“Fatuous self-praise.” Yup, That’s what I think, too.

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In chapter four, the author talks about how “Visitors have to click through screen after screen of fatuous self-praise to find the few bits of useful information they really want.” It’s ironic because as I read and read, screen after screen of content, my brain bursts because of the pompous, grandiloquent vocabulary. I thought ‘why can’t the author write in layman’s terms?’  I do agree with the rudimentary concept that communication is key for development of a new idea whether it’s the Web, a product or a company. Though the book was written in the ‘90s, the humanitarian concept from the ‘50s still prevails: People do matter, and so does their opinion. Word of mouth is the best form of advertisement. No medium can compare to feedback from a trusted, reliable source like a friend or family member. Even feedback of a product from a stranger who owns the product will outweigh a company’s self-praising attempt to lure shoppers. Employees do matter; they’re the essence of teamwork and the product. If employees take pride in their work and their company, they are the most effective, inexpensive form of advertisement. I also agree that e-mail leaves little room for thought-out communication since its response is expected quickly unlike days of snail mail and letters written by hand. Today’s Web culture is to be efficient and press, “send” while reading the next e-mail, answering the phone and printing the agenda for the meeting in a few minutes. Good luck to all future college students who think they’re going to “get by.”  The authors were incorrect that the Web wasn’t going to be an effective medium for advertisement, but then again, this book was written in times where technology was a huge, clunky computer with little memory and software capabilities. Sites like MySpace are strong examples of denizens flocking to upcoming artists because of the popularity this social Web tool offers. Chapter three’s example with the Saturn owner’s question and the open forum that developed parallels today’s Web community; sites like Craigslist flourish with various avenues of information exchange from selling items to forums on subjects. The third chapter seems to regurgitate chapters one and two with the whole power of the Web and the in-depth concepts that these authors have made a common ideology.  Sadly, like my peers have commented, most of the writing is fluff and unnecessary. Redundancy is the common theme in the book that makes the chapters cohesive. Glue that is a slow death, and perplexing.  A chapter on hyperlinks (chapter five)? A whole chapter on hyperlinked headaches, that’s how I can sum it up. Congratulation, Prof. Sloan on the arrival of a new family member; maybe you’ll have more good news like not asking us to read any more of this book.

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