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Great Promise, Fair for Introductory, Few Case Studies, Many Grammatical Errors
on December 25, 2009
Social Pollination is a brand management guide that leverages social media and search engines. It is also a print that holds great promises but fails to deliver. O'Brien publishes great blog posts, and I respect her expertise when it comes to personal brand management. However, for a book that's written for "entrepreneurs, wannabe entrepreneurs, small business owners, startups, sales/marketing/PR types at any size company" (quoted from her blog post "Behind the scenes of Social Pollination, my new book"), I find the scope perhaps getting a little outside O'Brien's field. For example, she asked the audience to "consider how to manage your company's brand" on Wolfram Alpha -- Wolfram Alpha is designed to be a computational engine, not a keyword search engine like Google. Should there be any surprise that Wolfram Alpha "[doesn't] have much to say when I search for most small brands"?
If you are new to personal branding strategies, this is what Social Pollination can do for you: (1) The Build Your Platform chapter walks you through how to use 12 tools/strategies to raise public recognition of your brand. (2) The Choose Your Social Media Channels chapter gives a comprehensive overview of 12 types of social media, and it gives demographic information of the biggest names in each of the 12 types. You have to then figure out, on your own, how to choose your tools and whether or not you have used your tools well. There aren't many case studies, success or failure, provided for you to learn from.
If you want to read this book, please keep in mind the big picture of what O'Brien tries to offer and forgive the many grammatical and spelling errors in this book. In O'Brien's own words, "It took me 3 years to learn, practice, and digest the material for this book, and about a month to write down everything I learned and edit it." After all, it *is* a tall order to hurriedly summarize three years of one's knowledge in a mere month. Making mistakes is only human.