Blog 4 – Book Review: Six Pixels of Separation

Very Rough Draft:

– Mitch Joel was directing his trade book, Six Pixels of Separation, towards people who think social media is a joke; those who don’t understand the internet and those trying

  • However, I don’t think he catered to them very well; extremely confusing terms and convoluted concepts
  • Offered them false hope that by merely writing a blog, they’d be able to help their business
  • However, it is inspiring. It makes people think they can really do it. If I weren’t an avid social media user I would feel capable after reading his book

–       Major point(s) of contention: Tells you what to do but not how to do it

  • He described exactly what a blog was, but not how to make one interesting or traffic worthy (didn’t discuss layout, content, language, etc.)
  • He did say it starts off rough, but that traffic will eventually come and that’s not necessarily true
  • He didn’t explain how to respond to negative responses on social media sites; or how to deal with backlash – merely focused on the communicative opportunities offered via SNS

–       Technological Determinism

  • You cannot just make a blog or SNS profile and garner results
  • Also, simply having and using these tools doesn’t mean you will instantly connect to your consumers or target demographic

–       His claim, “This new economy is driven by your time vested and not by your money invested” is so wildly WRONG

  • Running a business is always, let me repeat, ALWAYS(!) about money; having SNS as a business isn’t just for kicks, or as Joel seems to think just to connect to consumers, it’s to drive sales and enhance (and enhancing or jeopardizing credibility) your brand
  • Also, NOTHING IS FREE; just because the platforms are free doesn’t mean that using them for your business will be a penniless venture
    • Realistically if you’re using SNS for a business, you’ll probably have to hire a social media team to express your company’s language and messaging in an appropriate way
    • You will also most likely need to buy analytics software to disseminate information
    • A marketing team is still necessary to create campaigns and help garner site traffic

–       SERIOUS POINT OF CONTENTION: This was written in 2009 and yet fails to mention Facebook, Twitter, or make much mention of YouTube (even though he discusses “viral videos”)

  • He almost solely focuses on blogs and blogging, but doesn’t even make mention of where to make a blog or how to start one (no mention of blogspot, wordpress, HTML coding, etc.)
  • These are the sites businesses should be using to reach the most people and drive the most success, but they aren’t even mentioned

–       The poor structure of the book

  • The content was extremely repetitive, I can’t count the amount of times he said the title of his own book….we get it……pixels.
  • Didn’t seem to have any sort of structure, seemed all over the place from bizarre case studies and loosely fitting conclusions

–       Speaking of pixels, his theory is still promoting the theory of six degrees of separation

  • Sorry Mitch Joel, you’re just calling degrees pixels…
  • What he’s saying is that the Internet makes us closer, and more connected but it might have been more appropriate to say 3 degrees of separation instead of pixels
    • His very first example trying to display this pixilated connection was a story about how he went in for an interview with his future publisher and noticed the man was wearing young girls’ socks and then was connected to the maker of the socks who worked in the same building as his publisher…those are connections of the physical world and don’t accurately display his major point
    • The point he’s trying to make isn’t lost on me; we are more digitally connected and that is certainly true. But this connection has just decreased the degrees of separation, not increased the pixels
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  1. Culture and Social Media Technologies

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