Former Pastor and NHS, now MA student in Justice | Dad to Triplets | Follower of Jesus | Dyslexic
Clearly a book co-authored by the Google CEO carries much weight for anyone interested in the Internet and the World Wide Web. However the authors' point is that soon everyone on the planet will be connected; that all must consider the implications of this connectedness.
They describe a visit to post war Iraq noticing the devastation and lack of basic services but also noticing a high take-up of mobile phones. The authors consider developments in Africa where the slow "first world" incremental development of Internet connection will likely be bypassed with a jump from landline phones to smart mobiles.
It would be interesting to see how a second edition might address the recent revelations about NSA / "Prism" monitoring of communications. However the authors do discuss the relative ineffectiveness of Facebook security settings in the light of a concerted desire to view your data by a government or lawyer, for example. They also discuss the issue of data permanence; both in terms of the inability of computers to effectively delete something you may want hidden, and in terms of our life history on social media being preserved for future educators or employers to see. The authors make the point that electors were less bothered whether a potential president had "smoked but not inhaled". In the future, will we just be more tolerant of public figures' unpleasant social media histories? How will potential future educators or employers regard our unpleasant social media histories?
The authors spend a large amount of time considering the importance of social media within revolutions and the work of NGOs. They consider the fall of President Mubarak of Egypt, for example, which was likely hastened by switching off the entire Internet and phone network, in an attempt to silence social media protesters, but which sent them out onto the streets to protest instead. For me the most important part of this book was the authors' views on the connectivity of NGOs. The authors consider how individuals will likely consider where to donate their money according to the Internet face of a particular NGO; meaning the success of a charity to raise funds could depend more on their social media skills than their efficiency in distributing aid. For the authors, establishing or rebuilding a mobile network should be considered an important aid activity alongside those traditionally considered important in emergency situations. They consider the example of the Haitian earthquake in how re-establishing and using the mobile network contributed to initial disaster relief.
The narration is fine, although occasionally a potential paragraph or chapter break is missed and the narrator powers on into a new topic without so much as taking a breath.
This is a fascinating book about why Google is a good place for employees to work. As someone who isn't in the tech scene the book came as a bit of an eye opener. As a geek Disneyland, the staff work in an environment that allows them to innovate and create at a relentless pace. The audio also covers Google projects in other countries such as India. If you are a recruiter this is a book packed with insight and if you want to get a job with Google this is a good place to start. An enjoyable listen if you are active online and use search engines and would like to see the personalities behind them.