Book Information
Title: Flash & Director: Designing Multiuser Web Sites StudioLab
Author: Thomas Blaha, Steve Webster.
Published by: Friends Of Ed.
RRP: USD $49.99 (Less at Amazon)
Format: Mass-market paperback
User Level: Intermediate
Review By: Andy (20 Ton Squirrel, ActionScript.org)

At a glance: 7/10
Learn the ins and outs of how to make a site that allow users to interact!

Review:

The face of the web is ever changing and emerging from this maelstrom of ideas is the concept of multiuser web sites. This innovation in web design allows users to not only interact with a site, but also with the other users out there who might be browsing! Once again the folks at Friends of Ed have stepped up to explain what all this business is about, and more importantly - how YOU can jump on the multiuser bandwagon.

The book begins with an excellent explanation of what exactly a multi-user site is and how it tends to work, delving into the various methods to establish the interactivity between the site and user as well as interaction between users.
The book is a bit on the technical side, but you can't expect any less with the subject matter. Don't be intimidated by that, though. You needn't be a guru to wrap your brain around this. The folks at FoE have a great record of stepping the reader through the subject without being oppressively technical or insultingly simplistic.
One of the best features of the book is how the authors compare the use of Flash and Director in the creation of these sites, providing in-depth examples for you to walk though as well as plenty of online examples that will dazzle and inspire.
Before this book I solidly and stubbornly embraced Flash as the only means to create a dynamic web experience. A quote from the book is "If you only have a hammer in your toolbox, you tend to think of every problem as a nail." That's certainly a mentality I was guilty of! This book really opened my eyes to the power and versatility of Director, which was collecting the dust of neglect on my desktop prior to this book!
Whether you are just simply curious or dead serious about building a multi-user web site, this book is for you. You'll find all sorts of great information and wonderful code mixed in with links to superb sites that will set you on the path to a truly interactive experience for your site!