Customer Reviews: The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business
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on April 22, 2009
I liked this book. A reader might find it helpful to see why using social network sites and blogs to build (grow) a Web platform and possibly a customer following is the way to go in the Digital Age we live in today. I certainly will recommend this well written tome to my SCORE clients who either are stumbling with New Media or need to learn about it for the first time. The book has the following ten chapters:

1. How to be a social capitalist
2. The power of community marketing
3. Turn the bullhorn around & create continuous conversations with customers
4. Building whuffie by listening to & integrating feedback
5. Become part of the community you serve
6. Depositing into & withdrawing from your whuffie account
7. Be notable: 11 ways to create amazing customer experiences
8. Embrace chaos
9. Find your higher purpose
10. Whuffie "in real life"

You might not be familiar with the term "Whuffie" before reading this book. I know I wasn't. It supposedly stands for "the store of social capital that is the currency in the digital world." Marketing today in the New Media is about building relationships. It's about give and take. It's not about "in your face" or just throwing money into advertising campaigns. By reading this book you should better understand what online marketing has migrated to be about and why it is important to go with the flow.

This book is not going to tell you how to plan an online marketing campaign. The best book on that subject that I know of is Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day. And to learn more about blogging I recommend: ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income, and Secrets of Successful Blogging System. This last item is kind of pricey. But in my humble opinion it is really worth its weight in gold. I have posted book reviews on Amazon for all three of these products. 4 stars!
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on October 19, 2009
I've become increasingly accustomed to ideas best captured as magazine articles being extended into books. It's sometimes a bit offensive to be sold something long when something short would have done.

"The Whuffie Factor" is something else entirely -- a sentence or a paragraph expanded into a book.

Here it is: Your social reputation is important, so cultivate it well.

Save your money. This book is insulting.
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on June 19, 2011
This book's release is dated May 4, 2010 here on Amazon, but the copy I received is copyrighted 2009 and contains information from 2008. If there's a newer version, I didn't receive it. Unfortunately I can't recommend this book. In social media, a world which moves so quickly, 3 year old information is extremely old and out of date information.

There are still some good takeaways from this book, but a lot of information is so outdated it made me laugh. Not the author's fault -- she's covering a fast-moving topic -- but I would save your money for something more up to date.

Of the many social media books I've read in the last few months (I'm researching the topic for a university course), the most useful have been from Dave Kerpen (Likeable Social Media) and Gary Vaynerchuk (The Thank You Economy). I don't know either author and I have no ties to either -- but their books were immensely helpful to me in researching social media marketing for businesses.
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on April 28, 2016
Unless you have to read this for school like me I wouldn't bother. Here's the gist in a few sentences:

You are a person and in the business world you have reputation. Networking helps build up this reputation. Measure the reputation in a made up unit called "whuffie" (wuh-fee) and gauge how much networking capital you have. Spend this "whuffie" in resourceful and genuine ways to grow your network.

Time could be better spent.
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on March 10, 2014
This book was written a few years ago, but it is still relevant today. The whuffie factor goes into detail on how to engage with people online in ways that truly matter. This is a must read for anyone that needs to market their product or services.
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on December 19, 2012
This is a half-decent book for those who already enjoy a large number of followers, friends or fans.

However this book reminds me a bit of an old Steve Martin Joke called "How to live like a millionaire". Step one: get a million dollars...

My point is that if one already had a million (or large number) of followers, they probably already know the value of social media. This book doesn't really talk too much about how to get to that point, which in my opinion is the hard part!
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on February 24, 2010
The concept of Whuffie is that of a sort of "cultural currency"; that is, how good a person's or organization's reputation is. Ms. Hunt is obviously a veteran of the Web, and she makes some good points - in essence, that one needs to be honest and moral in order to achieve high Whuffie rather than just try to use the Web as another outlet or venue for typical one-sided marketing hype.

No argument there; certainly if we could all check our egos at the door and put out honest appraisals of products (including our own, including admitting when we screw up) then it will engender more positive feelings on those that wander around the WWW to shop, etc.

I didn't rate the book higher only because I get the sense that Ms. Hunt thinks that the Web is the be-all-and-end-all of the world of commerce. Certainly, many people (myself included) log on multiple times a day, but nevertheless I don't think of my online presence as the essence of me. Too, there are still many people who either never get to the online world at all or else only sparingly, preferring "real reality" to "virtual reality" and so not so absorbed in what happens online.

So as a general instruction guide of how to do good online, this book is fine. As an attempt to prove that it is (or will be in the foreseeable future) critical to enjoy high Whuffie levels, it falls way short.
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on September 7, 2009
As a Higher Education Administrator, I encourage all my colleagues to read Tara Hunt's "Whuffie Factor". As more and more colleges and universities integrate Social Media tools, it is imperative that those who make decisions about college "communications" read this book and get great insight. Listen to your students, staff and faculty and have engage them in conversation!

I highly recommend it as a must read! Thanks Tara for all your work on this wonderful book!
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on February 24, 2013
I've just finished reading this book and it has definately changed the way I used to understand communities and buniness. The book contains excellent insights on how to build great businesses and provide great tools to achieve that as well.

I highly recommend it to any business owner who wants to truly engage with their customers in the best possible way.
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on March 16, 2011
Whatever happened to Tara Hunt?

This book was written at the beginning of the social media revolution and it shows. The unfortunate aspect of social media is that is moves so fast that print books like this one become dated almost before they're published.

The concept here is that the "currency" of the social media world is something called "Whuffie" or, more simply, doing nice things for people for the sake of doing nice things. Your wonderfulness will be rewarded by establishing relationships with other nice people and since the reach of social media is so vast, your influence will grow exponentially with each nice act and whuffie-like relationship built.

This is really a very simplistic and idealistic view of human nature and the way the world works. Sure. It would be nice if we were all willing to trade "whuffie" or favors or good deeds or whatever you want to call it. The fact of the matter is that mortgages don't get paid with "whuffie" and social media gurus like Ms. Hunt don't get the gas in the BlogBus (or whatever she called it) for her cross country trip topped off in exchange for a positive mention in her blog.

My opening sentence says it all. Tara Hunt road the "whuffie" train to great speaking gigs and this book and then.....?

Read this only if you're interested in what social media gurus thought back in the early days. It's history.
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