Sociologist and radio/TV presenter Aleks Krotoski's debut book Untangling the Web consolidates and presents a decade's worth of social science related to the Internet, conducted by Krotoski and other social scientists around the world. Structured as a series of brief, topical vignettes, each of which summarises the best research on the way that the Internet is changing the way we relate to each other and ourselves, Untangling the Web is a calm, measured and engaging answer to the hysterical tech scare stories about kids in peril, online extremism, the Internet making us stupid, and the general, Daily Mailish tendency to blame every social ill on the Internet.
Krotoski's prodigious work as a popular TV/radio presenter, along with her academic credentials, makes her uniquely qualified to write this book. She tackles her subjects seriously, but without any eye-watering academic jargon, and with enough brevity that the book doesn't bog down. This isn't a comprehensive guide to the impact of the net on society. Rather, it's a kind of charming index to the smartest thinking and research. Krotoski isn't wholly optimistic about the power of the net to improve our lives, but she makes a convincing case that on balance, it is a force for good, and provides the data to back it up.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.