Book Review - Internet Babylon by Greg Holden
I just got done reading Internet Babylon by Greg Holden (Apress). This is one of those books that reminds you of a car wreck on the side of the road. You know the proper thing to do is avert your gaze and drive on by. But you know you can't... You know you have to sneak a look... And then you just can't turn away.
Chapter breakdown: Family Values in Babylon; Washed Up in Babylon; The Babylon Enquirer; Unsolved Mysteries in Babylon; Death in Babylon; God in Babylon; Hackers and Other Internet Heros; Spam and Other E-Mail Follies in Babylon; Low-Down, Dirty Scum in Babylon, Flakes and Fanatics in Babylon; Political Intrigue in Babylon; Scandals in Babylon; Government Secrets in Babylon; Tongue Lashings in Babylon; Silliness, Fun, and Games in Babylon; Gossip in Babylon; Internet Legends, Myths, and Symbols; Dressing Up Your Home Page - and Yourself; Big (and Not So Big) Business; E-Commerce Comedies in Babylon; But Is It Art?; Index
Holden has created a book that explores the quirky, strange, and seedy side of the Internet. In each of the chapters, he examines one or more web sites and tells the story behind the concept or the person who created it. And as you can see, he covers the gamut of topics. Inside, you'll find links to sites such as The Necrocam (a web cam in a coffin), spamradio.com, and Bob Dole's Exploding Head. Internet geeks and long-time internet users will recognize and relive memories of some of the sites (like Hamsterdance), and everyone will find new and "interesting" sites that they've never heard of. And for those classics that no longer exist (such as the Gary Coleman Web-a-thon site), Holden provides links to archive sites that have captured the pages for posterity.
At least for me, this will end up being a two-pass book. The first pass was just to read it and be amazed/amused/whatever. The second pass will be to visit some of the sites and gaze upon the carnage. I'd like to give you some lofty reason for buying or reading this book. I can't. It's just plain voyeurism that is too much fun(?) to put down.
Yes... I hate to admit it. I really liked this book. :-)