I've posted a few times about Yochai Benkler's much-discussed book, The Wealth of Networks, but though I finished reading it some weeks ago, I've not reviewed it here. Thanks to Bruno Giussani (Marx is in the air, link: LunchoverIP) for pointing at a review of the book in the New Statesman by Kenneth Cukier, who covers technology for The Economist. Cukier's review, Power to the people, comes pretty close to my own feelings about it.
The book is a tour de force in important ways and like most other techie readers, its central thesis about the collaborative and transformative nature of "peer-production" is one I'd like to believe. For me, however, it was frustrating at a couple of levels. At a somewhat trivial level, Benkler's sometimes page-length paragraphs often exhausted the a point before the author concluded it (what editor let him do this?). At a more substantive level, there is Cukier's point, which I'd characterize as a utopian drift throughout. Also, I wanted more about why collaborative systems work at a theoretical level (my hunch is it's in the direction of information theory and self-organization principles) and less empiricism.
Still, it's an important book and well worthy of your time. --Dennis