Thursday, October 28, 2010

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies

This book was a great read. The authors include Charlene Li, who was the main analyst at Forrest Research, and Jeff Burnoff, who also worked for Forrest Research. I choose this book because the authors seemed to have the knowledge to write such an item, and it had a ton of great information. Groundswell is where people get things they need from other consumers through social technology, instead of directly from the company. The book describes how companies can work with the groundswell, use it to their advantage, and be a success.

The book touched on so many aspects of social media, blogs, network sites, communities, and others. The main thing that set this book apart from the competition was the real story examples in the chapters. Here are two that stood out to me below:

  • Dell Forum- Dell had scanned sites and seen that consumers had bad opinions of Dell laptops, and Dell finally took initiative and joined the forum. Dell was responsive and turned consumers more loyal again, by fixing the problems consumers were having with their computers and being honest. Honesty is a huge part of connecting with customers, always stay open and honest.

  • Lego- Lego discovered consumers talking amongst themselves in a community online, they were known as AFOL's, Adult Fans of Lego's!! Lego choose some people from the site to become Ambassadors and chat up new Lego products to their own social networks, causing buzz for the company.

Groundswell was a great book for anyone, but especially businesses who need help with social media, and those you might be lost in how to connect with the groundswell, or consumers connecting with other consumers.

YouTube video
Sarah Radke


Socialnomics written by Erik Qualman was one of the best books I have ever read. This book gave endless examples of how social media has change the world. This book is written to create awareness of the power of social media – more or less there is a need for social media. There are examples from small business owners to large corporations to athletes that touch on different ways social media
The examples I thought were interesting include the following:

• Comcast. They have been known for bad customer service. A customer had no service for thirty six hours straight and could not get the problem resolved after making so many efforts. He decided to make a Tweet about Comcast’s customer service being horrible. To his surprise, a customer representative contacted him immediately and the issue was resolved the next day. Comcast has incorporated micro blogging into their business and manage all blogs that have Comcast in it. They have hired a person to only watch blogs with their name Tweeted on Twitter and to fix all problems or negative comments written by others.
• Social media saves time. The example the book talks about is being able to go onto websites to plan a full trip – from rental car, plane tickets, hotel, etc. Being able to plan a trip through sites like: Travelzoo, TripAdvisor, GoAhead, Orbitz, or Travelocity has decreased the need for travel agencies. People can go on whenever and research – it is build around convenience and this is why the social media has “taken off”. Convenience!

I recommend anyone to read this book see how Qualman illustrates the importance of social media.

Thanks for reading!

Watch the video at:

Building a TypePad Blog People Want to Read by Scott McNulty

Building a TypePad Blog People Want to Read is about the blog hosting site, TypePad, how to use TypePad, and advice and suggestions on how to make your blog a success. The book is essentially a how-to guide on how to use the TypePad site and all the features in it (as of publication). McNulty walks the reader through the website on paper, detail by detail, allowing for a deep grasp of the concepts and features of the TypePad website. The bulk of the book discusses topics such as: creating a blog, settings, using TypePad's interface, and managing comments, posts, and trackbacks. McNulty wrote this book with the intention of teaching readers how to create a TypePad Blog that others will actually want to read. Ultimately, he missed the mark. Based on the title one would expect that the book would be about more than just creating a blog, but making it interesting enough to make people want to read it. This is why I chose the book because I wanted both things out of it. Yes the book is excellent as far as teaching you how to make a blog on TypePad, and if that's all you're looking for than you should definitely dig in and read this book. But if you were also hoping for that second part of the title, making a blog people want to read, then you should look somewhere else.

Make More Money without Spending More......It's A Google Adwords Marketing Campaign

As I opened the book for the first time, it became apparent that all the chapters were aimed at achieving one goal, How to force prospects to your website when performing a Google search? This involves the right mentality. Instead of the old strategy of sales where you push a product onto a prospect, you need to realize prospects are searching the internet for their needs. At this point a new strategy is adopted to pull these prospects to your products. In order to do this, create attractive Google Ads that rank in the top three results for organic searches on Google. Ultimate Guide To Google Adwords explains how to master this, starting with the creation of keyword rich landing pages, to developing campaigns that rank high in Google’s organic search results, to tracking where your business is coming from to optimize your efforts.

The book is intended for individuals who want traffic directed to their site and want to learn how to accomplish it. It’s for the do it yourselfer who is willing to take the time to understand the process. I believe anyone can master this art with a little dedication and research. Every business and website can benefit from the traffic Google has to offer and anyone can learn the system.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

YouTube-Making Money by Video Sharing and Advertising Your Business for Free, by: Hui Ying

This book provides readers with background information on YouTube, such as when YouTube was founded and the many different uses of YouTube. It also gives readers insight on how to use all the different aspects of YouTube such as video sharing, blogging, and even basic how to’s like creating accounts, replying to videos, deleting/editing, etc. I found the section on the YouTube effect to be the most interesting, based on the phenomenon of video clips spreading throughout the world via video sharing websites. It really stresses just how much video sharing can have an impact on people, politics, and reveal truths or spread lies. Although the title leads you to believe the book focuses on how to make money by advertising your business for free through YouTube, only a few pages cover this idea; and the ideas are very limited. After reading the book I feel that it would be better suited for new users and people that just want basic knowledge of YouTube, rather than people looking to gain information on how to promote their business through YouTube. 
Check out the link to see a preview of my book review presentation on YouTube:

Six Pixels of Separation

Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel is about how everyone is connected in some form or another on the web. We are no longer connected by 6 degrees of Separation, we are all now a click or pixel away from everyone and everything because everyone is connected. Being connected and how to connect your business to everyone is the underlying theme in this book. Joel continuously refers back to this concept, reminding us that this is the way of business today. He uses personal anecdotes and other's stories to enhance the reader's understanding of his concepts. The majority of the book describes useful tools for developing a business or brand online.
I thought it was an interesting book and touched on all the basic concepts and aspects of today's increasing e-commerce world. It was a book, though, that a current business owner or entrepreneur who is unfamiliar with all the forms of technology and social media, would gain much from than someone who has grown up using and learning about these tools. I would definitely recommend this book to someone who is looking to start their own business because it gives a lot of tips and tricks for the entrepreneur and even goes into how business plans are changing and what you can do to successfully get your name and brand out there.

Sarah Kaminsky

Guerilla Marketing on the Internet

Guerilla Marketing on the Internet by Jay Conrad Levinson, Mitch Meyerson, and Mary Eule Scarborough is a fast and worthy read. This book offers an easy to follow guide on how to become a sucessful guerilla marketer with reliable information from the pros. Levinson is known as the father of guerilla marketing; Meyerson is a jack of all trades with accolades including  author, speaker, coach, consultant, and a psychologist; and finally Scarborough offers personal experience with over 25 years in the business.  This book takes the basic rules of guerilla marketing and stays modern by incorporating technology and how innovation has changed the marketing world. It is especially a great read for business students, because it offers a review of all the marketing concepts we learn and reinforces them with examples, lists, and success stories.

As an insight into the book's offering, the following are guerilla marketing principles at a glance:
  • Guerilla investment: Time, energy, imagination, and knowledge
  • Guerilla intentionality: Marketing includes every contact with the public
  • Guerilla commitment: Building successful businesses one step at at ime
  • Guerilla partnerships: Working together to make things happen
  • Guerilla psychology: Tapping into their target audiences' mind
Once supplied with the knowledge in this book and a person's own creativity, I believe this book could change businesses and business owner's lives. I would recommend this book to fellow business students, current and potental business owners, and anyone wanting to change their life with the Internet. The authors call the Internet the most powerful guerilla marketing tool ever created, and it is something worth learning. It allows users to gain maximum results and profits with minimum money.

To view a portion of my book review presentation, click on the following link:

--Michelle Bryant--

Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs

For my review I chose a book called Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs. It was written by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, who are the cofounders of the website HubSpot which is a marketing software company that helps businesses “get found.”
I thought that this book was really good for someone like me, who is new to online marketing and inbound marketing in particular. I think people who are already using the tools in the book for marketing their business would probably think this book was too basic and obvious. I really liked the style of the authors’ writing because it was easy to follow and didn’t come off as pretentious or condescending as these types of books sometimes do. I really liked how everything was laid out in a step-by-step manner so it was easy to follow and you could start using these techniques right away. The last thing I really liked about this book was the fact that they had a to-do list at the end of each chapter outlining the steps it advised you to take, plus lines for extra tasks you might want to add yourself. The only real weakness I could find for this book was simply the fact that it was written more for beginners, so people just wanting to hone their skills a little would probably be disappointed with it.
Without having read many other books on this subject, or similar subjects, I have a hard time really recommending it given similar books. However, I think it is safe to say that if you are a beginner in online marketing or social media use, this would definitely be a great book to get you started. If you are someone who has been using online marketing for a while and are looking for ways to improve upon it, then I would not recommend this book for you. There are probably much better resources out there, some of which we will probably hear about from other student’s reviews.

Check out my YouTube video on the primary value I got from this book here:

Hazel Bundy

Power Friending: Demystifying Social Media to Grow Your Business

The book, Power Friending, Demystifying Social Media to Grow your Business, when sitting on a shelf stands out among other books. The cover contains the author, Amber Mac, dressed in a business jacket with a ton of people standing behind her with computers. This right off the bat gets your attention and made me pick the book up. I had no idea what I was looking for when I arrived at Barnes and Noble, but as soon as I picked this book up and read the back cover with all the reviews, I knew it would be the book I was going to read.

Power Friending is about how to use social media to make your business successful in the online world. Amber Mac did an excellent job explaining in detail how to grow your business using social media. This subject is fairly new to most people. She did an outstanding job of explaining a very complicated topic is simple words. She covers every aspect of social media and how to use it. Amber goes into detail about how to use blogs, wikis, social networks, podcasts and more. She gives you the top five tools you need in the online world. These are a digital camera, a web camera, a USB headset, a Blackberry or an iPhone, and flip video phone.  She then gives you a step by step process to follow. She gives the rules you need, the strategy and execution as well as success stories and failures so you can learn from them. I recommend this book to everyone in the business world. Social media is becoming a huge part in marketing and is an excellent tool that everyone should utilize. Amber Mac did an excellent job of telling you exactly how to become successful.

Check out my youtube video on this book: 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The New Rules of Marketing & PR

When I first picked up this book, I was a little skeptical. Mostly because of the lengthy title (The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to use social media, blogs, news releases, online video and viral marketing to reach buyers directly). It seemed like a lot to cover in only 270 pages but the author, David Meerman Scott does a wonderful job and balancing all mediums and explaining how marketing techniques have changed for businesses and how customers are now interacting with businesses. Scott gives a very fair analysis of the old and new rules of marketing & PR, presenting his reasons why these new rules exist and real life examples to support them.

I learned a lot from his book. Scott is very knowledgeable about the changing world for marketers in that instead of using a push strategy and spending thousands of dollars on mass media advertising, businesses are communicating directly, having conversations and building relationships with their customers, or at least they should be. Customers want to be informed, interact, a choose for themselves rather than being told what to do and be ignored. His 'new rules' for this shift are presented as follows:

1. Marketing is more than just advertising
2. PR is far more than just a mainstream media audience
3. You are what you publish
4. People want authenticity, not spin
5. People want participation, not propaganda
6. Instead of causing one-way interuption, marketing is about delivering content at just the precise moment your audience needs it.
7. Marketers must shift their thinking from mainstream marketing to the masses to a strategy of reaching vast numbers of underserved audiences via the web.
8. PR is not about your boss seeing your company on TV. It's about your buyers seeing your company on the web.
9. Marketing is not about your agency winning awards. It's about your organization winning business.
10. The internet has made public relations public again, after years of almost exclusive focus on media.
11. Companies must drive people into the purchasing process with great online content.
12. Blogs, online video, ebooks, new releases, and other forms of online content let organizations communicate directly with buyers in a form they appreciate.
13. On the Web, the lines between marketing and PR have blurred.

Knowing these new rules is not enough, you need to understand how and why these changes have occurred and how to adapt to these changes well. It's about creating an authentic personality online. He refers to social media as a cocktail party in that 'Social media sites are places that people congregate to discuss things that are important to them'. Throughout his book, he presents analogies like these for us to better understand how social media and business via the web works.

Scott progresses from explaining what choices marketers now have to communicate with customers and why they're important to specific techniques and considerations for utilizing the web. The aspect I really enjoyed was his voice throughout the book as if he was leading a conversation with the reader rather than lecturing to the reader. The presentations of case studies from various industries and sizes of businesses, also helped to give credibility to his book. This book allows you to understand the latest trends in marketing, how to execute them well and looking at marketing in a different point of view as the world changes with these advances in technology.

I would highly recommend this book not just to anyone in marketing or PR but to business owners, college students and anyone trying to comprehend this marketing evolution. No matter what business you are in or its size, marketing plays an important role to gain customers but this book explains that it's more than increasing your sales. It's about being more authentic in your techniques and being more personable with your customers and the profit increases will follow.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Facebook Era

Clara Shih wrote, The Facebook Era, to help understand the booming area of social networking and how it can be used to market your business, build professional relationships and target customers with even more accuracy than ever before.

Shih digs deep into the more common social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but she also dives into information about many other networks that are not as well know, giving readers a chance to experience some other networking sites out there that may be beneficial to them now, or give them ideas on how to plan their social media campaign.

I would highly recommend this book for any college student currently pursuing a business degree. Social network marketing seems to be growing more and more every day and this book provides excellent information on how to learn the ropes from an experience professional, which will in turn give you the tools you need to make yourself a valuable asset in today's workforce.

Check out my YouTube video at

-Bryan Asher

Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Friends With Benefits": My E -Commerce Book Report

“Friends with Benefits” is a brand new marketing handbook that investigates the use and definitions of social media in society. It was written by two Co-founders of a Marketing Agency outside Vancouver called Capulet Communications. The book is broken up in to thirteen chapters all with sub topics and points to keep the reader engaged. It is a fairly lengthy book at over 260 pages and some of the information is repeating and long winded especially in the first half. The information given is not for someone looking for foundational knowledge on the topic of social media, but rather people, groups, or organizations looking to use, understandings, and utilize their own social media endeavors to the fullest potential. Certain chapters that are particularly strong aspects are the explanations of specific types and models of social media like MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. In a sense the book is almost like a mini text book offering definitions, explanations, and real life examples of social media being used by organizations. The driving point of all social media that Barefoot and Szabo’s constantly remind readers is “blogs, social networks like Facebook and microblogging platforms like Twitter are simply technologies that foster communication, sharing, and collaboration” (pg 3). Statistics show that more and more people are not watching traditional television, listening to radio, or reading magazines and newspapers, but rather going directly to the sources of information and entertainment they like or having those sources send them the information they want. “Friends With Benefits” lays out clear cut examples of success, the risks of social media marketing, and concrete facts and theories about popular social media and there uses, but takes the reader a good amount of time to get to the more interesting, in depth, and factual information.

For more info, check out my video blog on the book at youtube,

Thanks for checking my blogs out and have a nice day