150-WORD BOOK REVIEW: The Dark Net by Jamie Bartlett

Dark Net Cover The Internet that most people use on a day to day basis is a veneer. The part that lies unindexed by Google and unvisited by most is only occasionally glimpsed in tabloid exposes or dodgy pop-up ads on sites people visit for ‘research’.

The Dark Net is about the layers – rotten and amazing – that lie beneath. Free from the academic ruminations or tabloid hysteria that has characterised so many other books on this topic, Bartlett explores this semi-walled garden.

These include Camgirls, Silk Road dealers, trolls, transhumanists, perverts and many others by exploring those people who live and make a living from the more opaque, obscure and occasionally illegal and immoral corners of the Internet.

Not only are the characters perfectly cast, their stories are expertly told. You’ll either be horrified or racing to download Tor afterwards. Or maybe both. Regardless. You’re going to want to read this.

REVIEW: 9.75/10

Pimping ain’t dead… it’s just gone digital

29663215.047Who said pimping was dead? The pimp game has only reinvented itself in the digital world, disguised with selfie pictures as the new bait.

The line gets blurry between prostitutes, call girls, or girls just wanting attention (who later accept a proposition). Electronic Hoes, or ‘eHoes; as they are referred to, are using selfie pictures and can be found randomly on internet sites. Continue reading

Patients prefer social networks to doctors and nurses

social_media_nursesPatients with long-term conditions are preferring to use social networks than traditional GPs for practical advice and day-to-day advice.

According to a survey by the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society of more than 500 UK and US Rheumatoid Arthritis patients, more people found more information online (34%) compared to that offered by both health professionals (32%) and charities (26%). Continue reading

150-WORD REVIEW: Trust Me, I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday

Book Cover

Some people don’t like Ryan Holiday. If you read the reviews of Trust Me, I’m Lying on Amazon, you’ll see what I mean. I’m not one of those people. This was a fantastically entertaining read about Holiday’s exploits on behalf of his clients.

The blurb on the book’s cover suggests it’s a playbook for the dark arts of exploiting the media, and while that might be a touch hyperbolic, there is no shortage of material in the book to give you ideas on how to seed stories, create a buzz and generally play the game in terms of blogs and news outlets.

Holiday is a really good writer. The book is easy to read. Even if you’re not entirely interested in the subject matter, you’ll definitely get a laugh or two out of some of the stunts he’s pulled. Trust me. I’m not lying.


150-WORD REVIEW: Contagious by Jonah Berger

This post is by new contributor Eamonn Carey, who tweets here and is Head of Digital for MHP Communications

contagious-300x459Why do certain things go viral and take over the world? The reality is that there’s no one answer – no one ring to rule them all. There are so many variables at play that it’s almost impossible to predict what will work and what won’t.

What Contagious tries to do is give people a primer on the constituent parts of ideas that have ended up going viral. Berger’s thesis is that ideas that have social currency, triggers, emotion, a public element, practical value and stories are the ones that become Gangnam Style successes.

Fast Company reckons Berger wants to be the next Gladwell. The book bears that out. Simply explained and illustrated with plenty of examples, this is a pop-science book for the masses rather than a exhaustive manual for specialists. Occasional repetition is irritating, but overall, it’s well worth a read.