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Social Media Is Bullshit Hardcover – September 4, 2012
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“B.J. isn't saying that all social media is worthless--he's saying far too much of the chatter and hype about it is. Read this book to hear from someone who actually knows what they're talking about.” ―Ryan Holiday, bestselling author of Trust Me I'm Lying and former Director of Marketing at American Apparel
“In his absorbing and provocative new book, Social Media is Bullshit, Mendelson, a former marketing guy, is pulling back the curtain on what happens when you're inveigled into having a 'social media presence' by people who, as luck would have it, will show you exactly how for an often exorbitant fee.” ―Chris Lombardo, The Toronto Star
“I've been telling everyone for years that social media is just the same bullshit we've always done sped up 1000 times. Finally someone's laid it all out in book form.” ―Drew Curtis, founder of Fark.com and author of It's Not News, It's FARK: How Mass Media Tries to Pass off Crap as News
“Passionate... This work should provide useful ammunition for readers skeptical about the new networks linking the people of the 21st century” ―Publishers Weekly
“A thought-provoking counterpoint to the myriad books on the usefulness of social media for business promotion. Anyone interested in the true impact of social media will find it of interest.” ―Poppy Johnson-Renvall, Central New Mexico Comm. Coll., Albuquerque (Library Journal)
“This small book packs a welcome, refreshing punch.” ―Kirkus Review
“Social Media Is Bulls*** is common sense applied to hype, often in a very funny way. [...] If you enjoy watching bulls*** being taken apart, it's a great read.” ―Dan Seitz, Uproxx
“Thoughtful and provocative... If you're a social media junkie, read it and weep.” ―New York Journal of Books
From the Inside Flap
More About the Author
He has contributed to The Huffington Post, CNN, MTV's O Music Awards, Mashable, Forbes, the Eisner-nominated ComicsAlliance, NBC News, The Wall Street Journal, and many other national outlets. He previously was a blogger with the Albany Times Union and had a "college survival column" syndicated to college newspapers through CBS College Sports.
In the Fall of 2001, B.J. started a business at the age of eighteen, operating it out of his dorm room at Alfred State College. The business was called, "Earth's Temporary Solution" and was a live entertainment business that booked concerts across the East Coast.
In February of 2003, B.J.'s "Universal Break-up Card" was featured on BoingBoing, Fark, GorillaMask, College Humor, and many other websites. This would be the first of a long string of humor columns for him to "go viral". B.J. would later use those sites, and others to make other pieces of content spread including a video starring his cat, Molly, who appeared in news coverage of the CNN/YouTube 2007 Presidential debate, promotion of the popular college game Humans Vs. Zombies, and a site making fun of his classmates in high school known as "The Island".
In 2006, after a few years of getting emails asking Brandon how to make stuff "go viral", he started working for other people to help them do the same. One of whom included a show angling for syndication on the ABC television network. B.J. designed a contest and campaign called "Jake After Jimmy" that successfully got the show into 40 million homes. He also designed and operated a tour for a not-for-profit, Wounded Warriors Family Support, which continues to operate to this day, that has raised over a million dollars for the organization.
B.J. has been quoted and featured in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Psychology Today, Smart Money Magazine, and he has appeared on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, Yahoo! News, the CBC, and many other media outlets He has given talks about the myths of social media marketing and debated social media marketers at Social Media Explore, The DO Lectures in the UK, the Word of Mouth Marketing Summit, and South By Southwest Interactive. B.J. also debated the ambassador to Pakistan, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, at the United Nations concerning the affects of social media on society and in political revolutions.
His first book, SOCIAL MEDIA IS BULLSHIT was published by St. Martin's Press on September 4th, 2012. He's currently working on a graphic novel about a government employed superheroine named Liberty who loses her job and is forced to become a public school teacher in Chicago.
Top Customer Reviews
That said, this is one of the most interesting books I've read this year.
Dan Lyons, the technology editor of Newsweek, was quoted as saying, "I think the golden era of one guy blogging his thoughts and building an audience is kind of over."
The marketing "myth that says all you need to do is use the Big Six `social media' platforms (Facebook, Twitter, foursquare, Linked in, You Tube, Tumblr) and all your problems will be solved. All the while, these companies and the marketers pushing the myth are lining their pockets...by selling your information to others and monetizing it."
The author compares the Social Media Marketing Scam to the California Gold Rush of 1849. The miners digging up the gold didn't make the money, the guys selling the shovels and blue jeans made the money.
"Ninety-nine percent of the things that are often referred to as `viral' are driven by offline forces: real-world connections, traditional media, legitimate celebrities, corporate spending. " All the major social media marketing successes are the result of corporate backing and or celebrities. "
"Radio and print remain the most effective form of advertisements" according to the author. He doesn't even mention television.
The author relates an epiphany he experienced during "a cross-country tour to raise money for a small not-for-profit he was working for. " His mission was to raise five million dollars by getting his one million Twitter followers to donate $5.Read more ›
As a consultant, I've dealt with dozens of clients who have drank the "social media" kool-aid hoping to make their business grow with websites like twitter and facebook. I've been preaching BJ's take on the industry since learning about it a year or so back. Sure, clients don't like hearing they are wrong, but soon they realize how much money and time they save by smartly approaching the web instead of blindly following the so-called guru's advice.
I was always skeptical of these social media gurus who claim that one can earn a living tweeting. But they do it! (by fleecing everyone they can and tricking people into believing the hype they created around themselves.
The book is succinct, to the point, and worth reading. If you are in the internet industry, it's one you'll be lending your clients for years to come.
But, there are marketing hucksters out there. B.J. does a nice job of giving you some perspective on how to avoid them, but lumps all of us into the same boat and generalizes far too much. There's a lot of good to be had using social media for business. If a small business owner gets hold of this book and believes the advice in it, they'll be as disadvantaged in business as B.J. says they would be if they read other social media marketing books.
Is this worth reading? Yes. But I'd take it with a whole lot of grain of salt since the argument is weak and there's no balance to the perspective.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book should raise everyone's bulls***tometer. It's true. There's a big army of social websites out there who consider it to be their sole purpose to do things like destroying... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Darth Vindex (A.V.S)
Brandon Mendelson takes us through a fun and very interesting journey to uncover a lot of what is wrong with all the hoopla about Social Media. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Massimo Moruzzi
I think this is a book that all social media students should read. The book starts slow and frankly I would remove the beginning part. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Robert C. Berdan
Being in the advertising industry I'm tempted to write a lengthy review, but I'll keep it short: this book is great. Read morePublished 13 months ago by ChrisPFlorida
I am completely surprised by how many people found this book helpful. It is one bitter man's rant against an industry that clearly he doesn't understand and cannot master. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Julia Campbell
This book is awesome as a counter-part to all other books that hypes social media. The author's main message is that all marketing is BS, which I agree with. Read morePublished 18 months ago by BkkBanker
This book is the solution to all your questions on the who's what's and when's of social media. B.j. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Jonathan Denson
I have always thought that when you create an account on a site like Facebook or Twitter and put a "like" or "follow" button on your website, what you're really doing is driving... Read morePublished 18 months ago by bucarotechelp
About a year ago I started to research the internet for my next project. As I began to look into the online marketing phenomenon, I was absolutely amazed at how many "marketing... Read morePublished 18 months ago by John Orban