Review of Six Pixels of Separation – Draft

Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel asserts on its cover: “Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business To Everyone.” Overall, it is a book directed at entrepreneurs and business owners. Joel maintains this direction by consistently beginning sentences with things like “As an entrepreneur yo understand…” (8) and “Your company’s newest challenge is…” (93). More specifically, I feel that the intended audience are entrepreneurs and business owners who are unsure or unclear on the role of social media in the business world.

Joel’s book is essentially an Internet business playbook and aims to provide a foundation of Internet strategy. Joel suggests that the Internet is full of consumers and that ones potential consumers are there ‘raising their hands’ (.

I found Joel’s book to be an informative, but perhaps overly simplistic, presentation. This, however may be appropriate to Joel’s intentions for the book which is to convince readers of the importance and value of having a presence on social networking sites. This results in a simple presentation of ideas and concepts. This notion was reminiscent of the digital divide we have seen before in class; these entrepreneurs are perhaps less knowledgeable about SNS due to age or geographical location.

The structure of the book is easy to navigate, very clear and organized. The book, however simplistic and basic the presentation may be, covers a lot of ground content-wise.

Some of the most interesting points and aspects of the book I found in his writing are:

-our economy is now driven by time vested rather than money vested. Creating a presence online takes time and effort not money. (5)
-the idea that a brand is what Google or a search engine says it is (16-17)
-user generated content is taking over: mass media –> mass content (143)
-rise of the “me” media, all digital netizens can carve out their personal brand or niche. (178)
-the importance of mobile web access, “digital nomad” (234)
-importance of ettiquite: being responsive, saying thank you. As we discussed in class this makes people more likely to reach out and engage. (41-42, 210-212)
-the importance of authenticity, community and trust as we often discussed in class (166)
-finding your niche and using what your passionate about (180)
-the  clarity and structure of the book allow for a quick read while grasping his ideas

Some negative points of the book are:

-depending on reader it may producer false hope; makes it sound overly easy to find success for a business through SNS.
-some examples are rambling or not applicable to most small businesses ie) free hugs story, Radiohead example
-outdated: it mentions Myspace and other insignificant SNS while not mentioning key ones like Twitter, Facebook and the newer Pinterest.
-also related to it dating from 2009, competition for business on SNS and online in general may be steeper; most businesses are present and breaking in and  competing with them may not be as clear-cut as Joel suggests it is in 2009.
-for someone rather knowledgable or informed of the online presence and SNS it may seem redundant and lack specificity at time.

Basically, I found the book appropriate to our purposes. Many of the people who did not like it in class need to bear in mind that it is not directed at us – most of us are Media majors and all of us use these mediums daily.

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  1. Culture and Social Media Technologies

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