Thursday, May 21, 2009

Book Review: Click: What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why It Matters, by Bill Tancer

Click: What Millions of People are Doing Online and Why It Matters, by Bill Tancer

I just finished this book and ... well ... I'm kind of neutral about it, quite honestly. Not exactly sure what I expected from this one. (I can hear millions of you - OK, all 35 of you - subscribers clicking over to the next blog now.) When I saw this on the library's New Releases shelf, I picked it up because the premise reminded me of Freakonomics (Bill Tancer occasionally guest-posts on the Freakonomics blog) and The Tipping Point, all of which I enjoyed.

But at the end of the day, Click was a bit too technical for me. That's not to say that Mr. Tancer has written a bad book. In fact, he comes across as a very earnest, smart individual. If you're familiar with the intricacies of search engines and SEOs, data and statistics, market research, etc., then you might enjoy this; I'm just not sure of Click's appeal to the typical Internet user.

In deciding what to write, I thought, "Well, did Click answer its own question of what millions of people are doing online and why it matters?" Yes and no. What are we doing online? We're searching on more specific terms and saving a co-pay by using Google as our shrink. (Search terms on fears and how to do things are particularly popular.) We're searching for prom dresses in January when retailers aren't advertising them until March or April. (Um ... the last prom I went to was before the freakin' computer was invented, much less the Internet, but I can tell you I distinctly remember going shopping IRL in the dead of winter for my ruffled-to-the-max-lace-laden-floor-length peach gown.) Why does this matter? Because we - our society, our culture - are changing as a result of what we're doing online.

Well ... yeah. I don't think anyone can really argue with that.

I'm giving this a 2.5. I rate my books on a scale of 1-5. A 2 means "I didn't like it" and 3 means "I enjoyed it." Click falls in the middle for me. Some people might be fascinated with this subject matter and hence, might love this. If that sounds like you, then give Click a try.

A few other bloggers also reviewed this (and a few gave this 4 stars, so maybe I just have issues.) Check out the reviews from Presenting Lenore, Callista at SMS Book Reviews, and Sheri S. at Bookopolis.


Amy said...

Hmmm. I've seen this and thought about reading it but I think I'll give it a miss.

Callista said...

That's funny, the library new books section is exactly where I picked up my copy of Click! LOL. Thanks for linking to me, I added a link to you from my review too. Sorry you didn't enjoy it more!

Betty and Boo's Mommy said...

Callista, you're quite welcome for the link. It was nice to read another review of this, and who knows, maybe I just read this at the wrong time or something. I love the New Releases shelf at the library!

Amy, check out some of the other reviews (like Callista's!), if you haven't already. Others liked it, and you might too.

Kim L said...

Considering the far reaching effect of the internet on modern society, it is too bad that the book you selected was a bit dry. It seems like a subject ripe with different avenues to explore. Maybe there is a better book on the topic.