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Former.ly: The Rise and Fall of a Social Network

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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  32 reviews
When Dan Roberts starts his new job at Former.ly, he has no idea what he's getting into. The site deals in death - its users share their innermost thoughts, which are stored privately until they die. Then, their posts are shared with the world, often with unexpected consequences.

But something strange is going on, and the site's two erratic founders share a dark secret. A
...more
Paperback, 198 pages
Published June 11th 2016 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Duncan Ralston
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read with many unexpected twists. Sort of a low-key Michael Crichton vibe to it, with slight thriller elements and an interesting behind-the-scenes look at a startup social network that felt authentic and would possibly even make for a successful real-life app. Definite recommend.
Linda Martin
I read this as part of the Indie Readalong on YouTube/Booktube. It is a techno-thriller, murder mystery, and kept my attention throughout. It is well edited. I think the author had a fascinating premise for this novel. The story is told in first person from the point of view of a web developer hired for an internet social media startup called Former.ly ... a site that allows people to create a memorial page that won't go public until after they die. Scenes of the office and attitudes rang true. ...more
Amber Adamchuk
A good read, some spots where a little drawn out for me but overall I enjoyed the book. What people will do for fame, fortune, and the little dark secrets that come with it. A few twist and turns on the who, and why especially at the end :)
Katie
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Humble beginnings for tech start - up Former.ly, with founder, John Mayer, giving an informal job interview to our protagonist, Dan.
You can't say any of the characters are Orthodox. Certainly not Former.ly, which, soon after Dan joins, moves to an office and expands into a much bigger business.
The initial characters (Flick, Kerry, Abhi, John, Paul) are not too out of place they take over the opening chapters, and stop us from getting to know Dan, and his likable girlfriend, Sarah.
Shit does ge
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Emily L
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I managed to read three indie books in March two were excellent – one wasnt. I did give Dane Cobain's Former.ly a five star rating because I thought it was fantastic. My favorite thing about this book is the Former.ly concept itself. Former.ly is a social media site where all the profiles are private – until the user dies. At that point their profile becomes public on the site. Family and friends who have lost their loved ones can see what their deceased have left behind. Thoughts and feelings g ...more
Jennifer Macaire
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Let me just say I couldn't put this down – it was fun, techie, and littered with bodies. The narrator, an ordinary guy called Dan, is looking for a job in the beginning. He lives in London with his girlfriend, and stumbles on a startup that seems like a dream job – coding for a new company that caters to the dead. Well, sort of. It actually made a lot of sense. Imagine keeping a diary especially to be published after your death – a special diary published on a special site, made especially for g ...more
Jaffa Kintigh
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
The cutthroat world of internet startups and social networks reveals its darkest side in this thriller about e-commerce and murder. Most enjoyable are the descriptions of the slapdash, duct tape protocols of the startup office--people living at the "office," and job interviews at nightclubs.

Dan's a freelance coder with not enough business coming in. The relationship with his live-in girlfriend has hit the doldrums. Then he lands the interview with Former.ly, an up-and-coming, start-up social net
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Emma Rosen
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was given this book by the author as part of an exchange of 2 of my books for 2 of his, and I'm very grateful!

I really enjoyed this suspenseful tech thriller and read it in a few hours which is usually a good sign that I am enjoying a book! When Dan starts at Former.ly he is clearly getting into something murkier as the job and his work relationships take over his life. I felt drawn in and convinced by the technical side of things (I'm no expert, but I felt that the writer knew his stuff). The
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CJ
This was an interesting read. From the first few pages you pick up that something is not quite right at Former.ly. After a few chapters I was beginning to think it was Black Mirror level of mind f**k and although the cliffhanger and reveal was bats**t crazy, it levelled out to be more on par with a Law and Order episode of the week. I think it only reached "WTF!!" instead of "OMFG!!" reaction level because some of the pacing of the story was a bit off and it felt like it dragged in a few places. ...more
Kristine
Oct 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
Former.ly by Dane Cobain is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early October.

A tense, techie whodunit about a website (think Facebook but with a statute of limitations) staffed by dour bunch of people, including the first-person narrator, Dan, who works overtime and on-call, and is susceptible to uneven, awkward, unstable, near-dysfunctional social experiences. They're doing fairly well, amid lax security, possible industrial spying, lying to the media, and being late to pay bills, up until h
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Rebecca
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I think there is a part of that blurb that is misleading - "Then, their posts are shared with the world, often with unexpected consequences". Having read the book - I have absolutely no idea what this is supposed to refer to. Can someone please enlighten me? I can't recall anything "shocking" published on the site.
Former.ly is a social network designed for users to prepare memorials for after they are gone. Beginning in a small, grubby house and gradually growing into a state-of-the-art office
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Silvia Puiu
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
http://rayuela-rayuela.blogspot.ro/20...
The story was interesting and quite original in its main subject, because Former.ly is a social network for the dead. I will not unfold other details, because you will have to do that alone. The characters are interesting, but there could be an improvement in the meaning of developing all characters more. Dan Roberts is the main character, but the others are staying in his shadow. I liked Dan and the way Dane Cobain described some feelings and emotions of
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J.D. DeHart
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this story, somewhat in the vein The Circle and Ready Player One. Where this book succeeds on its own is the way Dane Cobain weaves mystery and science fiction together. The tension is very effective in this book, and I found it to be an inviting reading experience. I would recommend this book for science fiction readers, and those looking for a bridge between general fiction and this more specific genre.
Lynn Brown
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a good plot however it felt a little drawn out and some times I got a little bit of deja vue when the plot seemed to repeat itself.
I realise this book was written before Driven which I really enjoyed, and I think Dane's writing style has obviously progressed since this book.
However, I did have to keep reading to find out what the heck was going on. So, I did get hooked into the book.
Todd Wittenmyer
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book follows Dan as he gets in on the ground floor of Former.ly (a website that deals with mortality and the aftermath.) As the company grows strange things begin to happen. Strange as in mysterious deaths and murder! Dan and Flick (his female friend) find themselves in a precarious position! I don't do spoilers, but I will say the end of this had plenty of twists and turns! I gave it 4.5 stars!
Charles
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Former.ly reminded me of a Patricia Highsmith novel. It is a tense narrative following the character of Dan who starts working for Former.ly - an alternative social network where a user's post appear only upon their death. Throughout the novel, the reader is left uneasy as certain events take place - there's tragedy and intrigue in an altogether brilliant techno-thriller, crime noir hybrid.
Savy Leiser
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was fascinating and kept me in suspense the whole time! It also was really motivating for me, since I'm also in the process of working on a novel about a startup company with a new social technology. I wish we knew more about Dan's motivations for staying with the company, and I wish some of the scenes were drawn out for longer with more dialogue instead of ending abruptly. Overall I loved it though -- full review coming to YouTube soon!
Rachel
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5. Completely readable, may not age well but never a dull moment, which I appreciate.
Jennifer
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great story
Sally
Jul 23, 2016 rated it liked it
After a job interview involving drinks, a club (not the wooden bat), and a lack of personal hygiene, Dan starts a much-needed job as a programmer for Former.ly. The company basically runs an online, public diary, except your profile is hidden as long as you’re alive. You have to die to really use the site. That’s right, folks. They’re trying to capitalise on death.

For Dan, the hours are long, his bosses are weird, and he never knows what’s going on. His strained relationship with his girlfriend
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Nikki Dudley
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great unconventional thriller for the modern day. Some great twists and turns to keep you flying through the pages.
Stefanie Michelle
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Full review HERE .





Former.ly

★★★ 3.5 Stars





As soon as I read the premise of this book, I knew I had to read it. I'm really glad I did and I also hope by posting my review I can do my small part in helping an indie author. If you liked The Social Network I recommend you check Former.ly out :) I am going to ask Dane for an interview on the blog as well, so stay tuned :)



What I Liked: The concept was seriously so interesting to me. I'm the kind of weirdo who
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Laura Broadberry
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Former.ly by Dane Cobain is certainly a page turner as you long to figure out what the plot twist will be, and when it will happen. I found the story very easy to read, and it kept me gripped enough to keep turning the page.

Dan Roberts enters a small start-up tech company, known as Former.ly, and becomes a key part as the company expands to a global level. A social networking site dedicated to the dead, which posts any updates the person privately made on the website before they died, by making
...more
Ally
Nov 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Former.ly is a small start-up tech company that has a social media website. Think like Facebook but it is private, only the user can see and it becomes public when he or she dies. And our leading character finds himself coding here.

Dan Roberts is the main character of Former.ly, but I could not click with the guy, which caused me many problem because I always seemed to be putting the book down to do something else. Dan is a very chill guy, maybe too chill. Nothing seemed to really faze him and i
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TheCosyDragon
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon . Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule.

Dan Roberts is an underpaid freeelancer trying to survive pay-check to pay-check. After an interview that requires morning drinking and a club, he suddenly finds himself working for Former.ly, a social media network that only publishes content after the users’ deaths. When people close to him die, he wonders if there is something more sinister go
...more
Bill
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-author
Former.ly is a book about what happens behind the scenes at a new web startup. It is told in first person, from the point of view of Dan, who is hired as a developer at Former.ly. We see everything though his eyes. If he doesn’t see it, we don’t know about it until Dan hears about it.

It can be difficult to tell a story in first person, but Dane Cobain does a pretty good job of it. He lets us become immersed in the activities at Former.ly. But sometimes the action suffers, since we only see what
...more
Christy
Nov 29, 2016 rated it liked it
The start of this book was amazing, as it set up the plot well and the concept of the fictional social network was really intriguing (albeit morbid). As I got introduced to the characters, including Dan, Sarah, Flik, Peter, and John, I was excited by the tale ahead.

Sadly, the tale's centre felt drawn out and I craved a faster pace than I was given by author Dane Cobain. He wrote the start so well that I felt myself demanding more.

The ending (no spoilers) held a few twists and I would have liked
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Karen
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book introduces you to Dan Roberts. Getting a job at Former.ly seems like a good idea - at first.

With Former.ly, Dane Cobain has created a nerdy suspense story. It is a fun and quite compelling read, drawing you into the world of programmers and social network providers. Dan is a slightly naïve guy, trying to somehow do the right thing. Dane Cobain paints a clear picture of Dan’s mind while the story evolves. I was drawn into the IT environment - it is not as clichéd as you might think. Exc
...more
Jessica
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Dan is in need of a job and is lucky to land a job at a new start-up social media company called Former.ly. He has no idea that this new startup will take over his life. As he works for the company people involved start mysteriously dying. He gets suspicious and starts looking into what's going on with the company. Will he be able to find the truth before anyone else gets hurt?

In an Oyster Shell - This is a dark, thought-provoking read that gives you a glimpse into what social media can look lik
...more
Neil Denham
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this story, the places described were very vividly real to me, the main characters well drawn, and the plot always twisting and turning. I genuinely believed that this social media start up could exist (and I am sure it is only time before it does, I hope Dane has protected his idea...) From the young organisations I have been involved in it all seemed authentic, and the veer to cultish behaviour (I hope that is not a plot spoiler) also very believable. The ending was a touch 'nea ...more
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Dane Cobain (High Wycombe, UK) is a published author, freelance writer, poet and (occasional) musician with a passion for language and learning. When he’s not working on his next release, he can be found reading and reviewing books for his award-winning book blog, SocialBookshelves.com, while trying not to be distracted by Wikipedia. His releases include No Rest for the Wicked(supernatural thrille ...more

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