About ten years ago, when I was wandering around the library at the University of Virgina looking for something that would teach me about the shape of community online, I found My Tiny Life. I pulled it off the shelf and started with the first few pages in which the author confronts a RL server in Palo Alto that happens to contain LambdaMOO.
It's a wonderful little depiction of a person trying to reconcile a vibrant and rich virtual world with the "silent, bone-white" machine that houses it. After reading those pages, I was hooked. I had found the kind of writing and subject that made me sit down on the floor right next to the bookshelf -- I didn't want to expend the time or energy to find a table. I wasn't the only person affected this way by reading My Tiny Life. E.g. Larry Lessig's blurb on the back cover says: "Dibbell's story is why I teach cyberlaw."
Well, the main point of this post is that Julian has made his wonderful book available as a free download. You can get it here, in a very spiffy PDF file. The Web is now a richer place.
The secondary note is that Julian would like to make MTL even freer. Yet he hasn't managed that trick yet because apparently there's a little problem with the phones at HarperCollins UK. Explanation of that here (and that page also includes his reasons for wanting to release the book for free).