Judith Donath: The Social Machine

Or management of a social media strategy in any size of organisationReviewed by A P Sutcliffe PG Dip CCI MBCS This is a beautiful intellectual book about living life online It is aesthetically stunning in layout and design containing elegant pictures uotes and supporting material Although this book was written by an academic it is totally accessible to the layperson As an internet scholar I was familiar with many of Donath s ideas but also learned about research that was previously unknown to me Most of Donath s ideas about online social interaction were framed in a way that gave me a different perspective of online community and overall computer mediated communication Donath presents her ideas elegantly always backing them up when needed with scholarly research and theory I had to check the price of this book on I was shocked to see that the hard cover copy can be purchased for 3500 I expected it to be closer to the 200 range of similar texts books although this is not a text book it could be used in most any course that looks at living life online It is not often that I find an academic book so engagin. Sations and networks; depicting identity with knowledge markers and interaction history; delineating public and private space; and bringing the online world's open sociability into the physical world Donath asks fundamental uestions about how we want to live online and offers thought provoking designs that explore radically new ways of interacting and communicatin.

Social media has become an important part of countless people s lives and for many organisations it is an important way to engage with their users and clients due to the benefits that come with the additional interaction and collaboration that are part of this new means of communicationThis book is a comprehensive study of social media and how it has grown in importance to our modern society It is an exceptionally thorough examination of the many aspects of online interaction walking the reader through many of the different types of products and highlighting how these have developedAmongst other topics it covers the sociological issues design concepts principles of security and privacy uses of game and role playing and it also tackles a number of the concerns relating to the ethical use of the newer technologyIn addition it compares and contrasts the development of older communications media to the growth of the internet as a new form of information transmission technology providing some highly useful appraisals of the various types of products and their attraction to businesses as well as the consumerPa. Computers were first conceived as thinking machines but in the twenty first century they have become social machines online places where people meet friends play games and collaborate on projects In this book Judith Donath argues persuasively that for social media to become truly sociable media we must design interfaces that reflect how we understand and respond

Rt of the book is devoted to the various methods of analysing the different types of interaction It introduces some interesting and informative techniues that could be of tremendous value to organisations that need to understand about the effectiveness of their strategies and the book discusses a number of ways to analyse the data and how to present it in a visual format that produces some fascinating and uite attractive resultsThere are parts of the book that might indicate it was part of a doctoral thesis however it is still extremely readable Although there is a significant amount of technical information it is clearly written so that the points made can easily be followed by someone that is relatively new to this fieldI found it to be a truly engaging and enjoyable read with a lot of highly valuable information presented in such a way as to invite the reader to uestion some of their prior assumptionsDue to its size it might be seen as slightly intimidating but overall it is a work of considerable value and importance I would highly recommend this book to anyone that is responsible for the development. O the social world People and their actions are still harder to perceive online than face to face interfaces are clunky and we have less sense of other people's character and intentions where they congregate and what they doDonath presents new approaches to creating interfaces for social interaction She addresses such topics as visualizing social landscapes conver.

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