Monday, December 3, 2007

Book comments

As part of my preparation for my TIES presentation, I'm reading through various books on online safety issues, teen use, and related topics.

I want to provide information about the books, to help others figure out which one of the many titles out there might be the best fit for their needs. While these are reviews (in the sense of providing detailed information about contents), I'm trying to go at it from the view of "This book does these things well" and "It doesn't talk about these things as much" rather than a good book/bad book model.

My comments will generally include:
1) Author/title/publisher information

2) General description of the book's contents - who is it aimed at, what does it discuss, what is the focus?

3) Things I liked about this book - what does it handle well, have specific insight on, or explore in new ways.

4) Things in this book that I either didn't personally care for, or that might be an issue for some readers. Here, I try to avoid nit-picking, and to focus on larger issues.

5) Any other comments not covered above: these might include the tone of the writing, how readable the book is, the level of technical skill needed to follow it, and so on.

What I'm not doing:
A number of these books include specific instructions for how to navigate a site's information. I am skimming through these to see how they explain things, but I am not sitting at my computer following their process. Technical details may also change after publication.

My comments therefore focus on the overall concepts of the book, rather than specific technical details. Does this book help a parent (or other adult) talk to teens about online use? In what ways?

This is a public blog, and I welcome comments, including from authors. I don't care if you agree with me, but I do ask that you keep comments civil and aware of my particular focus in writing. Spam and any nastiness will be deleted. I also welcome questions in email, if you wish.

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