving discontinued soft drinks or spreading song parodies are unpredictable and unprecedented. The authors do a great job of sketching the outlines of the new movement. However, in part because the movement is still emerging, and in part because of their genuine enthusiasm for its activities, their analyses aren't as strong as their descriptions. This is especially true of their discussion of the forces driving social media, which are apparently all positive. With that caveat, we recommend this book to old-media communicators who want to understand the latest cyberculture developments and apply them to their own businesses.