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Digital Vertigo: How Today's Online Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing, and Disorienting Us
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Digital Vertigo: How Today's Online Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing, and Disorienting Us

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  208 ratings  ·  50 reviews
"Digital Vertigo provides an articulate, measured, contrarian voice against a sea of hype about social media. As an avowed technology optimist, I'm grateful for Keen who makes me stop and think before committing myself fully to the social revolution." —Larry Downes, author of The Killer App

InDigital Vertigo, Andrew Keenpresents today’s social media revolution as the most w
ebook, 256 pages
Published May 22nd 2012 by St. Martin's Press
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Moira Russell
I actually share the author's extreme skepticism of web 2.0, or 3.0 or whatever he calls it (Facebook/Twitter/G+ as opposed to Google/blogging/old-style Flickr, I guess), but the book is so terribly written -- both style and structure -- it's a waste of time and money. I don't even recommend you check this out of the library.
I just finished this. I need to think what type of review I write, seeing as it has made me think so much about the internet and social networking in general, that really it could be seen as quite hypocritical to actually publish a review online using a social networking site about a book that takes strips off our social networking. Its made me think, and I think Andrew Keen is clever and quite prophetical about our technological future and the 'social' electronic direction we have taken over th ...more
Ryan Holiday
In 2007, before Nicholas Carr and Jaron Lanier, Andrew Keen published a prescient critique of Web 2.0 culture titled The Cult of the Amateur, a book that anticipated many of the problems of the web today. It was, thankfully, a runaway bestseller.

As both an accomplished academic and an internet entrepreneur, Keen was able to cut through all this self-interest and distraction and portray it as it was. He has largely been proven right. Despite proclamations that we'd all be making our living from b
An interesting, if scattershot, musing on privacy and culture.

The first broad sections of the book discuss the pervasive influence of social media, and their overwhelming popularity. His remarks are broad, pessimistic, and sometimes without lines of reasoning. X-website has this feature Y, therefore it is the death of non-digital Y.

He does include a staggering list of start-up social media outlets, and their plans on inserting themselves into modern life. It remains to be seen, however, if the m
Miles Rind
Some writers, having achieved a measure of success in one or more books, fall prey to the illusion that their maunderings and obiter dicta are of sufficient intrinsic interest that they need only write them down to make up another equally worthwhile book. That seems to be what has happened to Andrew Keen. I found *The Cult of the Amateur* an excellent book; I found this one--or rather, the 20 or so pages of it that I read before giving up on it--to be insufferable.
"In our digital age, we are becoming more divided than united, more unequal than equal, more anxious than happy, lonelier rather than more socially connected." Keen

"The completely real becomes identified with the completely fake. Absolute unreality is offered as real presence." Umberto Eco

Hits the nail on the head. I was becoming disillusioned with the whole social networking thing, so when I heard Keen speak at a conference a couple of years ago, soon after this book was published, I sat up and
Virtually unreadable. Keen drones on without ever really making a point, and constantly brings up the fact that he owns a Blackberry Bold. Literally, in every single paragraph.
I can't tell if the writing style is a clever attempt to actually induce vertigo, or if this book is simply ridiculously badly written, but I fear it's the latter. It's as if Keen has accumulated a massive clippings file over the last few years, and writing this book was simply a giant jigsaw puzzle of arranging the headlines into something that seemed to have vague coherence, whether it actually made sense or not. It's a scattergun rollcall of Silicon Valley press-releases (many from companies ...more
Keen presents a very good overview of web 3.0 and how it is impacting (from his perspective) our private life. He is an excellent writer which made reading this book pleasurable, although I am not sure I agree with him- he poses many interesting questions about how web 3.0 will impact us as individuals going forward.

His prose is filled with references that cite the writings of current pundits and authors (both fiction and nonfiction) critical and exuberant about web 2.0 and 3.0. He makes assump
If you are a fan of Umair Haque, Clay Shirky, Jeff Jarvis, etc and you need some contrarian anti-dose, this book is for you. It puts you back on track for the desire of independent thinking, having your own - truly own - opinion, and being much more aware how we risk becoming sheep in herds manipulated by a few. Absolute recommendation, and a must read for anybody involved with "social" of any form and for anybody involved with Personal Data etc. It's one of the best books i have read this year. ...more
Gustav Dinsdag
Waarschijnlijk is het verstandig om vóór het lezen van dit soort boeken even stil te staan bij het feit dat de bevindingen en overdenkingen die erin worden gedaan afkomstig zijn van (very) heavy users van nieuwe media. Voor de meesten van ons (in west-Europa) zal het zo ’n vaart nog niet lopen. Als je geen ingezetene van Palo Alto bent kunnen sommige dingen die voorbijkomen nogal ireëel lijken.

In de visie van Evgeny Morozov - de man die de ‘internet’ discussies terug op aarde brengt - lijden we
Keen rambles quite a bit. I do agree with his conclusion though. I agree that the social media sites tend to separate us, highlighting our extremes and differences more than our commonality. I believe much of that is done to accumulate responses (likes, comments...) perhaps more than actually reflecting what we truly believe if we were to slow down and think before posting or commenting. But, part of the Web 3.0 thing seems to be speed too - being the first to throw your opinion out there seems ...more
Colleen M. Subasic
This book starts out well, but then becomes nothing but a book of lists. It is obvious this writer has extensive knowledge and experience with the subject. It's unfortunate that a substantive editor couldn't help out more to focus this book into something more readable.
Luca Conti
Un libro a tesi con pregiudizio, pur con dubbi legittimi sui social media, mal argomentati però nella critica
The title pretty much explains the entire content of this book. Keen namedrops a fair amount of heavyhitters and newcomers in the Web 3.0 landscape while making liberal use of endnotes, showcasing exactly how much research (and referencing) went into making this book. While I agree that the book needs a much tighter structure, it is a fascinating read for readers like myself who aren't up to speed with all of the developments in social media. Three main examples he pulls from to make his point: ...more
Continuing my recent run of reading books critical of our digital world (a fascinating if depressing genre), Digital Vertigo repeatedly questions the purported upsides of social media. While Mr. Keen makes some excellent points, some of analyses and arguments don’t quite stick their landings. It’s an uneven book, but that doesn’t diminish the stronger parts of the narrative.

For me, the strongest parts are when Mr. Keen combines philosophy and fiction (J.S. Mill, Orwell and Kafka, to name a few)
Aleksandar Todorović
This book perfectly describes the position we're currently in with social networks. Although, I don't think that it has strong enough arguments to cover the claim that the "social revolution is dividing, diminishing, and disorienting us". It only emphasizes the diversity we currently have with social networks. It's missing that final touch that would show us that this is the wrong way we're currently heading to. I gotta say that the writing style is excellent and I'll make sure I find out more a ...more
Ron Bosten

Waarschijnlijk is het verstandig om vóór het lezen van dit soort boeken even stil te staan bij het feit dat de bevindingen en overdenkingen die erin worden gedaan afkomstig zijn van (very) heavy users van nieuwe media. Voor de meesten van ons (in west-Europa) zal het zo ’n vaart nog niet lopen. Als je geen ingezetene van Palo Alto bent kunnen sommige dingen die voorbijkomen nogal ireëel lijken.

In de visie van Evgeny Morozov - de man die de ‘internet’ discussies terug op aarde brengt - lijden w
Matt Hill
a very cool book about social media and its effects . . i kind of want to give it a four, because it's very copiously researched and well written . . a very enjoyable read . . but other than the author's main problem--privacy issues--there just wasn't enough specific lambasting of social media for having negative effects, etc. . . it's a tirade, but by the end, i just wasn't sure why i was supposed to think that social media was so bad, other than the privacy stuff . don't get me wrong: i kind o ...more
Everything is ominous and very much like Jeremy Bentham's "Inspection-house," the precursor to Foucault's Panopticon. Oh no.

I liked Keen's earlier book but this one just sucked. I tried so hard to read it but after about 90 pages I gave up. He just seems alarmist.

The writing is so redundant. How many times do you have to tell me how "chilling" or "creepy" various aspects of social media or new technology are? I get it. You think it's creepy. And so do lots of other people. Keen quotes and note
Mella Ann
Well written and thoroughly researched. Keen brings up important points about the dangers of social media by tracing its origins from J.S. Mill's and Jeremy Bentham to the Summer of Love to its actual birth place, Silicon Valley. He also draws parallels between these issues with films, specifically Hitchcock's Vertigo, paintings, architecture, and novels, creating compelling metaphors for readers. At times, it seems his language is hyperbolic though. Likewise, at certain points in the text, he c ...more
I was drawn to this book by its enticing cover jacket text ("does mark zuckerberg know what the word "friend" means?"), but found that it failed to meet my expectations. Inexplicably, it focuses more on Hitchcock's film Vertigo and the lives of Prince Albert and Jeremy Bentham (British, just like the author) instead of describing in-depth how social media is actually dividing, diminishing, and disorienting us.
A good read, gives you lots to think about, didn't really change my mind or my behaviours though and can be dry at times.
I thought Keen did a great job putting his arguments into readable terms for the layman. While at times he made wonderfully cogent arguments, as a whole I didn't necessarily agree with everything he said, and at times felt that he was beating a dead horse in a sense. I understand the purpose of the book was meant to warn against social media on the basis that it is destroying
Margaret Heller
Andrew Keen is a much needed voice of dissension in the study and adoption of social media. Humans are social, true, but also require depth, privacy, and quiet to live lives of any real meaning. Broadcasting locations, photos, and especially thoughts is problematic for a variety of reasons, not the least because it takes away our privacy. Privacy is necessary, and it seems it's one of those things you don't think you need until you really do. We say that openness and transparency make society be ...more
This is a good look at social networking and how it's changing our culture. Keen--who's an internet personality (whatever that is)--is having second thoughts about the ramifications of omnipresent internet use and "sharing culture" and this is his rant against it. It's good--especially when discussing privacy and the data-mining that corporations do on social networking--but could have gone a bit more into how social networking changes our interactions with each other. He does talk a little bit ...more
I always hate putting it so bluntly, but this writing is terrible. It's a bunch of collected quotes and statistics, and it doesn't tell any kind of story at all. For being about a topic I care so much about, this book was an impossible read, even being as short as it was.
This is a polemic, be in no doubt this a rant, but what a well argued passionate rant! Keen aligns with my own prejudices on the subject and to date always produces a thrilling read! The Internet Is Not The Answer is in my to-read pile!
Keen is an expert and someone who is in the know. Drops so many start ups, apps, web sites - as a non-expert required me to take a ton of notes and literally go to every web site/app or link to understand the land of digital vertigo. Very informative and agree completely, 3.0 - the internet of people, but can't wait to understand what is to come beyond the digital darlings of Apple, Facebook and Google. Also, no mention of in this book which is a miss - to highlight a positive aspe ...more
I couldn't put down this book. It started with Jeremy Bentham's Auto-Icon, which is an intriguing theme to pique a reader's curiosity. The discussions about "being social" and the real definition of a meaningful life are insightful. Many topics in this book can make us rethink and inspect the tremendous impact from the social media sites and how this tech trend changed our daily lives.

This book is informative and the writing style has a special poetic feeling, which makes the reading experience
Stephen Redwood
An exploration of the issues that arise from the ‘over-sharing’ economy we now live in. The main theme is of the potential risks to ourselves, both in exposure to others but also in our personal psychology. The ground is well covered. The content is interesting enough, but the corporate examples tend to be repetitive, coming from a limited stock of (mostly) well known names. Well written, quite engaging, important topics, but ultimately a bit long for the themes.
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