Share This!: Book Review
August 3, 2010
Deanna Zandt has written a book called Share This!: How You Will Change the World with Social Networking and I guarantee that it will make you believe in the possibility of true democracy, the potential for positive interaction, the kindness of strangers, and the power of communication. Ms. Zandt is a passionate revolutionist, advocating for all the right things, and she’s also a true techie, able to lead the reader through the Internet jungle of filters and privacy settings like a very well-read Tarzan.
Ms. Zandt starts with the premise that people are naturally drawn to one another. As I interpret her explanation of why we post and tweet, the Internet and social networks are an example of the same desire that once made people borrow cups of sugar from their neighbors. Now, we use Facebook and Twitter as our front porches, and instead of exchanging condiments, we exchange news, opinions, and personal tidbits. According to Share This!, that’s a very good thing.
The book details how sharing ourselves on social networks builds our reputations as knowledgeable, caring citizens and how the “ambient awareness” our profiles and status updates provide act as icebreakers when we reach out to others in our Internet circles, asking for advice or offering support.
Ms. Zandt also makes a point that resonates deeply with me: active participants in the social network world (Facebookers, Twitterers, bloggers) are enhancing social interaction as a whole by offering their words free of charge. The world of social networks has not been totally corrupted by capitalism; it’s a “gift economy,” and that makes it a shining example of the kind of world we can all strive to live in some day.
Share This! provides many, many tips on how to use social networks and how to make them inclusive, as well as information about why social networks matter and what they can accomplish. It’s a small book with a big message. It’s a book that could never have been written before now, because the prerequisites for it (social networks) did not exist.
So, step into the jungle (it’s not scary at all) and swing from the trees with Deanna Zandt. You’ll relish the sense of possibility, freedom, and good vibrations that Share This! will bring to your life.