Six Pixels of Separation Book Review Draft

Do you still use AOL? When someone mentions a “tweet” does your mind immediately think of that little yellow bird and the rest of the Looney Toons? Have you ever found yourself lost in a conversation full of “likes” and “tags”? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation might just be the book for you!  In it, he takes his audience of entrepreneurs who have little to no experience in the social media world through a journey of its importance to help them make the jump and better their businesses.
If you’re still operating your business in 2012 without the help of any social network sites because you don’t see the point in them and you need several hundred pages of convincing, this book is definitely for you.  Unfortunately, if you don’t fall within that realm, you might want to pick another title.  In his book, Joel is certainly effective in explaining conceptually why social media is an useful and necessary marketing tool, but he fails to explain enough of the how.  

  • Baym’s social shaping approach – how technology and society interact w/ one another; how to bridge on & offline realities
  • audience = affects his ideas because he is teaching them conceptually how to use SM & why (explains sites somewhat but not specific how tos)
    • remember digital divide
  • ethical: addresses the importance of community w/ social media → trust, honesty, realness, valuable content
    • emphasizes that credibility is everything [build everything by being credible] – have open forum with clients – no false claims
      • digital darwinism favors community, not creator/enabler of content → traffic does not equal community, attention does not equal trust – be helpful, be sincere
    • ethics of linkbaiting → don’t create content just to create it b/c of credibility
    • build a strong community – faith based initiatives, viral expansion loops
    • connecting does not equal engaging – be responsive and fast
    • give consumers tools to improve brand; adapt w/ consumer
  • what is book missing?
    • false hope? not as easy as it seems to be successful with it and build a following → he tells them ~digital marketing is about being slow – real results take time~ but creates an incredible idealized view as you can’t be sure that it will ever happen – not that simple to get people on board (but he is just trying to get them involved…)
      • suggests as long as you’re committed, you’ll get some return → investment [emphasizes value over #
  • good/important points
    • personal brands nowadays have size, power, aud, influence to rival corp brands – everything to do w/ business
      • you are media; your personal brand = most important ally – can’t fake passion/sincerity  [false…. online…]
      • find your voice, don’t let it fade
    • your community def exists → become a part of it – find your niche
    • “your brand is not what you say it is…it’s what google says it is” → search defines you!!!
    • online channels  = free publishing = build own channels
    • need a website, NOT a luxury anymore
    • everything is online forever – watch what you say and do
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30 DAYS TO SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS

Gail Martin’s book, 30 Days to Social Media Success, aids those unfamiliar with social media technology in their quest to create a successful online marketing and advertising platform. It is mostly geared towards small business owners who want to take the step into social networking and gives a very general outline of how they can do so quickly and effectively: Martin provides instructions on how to create a Facebook page and other various simple steps towards a social media savvy existence. The book seems very outdated and geared towards people who know almost nothing about social media (which today, is very uncommon). Martin provides some productive advice and guidance but for the most part does not effectively cultivate a good understand of social media in regards to business strategy.

Throughout her book, Martin sticks to the acronym RESULTS: Recommit, Expect success, Seek partners, Understand your audience, Look for win-win scenarios, Take strategic action, and Stay visible. She encourages her readers to harness the power of social media sites by taking advantage of its results and casting a wide net by meeting new people and reconnecting with old colleagues and friends.  One thing Martin is sure to emphasize is the importance of having and maintaining a true voice and real story to create authenticity. This ties into Liu’s theory about taste preferences and social media—Martin is supporting the authenticity taste preference as the most influential.

For a very uninformed or inexperienced person, this book might seem extremely useful, but it is most likely very few people would get much out of Martin’s advice. One of Martin’s suggestions is to allocate a thirty minute segment to social media each day in order to use it effectively and to its full potential. It is very important for a business trying to market themselves with social media to be extremely active, but thirty minutes a day is hardly enough. Businesses who want to reach out to their clients and partners should use their social media regularly throughout the day to respond to questions and concerns and to update their audience with the latest news. Another lacking feature of Martin’s book in personal anecdotes or examples of successful social media marketing. For an audience that knows so little about Facebook and Twitter, example and/or pictures would probably be extremely beneficial.

Another major flaw in Martin’s writing is her lack of distinction between different social networking sites. She kind of treats each site the same and making few distinctions between them all. In actuality, Linkedn is extremely different than Twitter and should be handled very differently, especially for any type of business. Specifically, sites like Twitter and Facebook should be monitored and updated on a very regular basis while sites like Linkedn do not need as much attention. Each site also has a different target audience. Linkedn is for older professionals while Twitter is geared towards a younger, hip crowd.

What Martin really fails to address is how to handle social media marketing after her suggested thirty days. Longevity with social media is very important especially since so much advertising and marketing depends on the capabilities of social networks today. Her readers are left wondering what do to with their Facebooks and Twitter after a short month. It would have been beneficial for Martin to include some suggestions on how to maintain a strong, enduring presence and how to cope with upcoming changes and developments in social media.

Gail Martin provides a good introduction to social media marketing and use for small businesses, but it is very general and limited. She fails to address many important issues and strategies when utilizing social media sites and leaves her reader with a far too basic understanding of social networks. Her words might have been more effective if she only discussed one or two specific sites in depth, had included specific examples and personal anecdotes, and gotten a younger person’s perspective on the world of social media.

The Zen of Social Media Marketing Book Review- Final

I was initially excited to read The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to build Credibility, Generate Buzz and Increase Revenue by Shama Hyder Kabani, as I thought I would gain some valuable insight about the world of marketing, but I was incredibly disappointed. While reading it, I thought it must have been published back in 2006 or so when SNS such as Twitter first came out, but when I realized that it was published in 2012, I was insulted. I paid $10 for common sense. Though her book does seem to target an audience with limited to no experience with social media or with the Internet in general, I still feel as though she treats her audience like children. She uses her own success stories as examples following almost every point she makes, which gives her supposedly naïve audience the misleading idea that the method she uses is the only way for a business to be successful in the social media realm. She never states that the same social media tactics, when applied to different companies, will yield different results.

There is a give and take relationship between the audience and the company on SNS, and the technology is just the medium in which a company’s messages are filtered. This relationship between the consumer and the producer gives way to new social practices online through SNS that are constantly evolving. Judith Donath makes a valid and crucial point in her piece “Sociable Media” that in any communications field, knowing the identity of those with whom you communicate is essential for understanding and evaluating an interaction. Kabani takes a more traditional and mostly technologically deterministic approach when it comes to marketing through social media, but as we have discussed and witnessed in class, SNS have dramatically changed the landscape of the field. Marketing and advertising online has become a two way street; it has become “a conversation rather instead of a broadcast” between the brand and its consumers (CSMT Class, Week 13). In order for a business that is run by an “older” executive set in his antiquated ways to succeed, he must understand that he can no longer call the shots. Kabani does hint at this new brand to consumer relationship from time to time, but I wish she had dedicated one entire chapter to how online marketing has changed the field as a whole. Though it may be obvious to college students reading this book, a clear distinction between traditional marketing and online marketing may serve her audience well.

In her book, Kabani runs through very basic information that anyone could figure out after spending no more than an hour on a social media site. She begins by going through “online marketing basics” and merely states the obvious goals of marketing: to attract people, convert them into consumers and to transform their networks into consumers as well (Kabani 316). She continues on to explain what social media is and dedicates a chapter to each of the big SNS (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Google+). In these chapters, she again explains the basic functions such as creating Facebook groups, and gives useless advice such as using your first name as a twitter handle. They are interlaced with obvious “Aha! Zen Moments” where she teaches readers online etiquette (such as being respectful and honest) and tells them that a company can opt to use blogs too. In the following chapter, she claims that videos are the “next frontier” as if YouTube is an up-and-coming platform in 2012. She advises readers on what type of equipment to get and how long a video should be, but fails to divulge what makes a successful video, well, successful (Kabani 1,953). Lana Swartz, on the other hand, makes it clear that a video has to have both spreadability and drillability for the video producer to garner and sustain a loyal and mass following. Kabani’s book may have been worth the read if she had conducted some research and included some substantive, scholarly material in her writing rather than just fluff from her own experience with SNS and random, uncited statistics.

Kabani does conclude with good, but general instruction when she tells the reader to “be human” (Kabani 2,342). As consumers, we like to see the real, personable side of brands so we can better relate to them. A consistent authenticity taste performance, as written about by Hugo Liu, allows consumers who identify with the company to become loyal followers (Liu 263). However, being human is not a good method for all companies. For instance, a high end, luxury brand wouldn’t want to try to “be human” because it needs to seem unattainable and target a very specific, niche audience. This is only one of many nuances that a reader would not learn from reading this social media 101 book. Lucas Partridge made a good point that Kabani doesn’t give a good sense of the culture behind each platform, which is essential to know because not all platforms are right for all companies. To understand your audience, you must become a part of their community rather than just impose yourself upon them through every social media platform possible. You must be socialized into a medium, as Nancy Baym writes in her work, Personal Connections in the Digital Age. Working with a cookie cutter social media marketing tactic wouldn’t work because that would give one the mindset that he will conquer the social media sphere before he even enters and understands it.

This book basically shows that you should not write a book about social media because the realm just changes too quickly and that what you write will be outdated before you even publish it. No one can predict what is going to be the hot new platform next year or even in the next few months at the rate that SNS are being created.

Image http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0tuctTTqv1r4sxhvo1_1280.png

I would like to leave this critique on a positive note, as I did appreciate that Kabani included a “Social Marketing Case Studies: Regular Folks, Great Stories” chapter at the end, giving real life success stories beyond her own (Kabani 2,466). It demonstrates to her audience that creating a social media campaign is a lot more tangible and less daunting and laborious, as her whole tutorial of a book may have made it seem.

Book Review for “Crush It!” by Gary Vaynerchuck (Rough Draft)

Summary

In his book, Crush It!, Gary Vaynerchuk aims to give his readers advice on how to make the most money by living your passion. Vaynerchuk gives his readers three rules to live by: 1) Love your family 2) Work superhard and 3) Live your passion. While the first two rules appear throughout the book, the third rule drives the message Vaynerchuk sends to his readers. Vaynerchuk uses his own life story as a framework for the book. His story begins when family immigrated to the U.S. from the U.S.S.R. when he was a small child and follows his rise to internet celebrity through his work as a vlogger for his father’s wine shop in Springfield, NJ. He weaves his golden rules for modern internet success with his career. First and foremost, Vaynerchuk urges readers to live their passion. If they don’t plan on doing that, they shouldn’t bother reading the rest of the book. He stresses that anyone can be successful, no matter how weird or obscure their passion is, especially with today’s easy access to so many various social media platforms. According to Vaynerchuk, people simply need to define their passion, create their brand, and get to work spreading their message around the social media sphere. Vaynerchuk wants his readers to live their passion, and help spread their message through the social media tools available to them. As long as they love what they’re doing, anyone can be successful.

Audience

Gary Vaynerchuk writes to a very broad audience. His audience consists of anyone who has a passion that they are not pursuing, and are looking to fulfill their dream of doing what they love for a living. Because Vaynerchuk stresses passion over everything else, it seems as though his ideal audience could be of almost any age range. However, his ideal audience members must have passions and ideas about those passions yet think they can’t be successful by pursuing those passsions. The book was written for the average joe. The language is simple, making it a very easy read. Anyone can read Vaynerchuk’s book and have an idea of whether or not they have what it takes to pursue their passion. In addition, this is a very American story, told by someone who has truly lived the American dream. Because of this, American readers would connect more deeply with the story that Vaynerchuk tells in comparison to readers from other countries.

Group Points

Vaynerchuk takes a social constructionist approach in this book.

  • we do the same things as before, just via a different method (social media)
  • social media hasn’t changed what we do, but helped us do things more efficiently
  • the technology is useless if we don’t use it effectively (or at all for that matter)

Ethical implications of social media marketing

  • Authenticity:
  • Vaynerchuk emphasizes authenticity as key to your online/professional brand
  • Authenticity MUST be maintained when marketing your brand and dealing with advertisers
  • Issues of privacy settings can lead to personal and professional brand discrepencies

Create a community

  • have to have passion to keep readers
  • have to create an identity that users trust (authenticity) and be someone that they want to revisit again and again

Critiques

  • I wouldn’t categorize this as a social media marketing book, more of a motivational book. This seems like a book that someone would read, be motivated to pursue their dreams, and then go search out other how-to books on social media marketing to realize their dreams.
  • I would have liked to see more on how to apply social media marketing strategies
  • All about passion. While I understand that passion is necessary to be truly successful, there are a number of other important factors and actions that need to be taken. What does Vaynerchuk think those are?

Mitch Joel’s “Six Pixels of Separation” Review

I happen to be a strong advocate of Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation” for businesspeople and entrepreneurs who are relatively new to the world of digital marketing.  The book is unmistakably intended to be used as a catalyst to get a very specific audience involved in a newer area of business that is increasingly necessary.  Consequently, rudimentary details of social media use are largely omitted and replaced with the emphatic repetition of bigger-picture concepts.  Thinking like a businessman or an entrepreneur does, Mitch Joel employs numerous somewhat cliché, yet catchy and inspiring catchphrases and stories in order to deliver his readers a compelling call to action.

Although “Six Pixels of Separation” is from 2009, the vast majority of the concepts featured in the book still hold true.  Joel’s primary goal is to demonstrate to businesspeople that there is unlimited business potential in the online world, that if they don’t take advantage of the opportunity then their competitors will, and that the leap can be made somewhat seamlessly—as long as they have a proper understanding of what a successful online presence looks like and can develop an effective strategy accordingly .  A few major concepts about social media are broached multiple times throughout the book; these primarily include concepts of content, trust, commitment, and community.  These are, in actuality, fairly complex concepts, so Mitch Joel simplifies them and infuses them with powerful and inspirational messages.  For example, he gives a very good, concise list of do’s and don’ts for content creation, but he doesn’t delve into the intricacies of how these can potentially affect SEO.  Why?  Because for someone who is reluctant and/or fearful about venturing into social media, it is reasonable to assume that they simply would not be able to understand those concepts in their full capacities.  I have had significant exposure to digital marketing and I still don’t understand all of the nuances of SEO.  However, that is one of the primary intentions of Mitch Joel’s incessant encouragement for businesspeople to be mindful of their content.  And the book does tie this in rather well; in the very beginning there is a chapter that states “your business is not what you say it is, it’s what Google says it is.”  This bold statement is the simplest way that people could understand the power and business opportunities represented by search engines.  Later on, the book comes full circle when Joel explains fervently about how and why people need to maintain quality content.

Joel’s explanations of content are entirely appropriate for the target audience at hand.  He explains the potential range of content from text to images to audio and video, and then he explains the value of content diversity.  More importantly, however, is that he wraps that up by saying that not all of these potential content forms are fit for everybody; this is where the anchoring subject of strategy is tied in.  Although Mitch’s audience may be new to the online business world, they are likely not unfamiliar with business and strategic planning.  Mitch gives them the tools and information they need to assess on their own whether or not and what kinds of content would be worthwhile investments for their respective business goals and purposes.  Similarly, he presents an array of the opportunities for social media outlets businesses ought to consider venturing out into (which, naturally are somewhat outdated since this book is from 2009), and then gives the readers ample information to decide for themselves which of these outlets would best fit into their strategies.

On the note of social networking sites, which are perhaps some of the most daunting digital marketing concepts for unknowing businesspeople, as previously mentioned, Mitch Joel does not give the specific how-to’s of each website.  He does, however, tie them into a bigger picture message about online communication strategy.  Particularly effective for the marketing dinosaurs who are used to the mechanics of traditional marketing and advertising, he explains these outlets in a context of integration as well.  Integration, as it turns out, is a significant way that Mitch Joel connects to the audience; he provides a bridge between what is familiar and what is unfamiliar for the audience, and gives it an optimistic appeal that excites and makes sense to them.  So instead of explaining how each member of a company should tweet, Mitch Joel explains that online presence is further solidified and made more impactful as presence grows across various social media outlets—that is, assuming the content is diverse and valuable in all of them.  And this online presence can mutually reinforce the offline marketing and advertising efforts.  Advertising online is another concept that Joel touches on with regards to PPC and other options, but only in minor detail.  From what I gathered, the point of mentioning online advertising was more to spawn awareness of its existence and potential, as well as bridge the online and offline gap, rather than to delve deeply into the deepest technicalities of it.

The next, and indubitably one of the most important takeaways of Mitch Joel’s book is regarding trust.  Mitch Joel significantly writes that “trust + community = ROI.”  Return on investment is the one thing that is guaranteed to invoke the attention of conscientious businesspeople, and this is a concept that they can grasp.  Social media can often come off as fake or pointless to spectators who are unfamiliar with how it functions.  In fact, even people who are familiar or moderately familiar with it can maintain this perspective.  Mitch Joel’s goal here is to emphasize how important it is to see the value of a genuine attempt to put your business out there, give it a voice, interact with consumers, and grow a community.  He gives several powerful examples of how the cost of advertising is lowered tremendously when your loyal consumer-base advocates and advertises on your behalf for free.  Studies show that user-generated reviews and peer recommendations are supremely influential in purchasing decisions, and this is the very apex that defines the necessity of an online presence for businesspeople.  Not only is it a relatively low-cost investment (considering the price of advertising or generating content online versus offline—notwithstanding the costs of investing time and effort into social media campaigns), but it generates strong community-based sales effects.  Hence, we arrive at the very notion of “six pixels of separation;” whereas in the past, we could all be linked through a multitude of connections, now we have the capability of being instantly connected to exactly who we need to connect with.

In essence, “Six Pixels of Separation” is an empowering book that calls upon businesspeople and entrepreneurs who may not understand digital marketing to embrace it for the endless business opportunities it provides.  The inspirational narratives are intended not to instill false hopes in readers, but rather to speak to them in a language of empowerment and success, which undoubtedly resonates well with them (as evidenced by any business convention that has ever happened).  They don’t want to hear about theories and they don’t want to see empty speculation; they want to hear the facts, they want them to be corroborated, they want to feel inspired and they want to get a return on their investments.  This is how Mitch Joel’s book functions so beautifully.  It is not the only step, but it is a remarkable first step for newbies venturing down the digital road to success.

Crush It! Book Review Rough Draft

In Crush It! Why Now Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion, Gary Vaynerchuck encourages his readers to cash in on their passion and transform your “real interests into real business.” He uses his personal experiences as a model and creates a “how-to” guide for creating a personal brand using the tools of social media. Vaynerchuck claims that if you’re passionate about something, you can monetize that passion if you have the drive.

[MAIN POINTS OF THE BOOK]

Internet has completely changed how we do business:

– Ability to connect with consumers
– Publicize your passion and find others with the same passion
– Attract advertisers
– Advertisers and companies need to spend money to stay alive, why not spend it on you?
– Create a blog that will voice your passion. Build a following, then the big companies will find you and invest in you.
– Social media = business. Period.

Follow Your Passion

– Make sure you’re doing what you love more than anything in the world
– DNA = the path to your success
– Do not conform to what your family or society expects of you. Follow your DNA
– The internet makes it possible for anyone to be 100% true to themselves and make serious cash by turning what they love most into their personal brand (17).
– Follow your bliss, but also you must work harder than you’ve ever worked before
– But if you’re following your passion, it shouldn’t be considered work. You should be looking forward to it.
– People want to be told what’s good and valuable, and that they enjoy feeling like they’ve been turned on to something not everyone can appreciate (24). How he started his wine company.
– Be sure your content is the best in its category.
– Someone with less passion and talent and poorer content can totally beat you if they’re willing to work longer and harder than you are. Hustle is it. Without it, you should just pack up your toys and go home. The only differentiator in the game is your passion and your hustle. Don’t ever look at someone else who has more capital or cred than you and think you shouldn’t bother to compete.
– Many are probably just sick of the killer hours and inflexible schedules and demanding bosses often found in the corporate world and think entrepreneurship will somehow be less taxing. Not true. If anything, more work.
– If you’re living your passion, you’re going to want to be consumed by your work.
– Patience: money won’t come overnight.
– Don’t indulge yourself in your successes right away. Your profits should funnel right back into your research, your content, and your staff should you have any. The sooner you start cashing in, the shorter window you have in which to cement your success.

Personal Branding

– Used Youtube and video blogs not to sell wine, but to build a whole new world for wine (26).
– Wine Library TV was never about selling wine on the internet. It was always about building brand equity (27).
– Your business and your personal brand need to be one and the same (28). People have built empires out of being who they are and never backing down from it (ie: Oprah, Howard Stern)

Authenticity

– Authenticity is key.
– Your authenticity will be at the root of your appeal and is what will keep people coming to your site and spread the word about your personal brand, service, or whatever you are offering.
– Doesn’t clean up office, Doesn’t do additional takes, Sometimes sound and lighting is bad. Doesn’t matter—as long as he’s getting his message across and coming across as authentic.
– Celebrity images used to be carefully constructed that it was difficult to get a sense of their real personalities.
– Now they make a great effort to connect with their fans.
–  If you live your passion and work the social networking tools to the max, opportunities to monetize will present themselves.

Use Social Media/Internet to Promote Personal Brand

– Create a community by leaving comments on other people’s blogs and forums and replying to comments to your own comments
– Use twitter to find as many people as possible talking about your topic and communicate with them
– Use blogsearch.google.com to find more blogs that are relevant to your subject.
– When you feel your personal brand has gained sufficient attention and stickiness, start reaching out to advertisers and begin monetizing.

[APPLYING CONCEPTS FROM CLASS TO THE BOOK]

Social Network Profiles as Taste Performances – Hugo Liu

Prestige statements vs Authenticity statements:

Prestige

  •  presenting a coherent sense of taste that shows your belong squarely in a certain place. (ex: I fit in mainstream culture or I fit in this subculture)
  • Put person in a “culture box” They are elite within their group. Strongly identify
  • Ex in book: wine connoisseurs using esoteric language. turns some people who aren’t experts off.

Authenticity

  • Trying to communicate that you are an authentic person. Everything you say is true about you.
  • Not perfectly crafted. (ex: list all indie bands as favorites but also throwing in some guilty pleasures)
  • Showing a little crack in the façade: self-deprecating.
  • Ex in book: shoot vlogs once, doesn’t clean up room. explains things in plain english.

Branding yourself

  • Personal brand and corporate brand. How you present yourself and the things you have in the video that contributes to your “brand”
  • Commodifying yourself

Community: Baym 

  • Types of community we’ve never seen before
  • Net isn’t just for information, it’s for linking people and connection
  • Shared resources and support: resources shared such as networking, advice, promotional, financial.

30 Days to Social Media Success Rough Draft

  • The use of a mix of weak and strong ties is supported by Martin
  • Intended for people who are not used to social media / web 2.0 in general
  • More for small business owners than big corporations
  • Big proponent of using your voice, not forcing it
  • Building the brand name
  • Pushing for a domestication of social media into every sort of business, not just ones that need to market to global audiences.
  • More social construction of technology vs deterministic because of the way Gail Martin shows how to manipulate social media to work for your needs, not the other way around.
  • The advice itself is interesting
  • Big push for small but consistent steps
  • Incorporates a wide variety of social media
  • Doesn’t go much beyond the 30 day plan
  • Some SNS don’t apply to some people, but a sort of “one business fits all (SNS)” approach is taken

*Comment

The formatting got completely messed up when I transferred from Word…. ><;;

“Six Pixels of Separation” by Mitch Joel Rough Draft

  • Audience:  “Six Pixels” is targeted to businesspeople and entrepreneurs who have little to no experience with social networks. It often stresses, “building your brand,” “connecting to customers,” and “creating an efficient business,” nonetheless focusing on the marketing aspects of a company.  I’m talking about old dudes in suits who genuinely are unaware that most people use the internet and social media to craft their opinions on a company (yes – evidently they are still out there). 
  • I feel that for this book in particular, audience and intent are critical in understanding what exactly the book aims to do.  Joel emphasizes that most businesspeople of the digitally divided generation don’t take social media seriously, and that his book is meant to “break the fishbowl.” 
  • His main point is to convince these individuals that social media is important.  This is why he covers the surface level of topics and doesn’t necessarily explain how to do things fully.  I don’t think understanding how to operate social platforms is the point, rather, how and why they are important to your business is.
  • At the end of the day, Joel just wants companies to see the value in social media.  He doesn’t care if your online operation is big or small – what does matter is that your company is out there and has a presence.
  • Social shaping:  Joel is constantly reminding the reader of the integration of technology and social interaction.  Separating the online and offline is not plausible for reaching your business’ full potential.
  • The book was published in 2009 and is clearly outdated in some respects.   Given the rapid pace at which social media is changing and the inherent nature of the publishing industry, books of this nature are nearly impossible to keep up with the technology.  (Joel still suggests reading blogs to be as in the know as possible.)  However, most of the overarching concepts of the book still hold true today.
  • One of my biggest qualms with the book was that it often had these little anecdotes with how people used certain platforms that really helped grow their business.  However, he gives little direction as to which platforms are better for which company – and we all know that not every business needs a YouTube channel and podcast.
  • As a media student, the book was difficult to read as I found it to be extremely repetitive. At first I thought it was absolutely obnoxious how some points (importance of community, content, and credibility) were brought up in different ways in every chapter.  But then I realized that if I had no background in social media I would find this repetition useful in drilling these concepts into the back of my head. 
  • Le blogging.  Ugh.  I was so irritated at “Six Pixels” push towards companies starting a blog.  Blogs are not well suited for every company nor are they the be-all and end-all of a business.  Again I think that the time it was published comes into play as other prominent business sites, such as Yelp, were not in effect for word of mouth community.
  • In class, we discussed the significance of audience and intent.  If the goal of the book were to bring awareness of social media’s importance to these businesspeople that previously believed otherwise, then I found it to be successful in doing so.   I would definitely never read this book in my spare time (sorry) mostly because it is unexciting and common sense to me at this point.  Yet, I would recommend it to someone like my mother who has relatively no idea what she’s doing on social network sites and could use them to create a professional presence online.

 

Book Review Draft: “Crush it” by Gary Vaynerchuck

Summary: 

Gary Vaynerchuck, in his book, Crush It, has three simple rules. One, “Love your Family.” Two, “Work Superhard.” Three, “Live your Passion.” The book itself is a how-to manual for the third rule. How to live your passion and also make a living off of it. His mission? To convince his readers that they should start thinking of themselves as a “brand.” Like he says, “your DNA dictates your brand.”  You can have a passion for anything in this world, even something as small as stickers, and still succeed growing a business around it because of the ubiquity of social media. Social Media has made it possible for anyone to reach out to thousands of people, in very limited time. So there is really no reason not to use it as the most powerful tool at your disposal to start living your passion.

The Issue of Audience:

Vaynerchuck speaks firstly to individuals who want to grow their own businesses and marketers looking for more ways to extend their reach. But this book was written with the average person in mind. Everyone, literally everyone, can start becoming their own personal brand through social media and Vaynerchuck made sure to stress this point. All it takes is to “first discover the passion, and then the medium.”

Groupmates Points:

My groupmates had plenty to say about Gary Vaynerchuck’s book. It was unanimously liked by everyone even though we all thought that it was more of a motivational tool than an actual how-to. The concepts he laid out seemed a tad simplistic and a little obvious but nonetheless, he introduced an amazing method of where to start. My groupmates outlined the type of approach Vaynerchuck took.

1. Social Construction of Technology

Social media encourages people to bring out there tendencies. According to Vaynerchuck, “Social Media=Business” since we all are somewhat of a personal brand already with our social media profiles.

2. Social Shaping

Vaynerchuck was all about exploring the possibilities of how social media and personal brand building can interact successfully with each other.

3. Authenticity

In the book, Vaynerchuck reveals himself in an intimate autobiographical chapter. Authenticity was a word he mentioned several times. Its one of the most powerful forces behind your brand.

 

 

 

Six Pixels of Separation

“Now digital marketing expert Mitch Joel presents the first book to integrate digital marketing, social media, personal branding, and entrepreneurship in a clear, entertaining, and instructive way that everyone can understand and apply.”

To be honest, I don’t read books of this nature too often, or at all really. As I comb through the shelves in a book store that I stumble upon, I am more often than not wandering through a Romance, Horror, or Comics section. I pick a book up, look at the cover, read the back, and chances are, I put it right back down. Needless to say, I have a very short attention span. “Six Pixels of Separation” by Mitch Joel was a pleasant surprise in that it was not set in a post-apocalyptic world infested with flesh-eating zombies, nor was it a cheese-fest about an awkward couple’s courtship, but yet I could not seem to put it down.

Pros:

-Voice; It was a focus point for Joel that one should aim to narrate his or her online activity in a manner that reflected well their ‘real world’ personality; no singular trajectory or narrative of the book, but the continuity of the author’s writing style made transition from one topic or personal anecdote to another relatively seemless

-Anecdotes were representative and relevant to his topics; recounting successes of those who started from little and successfully utilized digital media in the ways and using the strategies that he offers was helpful, as he kept his audience in mind (those reading this kind of self-help book are those who seek to utilize digital media in ways that are not already i.e. older, business-minded)

-Makes no promises to the reader; while he provides helpful anecdotes and stories, he makes clear that these are exemplary, and does not mean to assert that achieving such success is a simple task nor one that is achieved regularly

-Does not oversimplify, yet does not inundate the reader with terminology.

-Stresses the importance of working ethically to achieve success, being transparent; Joel constantly reminds the reader to stay true to their identity offline

-Social shaping; does not profess that usage of the technologies or particular networking sites will result in the financial gain that the reader ultimately seeks, but stresses that it is a matter of taking advantage of these technological affordances in a profitable way, our online actions an extension of our ‘real world’ autonomy

Cons: TBC