Posts Tagged Book Blogger

Hootsuite Ambassador’s Favorite Business Books for 2014

Posted by on Thursday, 18 December, 2014

Business-BooksAre you looking for some holiday reading? The Hootsuite Ambassadors have come to the rescue with their favorite business books for 2014. What can be better than a team of talented social media types curate a list for you?

Looking for even more business book recommendations? Check out the full list below in the link below the list. Special holiday thanks to the Hootsuite Ambassadors for sharing their faves. Did they miss any? Let us know in the comments.

The Most Popular Business Books

These books were nominated more than the others, and deservingly so.

H2H_eBook Everybody-Writes The-Art-of-Social-Media
Human to Human #H2H
Bryan Kramer
 Everybody Writes
Ann Handley
The Art of Social Media
Guy Kawasaki
and Peg Fitzpatrick

The Complete List for 2014

An Average Joe’s Pursuit For Financial Freedom – Michael Warren Munsey
Aziende di successo sui social media – Leonardo Bellini e Lorena Di Stasi
Comunicación pop del periodismo de marca a la marca personal – Davíd Martínez Pradales
Dataclysm – Christian Rudder
Difference – Bernadette Jiwa
El tao de Twitter – Mark Schaefer (also in English)
Everybody Writes – Anne Handley
Facebook, Surfen und Co – Jane Schmidt
Give and Take – Adam Grant
Hashtag. Cronache da un paese connesso – Niola Marino
How Not to Suck at LinkedIn – Joshua Waldman
Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online – Brian Halligan
Make Your Mark – Jocelyn K. Glei
Optimismo Para Periodistas – Marta Franco and Miquell Pellicer
Social Media ROI – Vincenzo Cosenza
The Art of Social Media – Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick
The coworking handbook – Ramon Suarez
The Happiness of Pursuit – Chris Guillebeau
The Innovators – Walter Isaacson
The Little Book of Big PR – Jennefer Witter
The Obstacle Is The Way – Ryan Holiday
The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
The Promise of a Pencil – Adam Braun
There is No B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human: #H2H – Bryan Kramer
Thinking Big: How the Evolution – Robin Dunbar and Clive Gamble
Unofficial Book On HootSuite – Michael Allton
Virtual Freedom – Chris Ducker
Web Marketing That Works – Adam Franklin and Toby Jenkins

Favorite Business Books from 2013 and Earlier

And here’s the Google Sheets complete list of favorite business books, as chosen by Hootsuite Ambassadors.

Happy Holidays!

Book Review: Targeted

Posted by on Tuesday, 9 December, 2014

targetedI told a friend I was reading Targeted by Mike Smith. She asked “how could you write a book on SEM? Search engine marketing moves too fast”. She’s right.

Targeted was a NetGalley offering I pounced on. Targeting has been a marketing game changer in the last ten years, and something we’re still trying to understand and perfect. The blurb was also exactly what I needed:
“Part history, part guidebook, part prediction for the future, Targeted tells the story of the companies, individuals, and innovations driving this revolution. It takes readers behind the scenes—examining the growth of digital advertising, its enormous potential, and the technologies that are changing the game forever. Leading the way is real-time bidding, which offers advertisers unprecedented precision in targeting ads and measuring their effectiveness.”

Unfortunately, Targeted didn’t correspond to this descriptor.

What is Targeted about?

Targeted is part history. The first 56% tells the story of how search engine marketing developed. It includes elevator conversations with Jeff Bezos and the personalities that developed the technology in the ad auctions. The second half turns to digital marketing platforms while keeping the verbose narrative style. It’s very word-heavy with minimal statistics and images to break it up. Images may have been added to the final copy, but it was a nearly finished e-ARC, so I don’t think so.

There isn’t much to discuss about the first half. It’s well-written and very well researched. But it is a personal history of one narrow digital marketing tactic. I also suspect there’s either a little animosity against Google or it’s just dated. AdWords and AdSense were barely mentioned. About 45% in there was a descriptor of what I suspect is AdSense, but I was already skimming by then.

The second half (from chapter 10 on) is the discussion of digital marketing platforms. Chapter 10 looks at the need for data; 11 is on privacy and 12 details new technologies. It’s all very fluffy, and a bit outdated. I was later proven wrong but one of my notes did ask if it was a subsequent edition because the most recent date reference at that stage was mid-2012. There was one example of effectively targeting in the privacy chapter, albeit not related to SEM or advertising. A privacy advocate graduate student merged data from several public sources to identify the then governor, William Weld’s health information. Governor Weld was in office in the mid-90s.

Targeted’s section on new technologies was just as dated. I was working with HTML 5 as a mobile app replacement two years ago, but Mike claims it hasn’t been accepted. Tablet usage stats are more than a year out-of-date, and the digital television discussion forgets to mention the decreasing number of people with cable. Yes, technology does allow for more choice within a household, but fewer households are choosing to use that medium.

Who is Targeted for?

Targeted is really two books. If you’re in the search engine marketing industry and want to know the stories that lead to the current technologies, read the first nine chapters. If you’re very out-of-touch and needing to get to know what digital marketing platforms are available for creative ad placements, then check out the last three chapters. Unfortunately, if you want to learn SEM or how to target your customers better, you won’t get it here. Google offers some great resources for free.

Book Review: We Are All Weird

Posted by on Wednesday, 26 November, 2014

we_are_all_weirdI like this time when things are slow enough to start demolishing my To Read tower. That’s why I’ve just read a book from 2011 – We Are All Weird by Seth Godin.

Like all of Seth’s work, it’s a quick, light read, while challenging the status quo. Any good marketer has already moved beyond mass advertising, and onto “weird”. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many good marketers.

In this book, Seth gives some colorful examples to show that we now need to target tribes, and markets have shrunk to become more discerning. He takes the standard market bell curve and shows how since 1977 the curve has flattened as more “weird” or non-normal customers have changed the distribution. While reading this, I wondered if the curve has changed or if we just need to acknowledge multiples “normals”.

normal bell curve

He uses the term weird to define anything different from the typical normal. Remember those days when we actually watched television on a TV, and on the station’s schedule? That’s normal. Normal is rushing to the mall from Thanksgiving dinner to ensure you get the best deals because we’ve been conditioned to do so. This is the kind of behavior that we, as marketers, have grown to love. It’s predictable. It’s reliable. It’s now also dying.

Amusingly, in We Are All Weird, Seth does the ultimate “normal” thing for business book authors. The last chapter is the ranty, soapbox chapter that doesn’t seem to fit, but authors seem to insist on. I only skimmed it. It added new ideas when the book was concluding, but didn’t add value. You can skip it.

I do love the use of a traditional theory to show why we need to change our thinking, and even three years later in a fast-paced industry not enough have got the message.

Who Is We Are All Weird For?

Probably not for social media marketers, because that’s a group that understands how targeting and human behavior has changed. This book would help traditional advertisers, and those doing marketing but either hasn’t got a marketing degree or has studied marketing. An hour reading will help them understand the underlying theory.

We Are All Weird is another book confirming my marketing ideologies, and I think I need to break from that. If anyone can recommend any good marketing books that will challenge my worldview, please let me know.

Book Review: The Art of Social Media

Posted by on Tuesday, 18 November, 2014

The-Art-of-Social-MediaPeople ask why I read social media books when it’s my life. It’s because 1. there’s always something to learn, and 2. when there’s so much going on, reminding me of some tactic or site is always appreciated. The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick is both of these.

This is Guy’s 12th book, and first collaboration with Peg. And I like the collaboration. Wait a sec, I’ve been writing so many positive reviews that it’s even sounding fake to me. I am actually more selective with which books I accept and have to admit I pounced on this via NetGalley before the Penguin rep offered it to me. I can see others will criticize The Art of Social Media and, to be honest, I can’t wait. This is not a book for beginners, and the authors don’t pull any punches. Guy’s snarky arrogance that we saw in The Macintosh Way is definitely back. People will take offense, but they probably buy Twitter followers anyway. Or maybe I’m just bias because I agree with all Guy and Peg’s tips in those sections.

What Do Guy and Peg Cover in The Art of Social Media?

They cover a lot of tips of optimizing your social media life. I say life because there are tips for your profiles, but also how you use them. There’s the recommendation to use an incognito window to test how followers will see your posts. also the reminder to remain positive and to only go three rounds in a dispute. I ended up making a to-do list for myself. They also look at optimizing your blog, so half of my list is for Tap Dancing Spiders. I have pages of notes, but if I include them all I’ll be sued for plagiarism. You’ll have to buy the book for more. It’s out of December 4.

Despite the arrogance, Guy and Peg fully acknowledge their resources, and most were people. Hat tips are throughout the book, but what do you expect from the man who built community for Apple? Even more contributor names are in the acknowledgments.

Who is The Art of Social Media For?

Not beginners, that’s for sure. While they do give some basics, it’s more optimizing than creating. They assume that you’re already active on social media.

Check it out December 4, and Guy, have another look at Hootsuite. Hootlet and Suggestions can decrease how many apps you use.

Book Review: Standing Out in a Popular Blogging Niche

Posted by on Thursday, 13 November, 2014

Standing-Out-In-A-Popular-Blogging-NicheI first heard Kimberly Gauthier speak at WordCamp Seattle this year. Unfortunately I was the photographer for the day, so couldn’t stay for all her presentation. Thus, I was eager to read her book, Standing Out in a Popular Blogging Niche. I wasn’t disappointed.

While knowledgeable on the  technical side of WordPress, this book is more strategy and promotion. Kimberly uses her own experiences with Keep the Tail Wagging – her own blog – to take the reader through building their own successful blog. I love that she includes goal setting straight out, and also finding your blog’s voice. Very useful things and ones often overlooked. as I mentioned, Kimberly uses her own experiences and shares her learnings. To show there is no magic number of posts per week, she shares how she started with 5-6, but has dropped it back this year to concentrate on other aspects of the blog. To discuss time management (another overlooked aspect of blogging), she lists her responsibilities.

I think my favorite chapter is the monetization discussion. Let’s be honest, blogs cost time and a little bit of money. And we always feel special when brands send us product. Read this for a reminder to stay true to your brand’s voice and honor your audience. She also gives a detailed account of disclosure requirements to avoid getting a nasty call from the FTC. Oh, and the dealing with conflict discussion is a must-read.

Technical tactics haven’t been totally left out. I’ve just added Tweet Old Posts (not called Revive Old Posts) plug-in to Tap Dancing Spiders, on Kimberly’s inclusion. Check out the bonus tips at the end.

The formatting is a little messy in parts. Most of my Kindle books are eARCs, so I’m not sure if it’s a Kindle thing. It’s just a little off-putting.

Who is Standing Out in a Popular Blogging Niche for?

This book is for anyone starting a blog, or already running one. TDS is now seven years old and I’ve learned from Standing Out in a Popular Blogging Niche. I’ve moved through three different voices, and this book would have helped me focus all those years ago.

Kimberly Gauthier is speaking at our #HootupSEA event next week for Hootsuite. If you’re in Seattle’s U District on Wednesday evening, we’d love to see you at the free event, So you want to be a Blogger.