Appeared in the May/June 2009 edition of Editing Matters, the journal of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders
This sizeable work (think telephone directory) was self-published by our own Matthew Strawbridge, and is a labour of love – if that's the right term – if ever I saw one. Matthew has painstakingly gone down all the highways and byways, as well as the side roads and little lanes, to explore every menu, every option, every button that Word 2007 possesses, so that you don't have to.
I have to admit that my first reaction when I saw Microsoft Office Word 2007: Essential Reference for Power Users was "Wow, who needs this?" Then I started looking at what was in the book, and I quickly changed my mind.
MS does a good job of explaining the dangers and what simple countermeasures we can take, in a manner accessible also to the less technically minded user. Novices and seasoned users considering making use of one of the new online communication channels will find the book useful, and so will administrators of online communities and services who want to draft a code of conduct for their users.
Extremely clearly written. You end up wishing that a copy of Netiquette could be given away free with every new computer purchased. I would highly recommend this book to all Internet users.
What a joy to find succinctly formulated within one book all those things that a forum moderator struggles to say without sounding either anal or aggressive or just plain silly. This book contains much useful information and advice for anyone engaging in electronic intercourse of any kind. No one in possession of this book need ever again mistake a Trojan horse for a virus, or wonder whether to be gratified or offended when someone signs off to them ‘GMTA’.
Amazon rating: *****
In a sense Strawbridge's book is an introduction to the Internet as much as it is a primer on Internet etiquette. It's crisp, concrete and easy-to-read. He packs a lot of information into 160 pages.
Good book, and one that you'll probably want to gift-wrap for your favorite troll or SHOUTER...
So, why is this book courageous? Well, because it's not yet another “cool tutorial” about how to tweak your computer. It's more a stern book which tells you how to behave while on the internet, and above all why you should behave. It entertained me because it formalised the loose guidelines I had taken for granted for years – but that many others obviously hadn't taken for granted at all. It's courageous because it's definitely going to be read in the future – let's say 30, 40 years – and will give our future generations a glimpse of what was considered “fine” back then, in 2007. It's courageous because it's a fantastic piece of work, which will definitely have a limited audience.
So, who is this book for? I frankly think that this book should be a must-have for any company or government body who has employees which deal with the general public and the internet audience in their everyday working life. In fact, companies should have 10 copies of this book, and make sure that employees follow the instructions – or at least are aware of what is acceptable and what is not. It should also be a compulsory read for all those people who seem to be keen on breaking every single rule listed in this book, although I realise that's definitely too much to ask for.
Now, that's a pity.
The book is available on Amazon (it has a well-deserved 5-star review from a top reviewer). I can only cross my fingers, and hope that it will sell well!
This is not so much a ‘how to’ internet book, but a ‘how to’, ‘why’, and ‘oh I see, it's obvious now’ internet book, with some suggested principles to improve your internet credentials thrown in on top. I would definitely recommend this book for practically any level of internet competence, from absolute beginner to professional; there is something to benefit everyone.
BCS rating: 10/10
This is a first class little book and I thoroughly recommend it to beginners and experts alike. It will be £12.95 well spent, I can promise. Author Matthew Strawbridge, software engineer, copy editor and technical author knows his stuff and how to put it across.