Why this Review?
Because the author asked me if I’d like to review a book, and I said yes, and received the book a few days later, AND the author kept asking me when I’d write the review.
Why this Book?
I hope the author knows. I think it’s because he had a thought in his mind on which he thought of writing a book and just went ahead. Not like I am against the book or something, but I’d prefer a white paper or something on the subject rather than a book.
Why do I say so?
Because when I saw the book, I thought it would be some interesting non-fiction. But that was one small part of the book. The book also has a large part of fiction/sci-fi as well, which makes the book look more like a future projection at times.
OK. The Review.
First of all, I have a problem with the title/description of the book. The book claims that it’s about Social Networking, and even names websites other than Facebook in a few places, but as far as I understood from the book, the author probably doesn’t even have a Twitter profile, and even if he does, he has no idea of the website at all. This book is all about Facebook, and should not have mentioned other websites anywhere.
Secondly, the tone of the book is strange. Most of the times the author says things that I know, you know, and almost everybody on Facebook knows, except that new guy from the small town who has just joined it. But never mind, he too will know it all in a matter of six months, maximum of a year. So the question is, Why write all these things? In fact some times such things are okay, as long as the author is making some observations, some of which are interesting too, but at times you can simply see the process of Facebooking. Seriously, why?
The third question I have may be a little strange for you too. But I have to ask this. If this is non-fiction, what is a Sci-fi? Definitely iRobot is sci-fi, but when someone talks things like ‘Dilution of State Boundaries into smaller cells’, ‘The Employee-Employer concept will change into stakeholder concept’, ‘Automation will take over everything’, and ‘The 22nd Century – An Era of Commoditisation’ in a book written on Social Networking, what else do you call it? Things like ‘Facebook will launch FIPRA – Facebook International People Rating Agency’ sound good on India TV, with all due respect to the entertainment channel.
But then, this sci-fi makes a small part of the book. The larger part still is about observations. Some that you make the day you join FB, and some that you don’t until you read about in the book and then realize that they are worth thinking about. But then, unfortunately, they aren’t too much and too reliable. For example, things like Facebook does not make new friends (well, Twitter DOES), and Facebook has the early mover advantage (then why isn’t Orkut the master of the world with Google to back it, and what about MySpace n Hi5?) make me rethink about the research that’s put into the book.
To tell the truth, the part where the author suggests we should ban FB, Youtube, and other such websites, I felt he was talking like the hyped-babblative Digvijay Singh.
But then, the book has some good parts too. Where the author actually makes some interesting observations which one wouldn’t very easily, or sometimes some tips on FB that an ‘average’ user might not know.
But overall still, I do not really think it’s worth the trouble of reading the book unless you’re preparing for a debate where you have to speak against Facebook.
But make sure you add points on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc from your own knowledge if the debate is on Social Networking in general, else the for guy might have a stronger case. Just kidding. 😉