I did not expect to like Former.ly: The Rise and Fall of a Social Network by Dane Cobain. As a matter of fact, as intrigued as I was by the plot, I was fully expecting to dislike it as I went through the book, and I was very much proved wrong.
This book starts out with our main character, Dan, interviewing at the Former.ly headquarters. The job he is interviewing for is a developer for the company. I thought it was incredibly clever the way the author gave us all kinds of background information on the book and the social media site that was being created, without it feeling like an information dump. All the information was given to us the reader, through Dan’s interview.
Speaking of social media, the concept of Former.ly itself is also incredibly interesting. Anyone can sign up for it, and you can make whatever posts you want. The catch is, none of it will be released to the world wide web until you die. Once it is confirmed the user is dead, their posts, their pictures, everything is released for the world to see. How freeing and interesting that must be for the user, and disappointing and sad that must be for the family and friends that find it after their loved ones death.
I do really like this concept as a social media platform, and I loved how the author handled it in his book.
I have personally never worked at a start up, so I don’t truly know what that environment is like. That did not work against me in this book as the author took the time to explain this warm and inviting environment and did an excellent job in showing how the characters became more of a family, rather than merely coworkers.
The plot of this book centers around the growth of Former.ly, and sudden and random deaths that are starting to happen to some of the employees that work there. Both of these things were focused on not only with a surprising amount of detail, but both plot points were woven together incredibly well.
I was able to guess the ending of the book, and normally that disappoints me a little but, but in this instance it did not. I was glad that I saw it coming. The author wrapped up everything very well so as the reader you are not left hanging Also the fact that the founders were killing their users for publicity was such a cool addition. It wasn’t entirely clear to me if they were actively killing their famous users too or if they just hoped to be able to one day, but either way, talk about devotion to your startup.
Overall – This is not really my type of book, but I did enjoy the story and how it moved quickly and rapidly through the company’s progress and eventual downfall. The relationships between the characters were incredibly believable and so was the move between the different settings. It was paced so well that I found myself just flying through the book without realizing it.
Former.ly: The Rise and Fall of a Social Network – Dane Cobain
Cost* – eBook is $3.49, Paperback is $10.99. This book is included on Kindle Unlimited.
*Cost is based upon what the book cost when book review is published