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on June 4, 2009
I loved it. What a book. These days there are many books on the market that address the basics or the theory regarding online marketiing and the Social Web. At this point I have trouble giving them super high review ratings because they don't bring much new to the table. One such book I recently reviewed was e-Riches 2.0: Next-Generation Marketing Strategies for Making Millions Online. As a result of my less than glowing review (even though I gave it 4 stars) I got hit with 5 neggies. Anyway, the instant book does not go too heavy on the basics or theory. It is a practical book for the do-it-yourselfer who wants to be lead by the hand on how set up their online presence using social media and Web 2.0 tools. It is well organized and well written and includes an introduction, 15 chapters, and 4 appendices as follows:

0. Introduction
1. Creating your social media strategy
2. Preparation
3. RSS feeds & blogs
4. Building a Wordpress powered Web site
5. Podcasting, vidcasting, & Webcasting
6. Social networking & micro-blogging
7. Social bookmarking & crowd-sourcing
8. Media communities
9. Widgets & badges
10. Social media newsrooms
11. More social tools
12. Pulling it all together
13. Looking to the future
14. Measuring your success
15. Conclusion
A. Installing Wordpress
B. Creating your own RSS feed
C. Building your own widget
D. Wordpress 2.7

Clearly the author is partial to Wordpress-dot-com. But there's nothing wrong with that. Wordpress offers great tools and it is a very nice service provider. Chapter 4 talks about Wordpress. Appendix A describes the process for setting up Wordpress. And Appendix D is kind of a supplemental blurb to Appendix A. I found the Introduction to be great. Chapter 1 on strategy was great, and chapters 12 through 15 were wonderful, too. Chapters 2-11 did a good job of providing tools and tactics to be used in building your online presence.

Building a meaningful and productive online presence is all about (1) interactivity, (2) sharing, & (3) collaboration. This book will tell you what you need to know to get involved online, build your presence, and interact, share and collaborate. 5 stars!
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on August 17, 2009
With the development of the constantly evolving Internet and its new technologies, more individuals and businesses are realizing that success on the Internet requires maximizing their presences in the Social Web. Here Hay (graduate education in computer science, applied mathematics, and psychology; principal owner, Dalton Publishing, and Social Media Power; founder,; regular contributor to many journals and online news sites), an author, programmer, publisher, social media consultant, Web 2.0 developer, and dynamic presenter, provides an outstanding guide to social media and Web 2.0 optimization. Writing for authors, business owners, entrepreneurs, public relations specialists, marketing professionals, publishers, students, and others, she shows readers how to apply and integrate social media tools not limited to blogs, RSS feeds, content management systems, podcasts, videocasts, webcasts, social networks, microblogs, social bookmarks, crowd-sourcing technologies, media communities, widgets, badges, and social media newsrooms. By means of various chapters that are filled with numerous real-world examples and step-by-step screenshots, the author covers the aforementioned nuts-and-bolts technologies of the new, open-source Internet, but she also goes well beyond the basics. Setting forth proven strategies and tactics, future technologies, measurement tools, and more, Hay provides more in depth guidance from a business perspective. While her book can be read from cover-to-cover, it also can be consulted on an as-needed, chapter-by-chapter basis. It includes many useful, value-added features such as detailed appendices and a companion CD with bibliographies, directories, forms, links to other resources, and worksheets. Easy-to-read, but not a beginner's guide, this expertly-presented, comprehensive, extensive publication will best serve readers who have some background knowledge of the social web and its tools. A significant, worthwhile resource, it belongs in many large public library collections. Highly recommended.
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on June 15, 2009
If you're trying to understand the difference between a widget and an RSS, or a blog and a micro blog, or any other terminology, this is the one book you need to read. It covers all aspects of social media with step-by-step, easy-to-understand instructions. Each chapter is a stand-alone, so you can read what you want in any order. This breaks down the seemingly complex into digestible bites of information. You'll be speaking "Web language" like a techie.
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on January 26, 2010
I purchased this book to learn more about the various aspects of social media and Web 2.0, how to implement these tools in order to benefit my business, and the implementation of Wordpress as a CMS. I'm familiar with building and the hosting of basic websites, but needed to understand how people were leveraging technology to collaborate and share information. I finished reading the entire book last night, btw. The author's writing style is relaxed but informative and well-suited for the material.

With rapid evolution of web utilities and services available I appreciated the author's ability to navigate the multitude of options available. A CD with forms and links is provided, but the chapters also include links and a brief summary of what the CD will have in terms of additional support material. I am a college instructor and have read many textbooks, I wish the instructor editions took a similar approach, but alas they generally do not. Chapter material in some cases simply cannot be contained in one area of the text (social tools do tend to overlap functionally, as do most software applications) and the author does a fine job referencing the appropriate areas of the book with pages and chapter. Plenty of actual screen shots and examples throughout were appreciated.

The one area I am still a bit fuzzy on is business application or the marketing function relative to web 2.0. I receive daily updates on how SMB owners should be leveraging social networking sites and was hoping for some help in this area particularly. The end of the book does touch on various strategies, but left me craving more recommendations. Scenarios would have been a welcome addition for service businesses, and other types. This said, there are other books on the market that focus specifically on this area, but exclude the level of detail provided in this Survival Guide. The Survival Guide is a logical place to begin and then pursue the strategy, if warranted. I say this because we 2.0 and eventually 3.0 will persist in our culture regardless of the business application. Business is generally not driving the evolution of the web as much as society's need to interact is. I'll mention too that twitter's "mysterious" abbreviated syntax deserves some attention, including how one might attract followers, and the all too important etiquette.

I originally set out to uncover the options and functions available versus strategic planning. Overall, I feel that I gained a much better understanding of the subject and can visualize how I might incorporate select tactics to benefit my business. I'll be moving ahead with a Wordpress implementation soon, to include a blog and various badges. The add-on recommendations for Wordpress are welcome.

I strongly recommend this book to SMB owners requiring information on what web 2.0 technologies exist and their functions. General implementation guidance is provided, but you'll still have to decide on your strategy and what best suits your needs. Any implementation will consume time maintaining your enhanced online presence (marketing) and time is a valuable commodity.
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on July 23, 2009
A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization: Strategies, Tactics, and Tools for Succeeding in the Social Web
I wanted to read this book because I am a social media dummy. Really! I was never interested in Facebook or MySpace. Although I was signed up for Twitter, before I sat down with this book I had no idea why. (If I don't care what I am doing right now, why would anyone else?)

As I started reading the Survival Guide to Social Media, I grabbed a notebook and started taking notes. Yes, it is that interesting and informative. The author helped me plan how the social media can be beneficial to me and then walked me through every step with photographs and written explanations. I'm just a simple blogger, but there is also information for more extensive use of the social media avenue for professionals. The book has information on blogs (detailed WordPress information), a variety of established social media sites, video and podcasting, custom widgets, news releases, and an interesting look into the future of social media.

Even the accompanying CD is impressively detailed with forms, charts, and additional resources. I also have to say I was very impressed with the permissions that had to be acquired for the screen shots and graphics used in the book. That could not have been an easy task.

A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization is written textbook style - only better -because it never gets boring!!! On my own I have found many tools and figured out how to use many of them, but this book introduced me to many new sites and experiences that I would have not even thought of trying. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the internet.
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on October 10, 2009
A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization is a must-have book for authors and artists who want to use the Web to promote their work. Author Deltina Hay has put together an outstanding, well-organized book with chapters dedicated to mapping out strategies, creating key words or tags, starting blogs, building social media newsrooms, and much more. Hay emphasizes the need for proper preparation of the content you put out on the Web. She discusses the importance of knowing the interests of your audience when creating your blog entries.

As writers and artists, we are finding ourselves more and more dependent on the Internet as we go about marketing and promoting our work. We bookmark new sites, then we forget where we have that mark. We join groups and create blogs but find it all overwhelming. That's where this survival guide comes in. It guides you in organizing all that muddle of internet sites and social networking locations.

In addition to the excellent information written and arranged in this book, there is a Resource CD attached in the back. A section at the end of each chapter lists the "fillable forms" from that chapter available on the Resource CD.

Sections in the appendix tell about installing WordPress, creating a RSS feed, and building a widget. The last appendix section even tells about the newer 2.7 version of WordPress that came out as Hay was writing her book.

Everything on the Web is changing so quickly, it's essential for artists and authors to do everything they can to keep up. Hay's book is a critical tool that will aid creative people on their internet journey.

Mary Montague Sikes, Author
Secrets by the Sea, Hearts Across Forever, Eagle Rising, Hotels to Remember
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on October 19, 2009
This is a fantastic resource, a real business-oriented how-to that takes you step-by-step through the whole process. The forms and templates on the CD are really handy. This is an invaluable roadmap through this big, expanding territory.
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A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization Summary

Starting with advice on creating a social media strategy, this book covers the whole spectrum of the technology you need to understand in order to implement your social media strategy. Starting with blogs and RSS feeds, the book continues with separate how-to chapters covering building a WordPress website, podcasting, social networking (Facebook being the primary focus), social bookmarking, image and video sharing sites, widgets and badges, and social media newsrooms. The book is technical in nature but extremely hands-on, with very guided instructions on both the why and how of utilizing all of these social media sites. Furthermore, a resource CD is included with the book with handy worksheets that the author has created to make life easy for the reader.

Deltina Hay Author Summary

As I tell my customers choosing a social media consultant that they need to look at their background to get a feel for the value that they provide, the same is true of book authors. Deltina is uniquely both a web developer as well as a small business owner in the publishing industry. This explains the very hands-on feel that the book provides. It also explains why Deltina cuts through theoretical talk and concentrates on the practical reason why you would read this book: to learn how to optimize your Internet presence for the Web 2.0 and to get results from it.

My Top Ten Takeaways from This Book

1) Introductory Terms Explanations

I like how Deltina began the book by assuming the reader is not yet technically familiar with many of the terms that are the jargon of many a social media marketer. If you are unsure as to the exact meaning of terms like RSS feeds, widgets, badges, content management systems, metadata, and landing pages, the book begins with a primer just for you.

2) Sample Social Media Strategies to Consider

The first chapter of the book covers creating your own social media strategy. Deltina has taken this one step further by providing actual examples of how a service business/consultant, author/media personality, entrepreneur/performer, publisher/product business, and public relations firm would use each of the social media channels. One can learn a great deal just by studying these excellent examples.

3) Tags and Keywords

Anyone who has a website will tell you that tags and keywords are extremely important for social media optimization. Deltina goes into the why they are important as well as gives specific guidance as to how to choose tags as well as how they will be utilized. While many books might find this type of information too simplistic, I feel that this information is valuable for many that are just beginning their social media journey.

4) Comprehensive Look at Planning Your Blog

From planning the content, categories, tags, frequency and delegation of your blog to managing comments, optimizing and promoting your blog and RSS feed as well as recommending a blog post signature, Deltina truly has created a comprehensive chapter about blogging in a few pages. Very efficient read!

5) RSS Submission Services and Software

While there are many sources of information about blogging, I had never found information regarding how to promote your RSS feed throughout the social web. Deltina gives very specific suggestions on how to go about doing this in a variety of ways.

6) Initial Settings on a WordPress Blog

Deltina is so careful and yet comprehensive in her explanations that she points out things that others may skip over. For instance, there are many resources about "must-have Word Press plug-ins" out there, but many of these skip basic plugins like the WP-Security Scan plug-in. Deltina also covers other security settings as well as tasks to complete right after establishing your WordPress blog such as creating a static home page, adding a user to rid yourself of the "admin" username, and changing your permalinks for better search engine optimization.

7) Hands-On Podcasting Chapter

As someone who is considering starting a podcast in the future, I found everything that I wanted and need to know about how to go about doing this in the chapter devoted to podcasting, webcasting, and vidcasting. This chapter alone may be worth the price of the book!

8) Facebook Page & MySpace Profile Applications

While the chapter on social networking sites was very basic, Deltina did do justice in pointing out some potential applications that can be used in Facebook Fan Pages as well as MySpace Profiles to help differentiate yourself or company as well as add more value for the user. I appreciate that emphasis was placed on applications as that is where the value in these platforms will be going into the future.

9) Social Bookmarking Strategy

The chapter on social bookmarking was insightful because of this information. Instead of a dry description of the functionalities of the different social media bookmarking sites, Deltina recommends an excellent strategy with her description of purpose-built Delicious pages. Never heard the term before? Buy the book!

10) Social Media Newsrooms

Perhaps this is a term that has gone out of fashion, but this was another gem of a chapter covering what social media newsrooms are and how they could be implemented. I love the idea, and there is compelling reason why every company and/or person who has a website and/or a blog should be implementing this. One more thing to put on my "to do" list!

Social Media Book Review Conclusion

As you can see, this is a very practical and hands-on book for both the techie as well as the not-so-techie. If you are looking for a results-oriented read on what you need to be doing to your optimize your web presence for web 2.0, you have found your book. Needless to say a highly recommended read!
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