Book Review Draft: Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel

Approach: social shaping of technology

  • his purpose is to persuade those who are skeptical about social media to take advantage of it because offline/online lives are completely interconnected today. (if you are alive, you must be online.)
  • tells success stories about how social media has helped businesses


  • entrepreneurs and business owners who are unsure about how to establish their online presence
  • joel never assumes readers are completely familiar with a technology/form of media. (throughout the book, he literally lists platforms entrepreneurs should get on to become part of the online world (page 58: “Six Free Online Tools You Should be Using Right Now,” page 139: “Rise Personal Brands, Rise” – make a blog, Facebook, etc; he describes what to do with each of these platforms.)
  • readers of  this book are people who are curious about becoming social media savvy; they may not see the point of using social media.

Ethical Implications of Social Media

  • page 22- the trust economy; the internet is largely based on trust
  • mentions how Radiohead made their album In Rainbows available for download for whatever price the downloader decided. (they were trying to say something about their fans- value of their music is relative to each fan.)
  • sites like ebay work because consumers rely on reviews from strangers about other strangers. consumers also trust that someone is going to actually send them a product after sending them money.

Important Notes

  • the reputation of your brand depends no only on how you portray it, but how other people talk about it online.
  • page 19 – “emotional business bonding on SNSs” – define and redefine on SNS
  • page 20 – the 6 pixels of separation are all about embracing community as the new currency- one opinion quickly becomes everyone’s opinion
  • page 32 – digital marketing – all about being slow, building relationships – content gets to top of Google because of how long it has been available and how valuable it is to the community (all about TRUST)
  • page 52 – have a functional website – not a pretty one necessarily. design your own! (don’t hire a company to do it)
  • page 99 – privacy on the Internet- business owner’s should resign their privacy a little. be more comfortable revealing yourself but “you better be buff.”
  • page 107 – less attention these days given to reading so everything you write better be SNAPPY
  • page 139 – personal brands answer all blog posts, comments, do top-level searches
  • page 205 – stay in the loop with Google alerts, Technorati, Google blog search

Things to think about

  • Is this book missing anything? seems very basic, appropriate for people who really have no idea how to get started online.
  • structure of book- perfect for people who aren’t familiar with social media. organized lists of platforms to use/techniques to use
  • should he state specifically which kinds of people/businesses should use what kinds of social media? (maybe not all businesses should be on certain platforms)
  • does he give his readers false hope that they are going to gather a large following quickly? he never actually mentions quantity of followers; are followers important to joel? what is important to him? (simply creating a strong presence?) his main goal is to suggest that there is VALUE to being online (not necessarily looking for a million followers
  • he often cites examples but doesn’t really explain what they’re proving (the Radiohead CD for download for however much fans wanted to give) seems to use kind of cheesy examples maybe just to hook an audience of people who aren’t media savvy
  • joel writes exactly how he speaks which is a good thing. he encourages people to do this through their own online presences and not to be fake (believes that talking online in a way different than they talk online would be being fake)
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1 Comment

  1. Culture and Social Media Technologies

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