Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review: Oh Myyy!

Oh Myyy!
From Oh Myyy!, by George Takei
Open quote 

Fans (and the press) often wonder how a 75-year old actor who had his heyday in a science fiction series from the 1960s came to have some three million fans on Facebook. I honestly often wonder the same thing."

After the jump, my review.

Grade: C-

George Takei played Sulu on the original television series "Star Trek." Then, a few years ago, he began posting on Twitter and Facebook. His touch and timing were perfect. He quickly racked up millions of followers. This book is his account of his newfound celebrity and how social media popularity works for him.

Takei gives his thoughts on Internet etiquette, content sharing and copyright, dealing with trolls, why some content is so popular (e.g., cats), why some goes viral, etc. Many topics are covered through anecdotes from his own life as a prominent Japanese-American gay science fiction icon. Some comes across as self-promoting, as for example, when he tells how he used social media to promote "Allegiance," a stage play about Japanese internment during World War II. But he insists that his Facebook postings are merely a hobby, not a business, and he's just trying to bring a smile to people's faces each day.

His insights into the Internet are not particularly novel or profound. His basic message is to be nice, laugh at yourself, and fight back with wit, not insults. His book is a trifle, as insubstantial as a cat photo on the Internet. Only not as pithy as his own tweets. So, just how did an aging Star Trek actor became a Facebook sensation? After reading this, it's even more of a mystery.

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