Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Alex Award Watch: The Boy Kings by Katherine Losse

From time to time, we like to check the adult shelves for some books that teens will enjoy too. Pat has a perfect non fiction read for everyone with a Facebook addiction.

The Boy Kings: A Journey into the Heart of the Social Network by
Katherine Losse

Are you on Facebook?  I’m guessing you probably are.  Along with almost one billion other people.

As employee #51, Katherine Losse joined Facebook in 2005 as a customer support rep, someone who would answer user questions, including “How can I access my ex-girlfriend’s account?” or “Can I delete a message I regret before someone sees it?”  She ultimately became a ghostwriter for Facebook founder (and boy king of the title), Mark Zuckerberg, penning his updates on the site.

Losse quickly learned that working at Facebook was more than a job—for many employees it was a cause, a belief in Zuckerberg’s vision of a fully connected world where information flowed freely and made the world "a more open place".

She also learned that Facebook was, by and large, a boys club, staffed by young Harvard and Stanford engineers and coders and a host of even younger hackers.  And there was a definite hierarchy in the company with female non-technical customer service reps at the bottom of the heap. Not quite the environment that Losse had envisioned when taking the job and one that she's not afraid to bring to light.

This insider’s look at Facebook raises lots of questions--questions about transparency and privacy, about how much sharing is too much sharing, about who has control of information once it's out there, about what kind of socializing we really do, both on and off line, about the role of technology in our lives.  This is not specifically a YA book, but is surely one that older teens might find eye-opening.  Check it out!

No comments: