“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  • The book was published in 2009 and is clearly outdated in some respects.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.


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1 Comment

  1. If this class would like me to join them via Skype for a video chat, I would be happy to. Not to defend some of the comments but perhaps to discuss what has transpired since 2009 (in fact, the book was written in 2007 and 2008). Please feel free to let me know if you would like to do this.


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