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

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.

“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.

 

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

Book Reevyou Ruff Draffed: Six Pixels of WHO GIVES A…

Lordy Lordy Lordy, I really didn’t dig this book. This wont be how I start my review, btw, just thought I’d give some “blog-gy” style exposition on this rough draft before posting some more boring bullets and notes.

This book is like, so bad, though.

I mean, not just in its content. Honestly, if I ever wanted to start a low-tier, soon-to-be-bankrupt online business this book may be of some value. Also, if you’re 100 years old and saying the word “blogger” is as silly as speaking Chinese to you..then maybe you will get some pleasure out of this read.

OH BUT NOT ME.

Am I allowed to say “douche-bag” on here? Cause THIS GUY looks like a total douche-bag, and while I shouldnt judge a person (OR BOOK) by its cover, I can instantly tell, MERELY BY THE FACT THAT ON SOME LEVEL HE THOUGHT THIS PHOTO WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA, that he and I are on COMPLETELY separate wavelengths.

But blah blah, I’m sure he’s really nice and the photo was his agent’s idea or something yeah yeah. But still, very disheartening.

I want to talk about a book by Pierre Bayard called “How to talk about books you havent read.” It is a KILLAH book, and really changed my entire perspective on reading, knowledge, language, life, love, sex, death, rock & roll and so on. I think his theories, although not discussed in our class, are extremely relevant and intellectual when doing an actual book review. Here’s a snippet of what he has to say, or…er…how I am going to say what he says:

In college I read a book called “How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read” by Pierre Bayard, in which he dissects the process of reading and tries to figure out what it truly means to read in the context of culture and the human experience. He argues that reading is not just acquiring knowledge or acquainting oneself with a text, but rather it is the inevitable process of forgetting. “If after being read a book immediately begins to disappear from consciousness, to the point where it becomes impossible to remember whether we have read it, the very notion of reading loses its relevance since any book, read or unread, will end up the equivalent of any other.” Taking Bayard’s theory into consideration, it seems like books really don’t matter if you eventually forget every last shred of their content. So, does it matter if what we read is fact or fiction if eventually we’re going to forget all about it? Is there ever a reason to tell the truth in writing if your words will only live in someone’s consciousness for a fleeting moment in time and then be forgotten?

As someone who considers himself pseudo-intellectual, this idea really gets my brain all in a frenzy and I think, conceptually, it has a place in any writing about a text.

As far as class readings are concerned, I think Liu’s take on taste performances and the type of statements we make is a great understanding of the cultural behavior. It doesnt REALLY relate to our book a lot, but I want to play up the subtle connections between theory and “practice” (but this book isnt really “practice”…really).

I also think some SMALL case-studies of brands that use social media well (like we did in class) would be nice to compare to the book and see what advice the book gives that they AREN’T using. (for the lolz!)

 

Book Review Draft: Six Pixels of Separation

  • Target audience appears to be those who are older, small business owners, and looking to further online visibility
  • Content is much more directed to what should be down, as opposed to how it should it be done
  • Despite being published in 2009, the focus seems to solely be blogs, as opposed to the other burgeoning platforms of the time
  • Offers false hope since it hypes people up to believing that things are simple and possible
  • The book focuses too much on the positive, and does not discuss what to do with negativity
  • Emphasis seems to be that the network already exists although these are people who do not seem likely to possess such a vast network
  • Statement that “This new economy is driven by your time vested and not by your money invested” is incredibly problematic
  • The book has no actual structure and very disjunct
  • Though the title is catchy, there is little reason for the “pixels” apart from it being catchy and digital
  • Relation to any theories seems weak, especially since there is little explanation on why things will happen – there is the assumption that they just will

Book Review Notes/Draft

Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel

-Seems like he’s writing to people who discount the internet/social media as effective marketing tools
-simple ideas, but repetitive (know your audience, know your goal, know your reach)
-page 5 (it’s now about time invested, not money) — is it really?? kind of false hope.
-Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what Google says it is.
-true, pretty common sense
-but it’s nice that he goes into how to monitor what Google says your brand is
-but I wish he had done it then, not a number of pages later (~pg 60)
-concept of mutual assistance
-”community is the new currency”
-it almost feels like he’s throwing out catch phrases
-I don’t necessarily agree w/what he says that “one opinion quickly turns into everyone’s opinion (21)

-stresses trust in our participatory culture
-also don’t agree that we’ll trust Sally from Carefree Arizona over NYTimes Book Review
-they give different perspectives and contribute in different ways

-nice that he brings traditional advertising and communications tactics and just shows them in the online world adaptations (page 28)
-very basic — defining things like a blog and podcast without really saying how to use them
-pg 32 “digital marketing is about being slow” — keeps expectations realistic
lol “digital marketing is not a one night stand”
maybe useful making it personal? in social terms? i don’t know.
no shortcuts to success
-explains how to build trust
titles are self-explanatory (choose one user name, one photo, be consistent, add value, respond)
-the way he says make responding your “one golden rule” (41) — it’s like it’s a basic book teaching cultural norms (just in this case, it happens to be online)
-i like that he says the website need to be clean and easy to navigate above all else — again it’s so basic but i guess it needs to be said

-not about control, about volume of your voice
-money does not equal volume of voice (yeah but it helps?)
-democratization of the media
-cool to think of the internet as a real life focus group
-random thing about real world meet ups — felt out of place in this book? like the unconference…

-the personal brand is like the deeper trust we extend to our immediate family (125-126)
In this digital age, your personal brand will be your most powerful ally (or enemy). (127)

-he had the catchy phrase “six pixels of separation”
new book control alt delete

-just having a blog is not enough to save your business
-also the examples he used weren’t really helpful
-from the very start he’s still using six degrees of separation — the internet makes it easier to connect to people but you still have to go through that degree,that person (emily kaufman)
-he says to broadcast the real you, you have to be yourself online — trust economy
-his examples were often off focus (radio head example, didn’t make a point, inconclusive results

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

Audience

  • 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)

Six Pixels of Separation rough draft review

In Six Pixels of Separation, Mitch Joel attempts to persuade and wrangle a generation of social media neophytes to the business side of social media.  Specifically, he aims to highlight the benefits of using the internet and various social media forums when being used in conjunction with business and entrepreneurship.  His “how-to” guide is predicated on his notion that “the traditional channels of marketing, communications advertising and public relations can be costly and prohibitive to some businesses” and believes that more contemporary tools of social media are more effective than those traditional channels.

However, what could have been a useful “how-to” guide lost itself in repetitive platitudes and became a mere transcribed motivational speech as the book continued. In the first chapter Joel expresses the six social needs that get fulfilled by social media:

1.)Online social networks provide people w/the ultimate tool for defining and redefining themselves

2.) Autonomy, recognition & achievement are essential to our self-worth & are fulfilled in online communities.

3.) People have a need to seek help and provide help to others.

4.) Online communities help people find people “just like them”

5.) A sense of belonging or affiliation alone is not equivalent to a true sense of community.

6.) People want to be reassured of their worth and value, and seek confirmation that what they say and do matters to others and has an impact on the world around them.

^These are the types of lists Joel rattles off that sound great when somebody is talking but then after reading are hard to put to good use.  It seems obvious that social media helps people have a need to seek help and provide help to others.  I know that the audience of his book is not me or probably anybody I know. I understand that his audience is one, possibly two generations older than I am, a generation that didn’t grow up with the internet and social media and so don’t find it as intuitive or essential to their career path as somebody my age might.  However, just because his audience is older, and perhaps a little tech-challenged, doesn’t mean they’re completely brainless.  Repetitive platitudes can only go so far, and I think where Joel falls short is his concrete advice.  For example, one of Joel’s 6 ways to build a strong community was “build ripples, not splashes” a pretty metaphor that encouraged future internet/social media users to try to generate powerful conversations (ripples) about their product, but failed to express how they should.  No offense to Joel, but that’s not exactly a unique piece of advice; building positive conversation about your product, brand or idea is useful whether it’s online or off.

In fact, that’s the problem with Joel’s advice: it’s inherently contradictory.  He spends his time trying to cater to an audience that he thinks is afraid or just too proud to embrace social media, but can hardly engage them in the promises the internet has to offer when he offers advice like his 5 C’s of entrepreneurship (Connecting, Creating, Conversations, Community and Commerce) none of which have anything to do with the technological business age that we live in.  In fact, it would have been better for him to use more technical jargon and include tedious steps of creating groups and instructions for what makes a good online profile rather than ambiguous over-arching themes like “create” and “connect”…his audience has most likely “created” or “connected” in the physical world, their problem is that they don’t understand how to do it in the online realm. He’s merely preaching to the choir, not giving them advice they can utilize.

 

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.