Cover image for Netslaves : true tales of working the Web
Netslaves : true tales of working the Web
Lessard, Bill.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : McGraw-Hill, [2000]

Physical Description:
viii, 246 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HM851 .L375 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A Library Journal Best Business Book for 1999 and featured in The New York Times and USA Today, the cult classic NetSlaves is now in paperback.Referring to the NetSlaves website on which this book was based, Cybercritic Ty Burr called it "a bitterly funny reminder that the multimedia industry is not populated by future Masters of the Universe but by the same psychotics, power trippers, and cubicle people as any other business...". In capturing their voices, this book creates a savage commentary on a cultural phenomenon that has remained hidden for too long..-- Featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Toronto Globe & Mail, Chicago Tribune, Seattle Weekly, San Diego Union-Tribune, Computer World, NPR, CBS-Radio's "The Online Shopping Report",, TalkCity, The Industry Standard, Silicon The authors have appeared on the Leher News Hour and in Crain's NY Business

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Readers who can't bear another glossy magazine profile of Internet IPO kids will welcome this tour through the writhing underbelly of the tech biz. Lessard and Baldwin, who founded a site called in 1998, set out to document the depravity and desperation of the Internet economy, which they call the most widely misunderstood business phenomenon of our time. Far from the glamorous world painted by the few Internet winners, the authors contend, the business of technology is largely strapped to the four million or so backs of carpal-tunnel-prone freelancers and real-life Dilberts. To illustrate their point, they provide a guide to the new media caste system, which converts standard industry roles into a hierarchy of "garbagemen," "fry cooks" and "cab drivers." Case studies of disgruntled tech support operators and HTML code writers make for bitterly funny reading. There's cybercop Kilmartin, who burns out after patrolling a Web community for obscene references to goats and blenders, and freelance coder Jane, who was blamed for uploading the wrong verdict to a major O.J. Simpson trial Web site. The sources' names have been changed to protect them from their employers' retribution, but company names are disguised thinly enough to make the book a kind of industry roman … clef. The billionaire software tyrant "Royster G. Pfeiffer" lords over his Washington-based office campus (which is packed with resentful "perma-temps"), and there's the crash-prone Internet browser developed by "NetScathe." On the whole, this insider's look at the industry offers an amusing antidote to the media's chronic case of Internet hype. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Just in case you thought that Internet IPOs result in instant wealth and fame for everyone involved in the venture, you might want to read this sobering inside look at what really goes on behind the closed doors of cyberspace. Lessard and Baldwin, experienced technology writers (PC Magazine, The Industry Standard) and creators of the site, have written the Information Age equivalent of Studs Terkel's Working. They focus on the realities of the cyber-sweatshop culture of e-commerce, showing that most Internet careers are nasty, brutish, and short. They base their perspective on interviews they conducted in 1998 and 1999 with numerous techies at various levels of the electronic businessÄitinerant web freelancers, support technicians, venture capitalists, web commerce speakers, and the CEOs of high-tech Internet companies. The real world of web involvement at these different "levels" is revealed in matter-of-fact discussions. Essential for anyone with eyes glazed over at the prospect of accumulating vast riches from the Internet, this is a good purchase for larger public libraries.ÄDale F. Farris, Groves, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Level .90 Introductionp. 1
Level .91 The Purpose Behind This Bookp. 3
Level .92 Are You a NetSlave? Take the Quiz!p. 7
Level .93 Virus Scan: A User's Guide to the New Media Caste Systemp. 10
Level 1.0 Garbagemen: The Y2K Bug Is Eating My Pizza!p. 13
Level 1.1 Who Are They?p. 15
Level 1.2 General Characteristicsp. 16
Level 1.3 The Story of Mattp. 18
Level 2.0 Cops and Streetwalkers: Is That a Cellular Modem in Your Pocket or Are You Just Happy to See Me?p. 39
Level 2.1 Who Are They?p. 41
Level 2.2 General Characteristicsp. 42
Level 2.3 The Story of Kilmartinp. 43
Level 3.0 Social Workers: Click Here for a Clean, Well-Lighted Placep. 59
Level 3.1 Who Are They?p. 61
Level 3.2 General Characteristicsp. 62
Level 3.3 The Story of Cindyp. 64
Level 4.0 Cab Drivers: Another Day, Another Startupp. 79
Level 4.1 Who Are They?p. 81
Level 4.2 General Characteristicsp. 82
Level 4.3 The Story of Janep. 84
Level 5.0 Cowboys and Card Sharks: Turnkey Solutions Traced in Bloodp. 99
Level 5.1 Who Are They?p. 101
Level 5.2 General Characteristicsp. 102
Level 5.3 The Story of Zornp. 104
Level 6.0 Fry Cooks: Confessions of Real-Life "Dilberts"p. 119
Level 6.1 Who Are They?p. 121
Level 6.2 General Characteristicsp. 122
Level 6.3 The Story of Boydp. 124
Level 7.0 Gold Diggers and Gigolos: Sex, Lies, and Hypertextp. 141
Level 7.1 Who Are They?p. 143
Level 7.2 General Characteristicsp. 144
Level 7.3 The Story of Kellnerp. 146
Level 8.0 Priests and Madmen: Infinity in a Grain of Sandp. 163
Level 8.1 Who Are They?p. 165
Level 8.2 General Characteristicsp. 166
Level 8.3 The Story of Barstowp. 168
Level 9.0 Robots: Kill, Crush, Deploy!p. 177
Level 9.1 Who/What Are They?p. 178
Level 9.2 General Characteristicsp. 180
Level 9.3 The Story of Husseinp. 182
Level 10.0 Robber Barons: Who Needs Dynamite When We've Got IPOs?p. 199
Level 10.1 Who (We Think) They Arep. 201
Level 10.2 General Characteristicsp. 202
Level 10.3 The Story of Welchp. 204
Sublevel - 1.0 Mole People: Living Large in the Net's Hoovervillesp. 225
(Bug Report: Virus Scan Has Detected Mole People on Your Hard Drivep. 227
Sublevel - 1.1 Who/What Are They?p. 228
Sublevel - 1.2 General Characteristicsp. 229
Sublevel - 1.3 The Story of Outisp. 230
Afterword: Not Ready for Betap. 243