Well *that’s* a proud moment for the daughter of research scientists! Untangling the Web: What the Internet is Doing to You gets coverage in Nature magazine. Woop!
Thanks to Adam for sending the hard copies.
Buy Untangling the Web at the Guardian bookshop (get 50% off with code UTW07FG), on the Faber & Faber website, on UK Amazon or on US Amazon. Other territories are available too!

Well *that’s* a proud moment for the daughter of research scientists! Untangling the Web: What the Internet is Doing to You gets coverage in Nature magazine. Woop!

Thanks to Adam for sending the hard copies.

Buy Untangling the Web at the Guardian bookshop (get 50% off with code UTW07FG), on the Faber & Faber website, on UK Amazon or on US Amazon. Other territories are available too!

Aleks Krotoski on the web and gender equality.

Oh god my hair. I swear I was en route to the salon.

This interview about Untangling the Web: What the Internet is Doing to You is from BookPeople, which this month is celebrating changing women:

On the 4th June this year, 100 years ago, Emily Wilding Davison ran onto the track during the Epsom Derby and stepped into the path of George V’s horse. Four days later she would die and become a martyr for women struggling for equality around the world. Davison’s death is now that of legend but what people often don’t realise is that she was jailed nine times during her lifetime and force-fed 49 times. She was, you see, always a woman fighting to have a voice in a society that didn’t want to listen to what a woman had to say. It is a fight women have continued since her death, and among the most vocal of these have been writers. This month, FaberShop celebrates the female writers who have shaped, and who continue to shape, through their words, the lives of women, and men, everywhere. We have articles from brilliant debut novelists, like Amity Gaige, and prize-winning poets and authors such as Julia Copus and Louise Doughty; we hope you enjoy the euphony!

I’m super proud to be part of this. Many thanks to the magnificent Hannah for the opportunity!

Buy Untangling the Web at the Guardian bookshop (get 50% off with code UTW07FG), on the Faber & Faber website, on UK Amazon or on US Amazon. Other territories are available too!

Thank you Tumblr Faithful! Use UTW07FG to get 50% off at the Guardian Bookshop!

The Untangling the Web project began at the end of 2010, when my editor at The Observer, the head of digital at The Guardian and I came together to dream up a way to communicate the science behind the virtual revolution.

At its heart was an online reporter’s notebook where I would collect the latest evidence behind any transformations in our psychologies and our sociologies that I found along the way. We chose to use Tumblr as an experiment, because it was an easy-to-update and flexible platform that would feed into the Untangling the Web homepage on guardian.co.uk. In almost every way, this was more important than the 900-word summary I wrote every fortnight for the Sunday paper. It is where I interpreted what was science knows, in one handy place, for everyone to see.

This Tumblog also became the resource I relied on and added to when re-interpreting the columns into the Untangling the Web book. 

So thank you, Tumblr faithful, for watching the process unfold.

For your participation in the process, from Monday 15 July until Monday 2 September, people using code UTW07FG can get Untangling the Web for £6.50 per copy, saving 50% off RRP, at the Guardian Bookshop. You can also order over the phone by calling 0330 333 6846.

Thank you!

our digital shadows will become our marks of trust and reliability; to have none will be a sign that we have something we’re ashamed of, something to hide.

Tom Chatfield quotes Untangling the Web: What the Internet is Doing to You in his BBC Future column in June, On Prism, privacy and personal data.

Buy Untangling the Web at the Guardian bookshop (get 50% off with code UTW07FG), on the Faber & Faber website, on UK Amazon or on US Amazon. Other territories are available too!

Originally published in an interview for the Soho House collective.

I have spent 13 years researching people’s behaviour online. I started out looking at computer games, and then moved into more of an academic slant by looking at self esteem and identity in online environments during my masters degree. Then, for my PhD, I looked at notions of friendship and trust in social networks, and how these have identical influence effects to friendship and trust offline, even if people have never met one another in “meatspace”. Those lessons, and my work for BBC2’s Virtual Revolution in 2009, became the columns I wrote for The Observer and Guardian between 2010 and 2011. That was draft 1. I then incorporated even more – including the ongoing work I’ve been doing with the award-winning BBC Radio 4’s Digital Human series plus the latest research – and the book is the result!

In it, I take a look at 20 social and psychological phenomena that people claim have been “transformed” by the web, and I untangle the rhetoric from the research. Why do we form groups? How do we express our identities? What is privacy and have our attitudes to it changed? I extract what the empirical evidence told us about these things pre-web, and what empirical evidence tells us about them after the web, and I compare to determine if, indeed, the web has transformed them in any way.

I’ve become tired of the polemic arguments on both sides: the internet will destroy us/the internet will save us. Nonsense. The internet is a series of tubes, a technological infrastructure that allows us to communicate with one another. It connects humans to humans. So anything that’s happening is a result of our desires and our behaviours, not some kind of technological intervention. It’s us writ large.

(emphasis added)

Buy Untangling the Web at the Guardian bookshop, on the Faber & Faber website, on UK Amazon or on US Amazon. Other territories are available too!

Untangling the Web: blame society, not the Internet

“The technology is a McGuffin; it’s the place where people can dump their fears about the social change that’s happening anyway. The technology is simply a reflection of who we are at the start of the 21st century.”

The marvellously bespeckled Mark Broatch interviewed me about Love, Serendipity and Society for The NZ Listener when I was in Auckland in May this year. 

Find out more about why we should blame society, not the Internet in his coverage of Untangling the Web: What the Internet is Doing to YouTechnological change: The net effect.

Buy Untangling the Web at the Guardian bookshop, on the Faber & Faber website, on UK Amazon or on US Amazon. Other territories are available too!

Earlier this year, I had the tremendous opportunity to speak at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia at the invitation of the delightful Andrew Hiskens, and we spent two packed days exploring the ideas in the book.

Here, we explore the web in the context of education, public institution and learning. We also ask what the underlying principles are that motivate libraries, and how this reflection might help us be more critical of the assumptions of the services we use online.

Buy Untangling the Web at the Guardian bookshop, on the Faber & Faber website, on UK Amazon or on US Amazon. Other territories are available too!

‘”Home” isn’t made of bricks and mortar, grass and mud, wood and straw’, writes Krotoski in the book. “It is a de-physicalised, conceptual and psychological phenomenon. Technology is now an essential part of that. But once we grasp that distinction between the house and the emotional component that surrounds the most intimate part of our lives, we can see that the web can be just as much a home as the place we lay our heads.”

From an interview about Untangling the Web: What the Internet is Doing to You, for Libertine. Debbi dug into the domesticity chapter, asking great questions about intimacy, public vs private spaces, family, and shared memory - asking difficult an excellent questions!

Buy Untangling the Web at the Guardian bookshop, on the Faber & Faber website, on UK Amazon or on US Amazon. Other territories are available too!