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Book Review: The Big Connect by Shaili Chopra

Shaili Chopra Book ReviewThe Big Connect: Politics in the Age of Social Media by Shaili Chopra came at a very opportune time: when the country was in the middle of the General Elections. I intended to read the book earlier, but thanks to the maddening pace at which we were working back then, it was near to impossible.

The author came up with the idea as a result of a conversation with her friend over lunch on whether the social media is at the centre of politics in today’s world. She has used several social media studies and research reports that have been released over time to write her book. It is detailed, well researched and clubs together into perspective several separate studies conducted by various agencies.

Social media has emerged as a new and effective way of reaching out to people; it is quick and cost-effective way of sharing information. She has cited examples of how social media platforms are used by various politicians in the world (as well as India) to reach out to citizens. She has dealt with facts on how social media is changing the definition of political campaign in India. From Barrack Obama in 2008 to the BJP in 2014, she has presented some insightful examples.

However, what I felt after reading the book, was it lacked a purpose. It looked like a PhD thesis by a college student. The studies and conversations she has cited in her book, have all been dealt with, talked about on various blogs, in several studies. Moreover, the tone in the book was very cautious. Shaili had faith in the power of social media, but was hesitant to make a prediction of how important it will become in the future. The book was more of what has been done in the past, than what can be done in the times ahead.

Overall, the book is good for a newbie on social media, a collectible for agencies to get all campaign strategies at one place for quick reference.

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

About the author

Shaili Chopra is an Indian writer and business journalist. The business editor of Tehelka, she was also the Senior Editor and Lead Female Anchor at ET Now.

A graduate of The Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, Ms. Chopra was awarded the Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Business Journalism at the Indian Express RNG Awards 2012 and also has a golf column Column Tee Off with Shaili Chopra on DNA.

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