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A struggle to get through
on December 15, 2011
This book has been a struggle to read. It's not the material---the actual instruction is basic online marketing information that can be found online for free---it's the writing. For a book with the McGraw-Hill name attached to it, I expected better. I hate picking on authors; I know how much work it is to write a book. But in this case I wish a good editor had helped make the book more readable. As it is, the book is a great lesson in how NOT to write. It's full of cliches (e.g. There is no I in TEAM). Lots of exclamation points! And some downright confusing writing.
The book begins with three Online Marketing Rules. Rule #3 states "You have conquered all three rules by picking up this book. Don't let it go!" Huh? That's rule number three?
The author promises "36 action-packed hours that will lead you to web greatness." The rationalization for this is that the "Web phenomena Facebook started with only a few hours of very simple programming (honestly), and now has a valuation in the billions of dollars." Huh? Maybe I missed the point, but I seriously doubt Facebook is the result of "only a few hours of very simple programming."
In describing Chapter 8 the author says "Search Engine Optimization delves into SEO." Isn't this like saying "Search engine optimization delves into search engine optimization?" The author then says "You will also learn how social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc) can boost SEO for total web domination." I'm not sure "total web domination" fits with the authors' other remarks in the book about online marketing being primarily about creating valuable relationships, but it seems out of place. I also don't think it's true.
In describing Chapter 11 the author says "Online Public Relations will show how PR can be done in your pajamas." Really? Perhaps if you are out of work or a single practitioner working from home. But is that really the focus of this chapter? There are dozens of examples like this throughout the book of writing that seems like it was done hastily, with little editing, and by someone who doesn't inspire confidence in their basic marketing credentials.
I wanted to like this book and include it in my own ongoing marketing education (or as the author says, "claim your newfound web wisdom (or shall we say "webdom"?). I do embrace the role of online marketing in an overall integrated marketing strategy. But as a 30-year marketing veteran, I can't say I learned enough to justify the price of the book.
As the author (condescendingly) says, "Everyone under 50, and a lot of people over 50 (who are growing younger while living longer), realizes that the web is the key to immediate information and wish fulfillment. The number of people who use the Internet is staggering!" These are the author's words, not mine. I realize that being over 50 makes me a doddering old relic, but hopefully I am one of the over 50 types who is "growing younger while living longer." The last time I looked in the mirror this wasn't happening, but maybe if I spend more time on the amazing Internet?
Note from doddering old "over 50" person: I have news for you, I was using a computer in 1982---almost certainly when the author of this book was toddling around in diapers. I was one of the first people to use the freakin' Internet for crissakes.
Since the Internet "is the key to immediate information and wish fulfillment," my wish for a new Aston-Martin Vantage should be just be a mouse-click away. Damn! I just tried it and my 1999 Ford Explorer is still out in the driveway. So much for immediate wish fulfillment.