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Customer Review

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I wish I didn't buy this, it was a let-down, June 5, 2012
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This review is from: Zarrella's Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas (Hardcover)
I figured it was only $6 for 80 pages (actually, turns out was only 64 pages in my ebook. When you paid $6, that's disappointment #1 - and this is hardly a "book," it's a single, booklet, white paper, whatever.) I'd not write this review if I only paid a dollar. It's a pretty net-negative review after buying and reading this last night and is simply my honest opinion/experience. I think the author is capable of adding a lot more value because of his reputation and other good contributions online.

Quickly tiresome is combative language describing all the bad guys out there. A little goes a long way, and I appreciate that yes, there are too many of them. But the negativity is so pervasive it feels immature - after several times of these descriptions and many more to come, it becomes the feeling you get when somebody insecure it putting down others so male themselves seem smarter. Ugh.

Many of the paragraphs simply didn't flow together; like a collection of thoughts strung together to sound really intelligent but actually isn't anything more than veneer.

Yet as I read the book I maintained hope of a silver lining because after all, it's the "science", design and engineering (power word, show me more) of contagious ideas. All the right words, bravo. I see the book focuses on 3 sections: Exposure, Attention, and Motivation and am excited about some solid, sink my teeth in strategies that I can follow. Nothing of the sort was in this book.

Why are there no solid, sink-your-teeth in strategies and what is there instead? The book was simply a collection of "scientific" "studies" that mostly the author conducted, loosely grouped into a few categories. I know science. The "science" in this book is simply unprofessional, flimsy and undocumented and frankly unworthy of my time (large data sets do not mean the research is superb), despite the author's emphasis of the scientific method. If I can't trust the methodology it all becomes a blur of page after page after page of charts with explanations and antedotes that I shrug at - maybe it's true, maybe it's useful, perhaps not. Starting with criticisms of charlatans, and then providing nothing academic of his own, I found it all ironic.

The final let-down was at the end: "Measure your ROI" - naturally I think "great, show me HOW to measure ROI." Nope. This section is only telling me to DO measure my ROI. Well, duh. Hi freshman year of business college. In about a page of blathering about how you really should do it, the only thing that comes close to telling me HOW to do this is "Getting simple referral reports from a free analytics provider is a great first step". That's it. Wow. And then the next section whisks away to "Once you're actually measuring how much money social media activity is making you..."

Helpful items were some of the "studies" that were relevant to me such as retweetable words, best times of day to email and so on, assuming they are correct.

I don't mean to be overly harsh. I am confident the author knows a great deal about the subject more than me, and that I would learn a lot on his blog (in fact, I think the author could have fleshed out a full, useful book from this but simply wanted to make a quick buck - it's a bit shameful according to my worldview and I think it cheapens a person's brand.) This book simply wasn't it, and I am sad that I wasted my money on it. It did not live up to its title one bit.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 24, 2014 3:46:22 AM PST
As I write this comment this book is one of five Kindle daily deals selling at $1.99. At first I had no interest in the book based on the title but then I read the description and it piqued my interest. So I read the sample but it was very brief so I started reading the reviews. Thankfully I read your review and saved myself $1.99 and a couple hours of wasted time. Sorry you lost six bucks but thanks for your great review. It was really well thought out and you really justified your two star rating. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2014 7:12:15 PM PST
MAtkinson says:
Thank you
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