FIR Book Review: The Virtual Self by Nora Young

virtualselfFIR Book Review Editor Bob LeDrew reviews The Virtual Self: How Our Digital Lives Are Altering the World Around Us, by Nora Young, the host of Spark on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio. The recent release explores the very real impact of the virtual information we generate about ourselves – on our own lives, our communities, and our government.

From the book description:

“We generate enormous amounts of online data about our habits: where we go, what we do, and how we feel. Some of that is stuff we choose to report; some of it is the offhand data trails we leave behind. The Virtual Self looks at the debates and challenges around virtual data-sharing – from Facebook status updates to Google Navigator – and its potential for building more responsive communities and governments. Nora argues that if we wrestle now with issues like privacy and data control, we can harness the power of that data.

“The host of CBC Radio’s Spark, Nora Young has fascinating information at her disposal, unique insights into the intersection of the virtual and real worlds, and a wonderful voice for making all of these clear to a general audience. Accessible and entertaining, The Virtual Self takes that personal, psychological reality of everything from email to status updates and teases out the increasingly bigger impacts on the real world around us of the virtual information we all generate.”

Get this podcast:

The Virtual Self: How Our Digital Lives Are Altering the World Around Us by Nora Young.

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Hardcover only (240 pages)
Published: April 10, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0771070640
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0771070648

Purchase the book online at: Amazon US and Amazon Canada; Amazon UK not available. Kindle versions are not available.

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This FIR Review is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information:

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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