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on February 16, 2011
In case you've been living in a cave, Jay Baer and Amber Naslund have teamed up and published The NOW Revolution - 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, and More Social.

Their new book has been receiving rave reviews and I received a copy with the understanding that I would share my thoughts after reading it...

There is a high probability that this book will frustrate you.

Yes... frustrate you, but follow me here. Jay and Amber have decided to tackle the challenge businesses are facing to adjust to being social and not just doing social. For those of us in or around the "social" industry, we completely grasp this concept.

The NOW Revolution is organized into seven sections - the 7 shifts mentioned in the title. Each shift walks us through the process of becoming social, scalable and sustainable. There are action items, questions, summaries and plenty of additional documents linked via Microsoft Tag technology.

But, you're wondering why this book may frustrate you.

Most companies are not social.

Even the companies that do social.

Most companies have processes and organizational hierarchies that inhibit being social.

If you have a finger on the pulse of where you work... there is a good chance that reading an actionable guide of what you should or can do to infuse social into your business will lead you to the conclusion How the *$&^ am I going to make this happen?

Being a social company is not a fluffy thing. It isn't a trendy thing. It isn't creating cool content that is sharable. It is changing the entire culture of your organization and embracing the fact that there are TONS of things out of your control.

If this was an easy thing to do, we wouldn't need a book, guide, agency or consultant to help.

What will you get out of The NOW Revolution?

- Lots of ideas for things to do within the workplace
- A better understanding of scaling social
- What to look for and cultivate in employees to become more social
- How to handle real-time crises
- A more in-depth knowledge of what listening and monitoring really means
- Potentially frustrated, depressed or overwhelmed trying to make this happen

Again, I'd like to reinforce the fact that if this was easy... every company would be social. This book when read, understood and placed in the correct hands can be a catalyst to help you start the process of becoming social.

Who should read this?

- Ambitious, social savvy folks that don't mind overcoming adversity
- Executives who don't want to be years behind the curve (hint: you're already a few behind)
- Agencies and consultants that are tasked with improving or creating social strategies and business units

This book isn't a get rich quick scheme. It isn't a guide to monetize your blog. It isn't a direct aide to your personal brand. It isn't something one person can read and do themselves. However, this book is one that can be passed around to a few key folks and used as a guide to restructure, revamp, create or destroy business practices and processes.

The NOW Revolution is one of the better books I've seen to tackle the business and organizational challenges of social media and give you a roadmap to improve things.
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on February 18, 2011
I recently ordered the Kindle version of this book allowing me to devour its contents on my iPad while traveling.

The Now Revolution is an essential book that will change your thinking on how your business needs to adapt. It is also an important read for ad agencies to better understand the struggles and mindset for creative solutions for their client's businesses.

This is the first book I've read that takes advantage of Microsoft Tags interspersed throughout the various chapters. These coded tags linked to additional online content, illustrations, video, podcasts and additional materials such as questionnaires, forms, quizzes, etc. A very beneficial addition to the book.

Jay and Amber do a great job of simplfying the steps needed to for a company to change its culture to deal with real-time communication, networking and create a culture that is more social. The book is chocked full of great illustrations, helpful insights and creative ideas.

The book introduces 7 key shifts that business leaders need to address along with laying out a plan for each.

Every person in the C-Suite of your company should read this book. The change in the way that we do business, in real-time, is one that will require the change of your company's culture. You will need 'all hands on deck' to successfully implement and sustain Jay and Amber's guidelines.
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on February 15, 2011
I read a book about once every five years. The last book I read cover-to-cover was probably Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. So it's no small feat that I made it through The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More Social by Jay Baer and Amber Naslund.

Luckily, it was a quick and accessible read.

First, let me point out what The NOW Revolution is NOT: It's not a how-to book. If you want a tutorial on how to use Twitter, how to create a Facebook Page, or how to write a corporate blog, this isn't the book for you.

What The NOW Revolution does well is lay out a vision for what a people-centric business could be. It offers guidelines for how you might organize people and processes to take advantage of the social web. And while it sometimes takes for granted the reader's familiarity with the norms, mores, cultures and behaviors of the social web, it provides easy to swallow suggestions for becoming more social.

The QR codes (images that can be scanned with a smart phone to direct you to an external web page) are a nice addition, and extend the book's value beyond what you get in print. And I like the way each chapter closes with a summary action plan.

If there's one shortcoming of the book, it's that I'm not sure who it's written for. An experienced social media consultant or strategist (and whomever you trust in that role BETTER have experience) will find it a little elementary. An C-Suiter untrained in social media may question some of the assumptions. And small businesses may find discussions of "internal teams" too big to be relevant to their business.

Still, there IS a workplace and marketplace revolution upon us, and we're all participants in it. The Now Revolution does a nice job making the shift seem less daunting. It teaches readers to embrace flexibility, agility, and adaptability. And for that, it's a worthwhile read.
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on February 17, 2011
The NOW Revolution is a terrific book for entrepreneurs and other business owners seeking to infuse a social component across their business landscape. The book walks through 7 "shifts" that organizations need to make, and it's sprinkled with tools to help get started and case studies that show it can be done. This is not easy stuff -- but it is essential. Customers, prospects, and other stakeholders are operating in real-time; the only question is whether organizations are prepared to pivot to respond to this giant "Now" revolution.
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on February 18, 2011
I've known Jason for a while and was excited to read his book. I have to say I wasn't sure what to expect. I am happy to report that I think the book is one of those must reads. It's not intense, it won't take weeks to read, and it's well worth it. Jason and Amber seamlessly craft an incredible must-have resource for anyone looking to reinvent a business that is capable of thriving in the new media era. If you've accepted that social media is an essential for the future of communication, this book is the next step.

The Now Revolution is not simply a book full of all the glittering reasons why engaging in social media is important, but rather it gives readers a detailed playbook of how to adapt their business to the growing social media-focused world. Throughout, it offers concrete step-by-step instructions, helpful tidbits and expert insight to assist in a smooth transition into the social media era. Like a blueprint, it clearly maps out significant steps of the processes such as cultivating a strong, engrained company culture, designing clear social media guidelines and fostering employee engagement, in order to successfully connect with your community.

A must-read for anyone serious about the future of business, The Now Revolution, serves as a remarkable source of guidance for those retooling and rebuilding businesses to connect with key publics and foster a loyal community through social media.
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on March 14, 2011
Amber Naslund and Jay Baer have hit it out-of-the-ballpark with this publication. It is so much more than a book. I firmly believe that if your firm does social media you should read it as you will learn new information. If your firm doesn't do social media, you must read it. I know so many firms that are not monitoring their brand or engaging with their customers or have no idea of the importance of social media to today's business environment.

I think this is such an important business book that I have placed it in the number 1 spot in my Amazon Store. As stated in the book's introduction "This isn't a book about how to "do" social media. It's a book about how to engineer your business for and in response to what the Web has become."

I have been saying in my presentations for a number of years that preferred tool of the new generation in our workplaces and your newest customers is their smart phone. I have watched my three grandchildren evolve from loving computers when they were children, to their first phones as young teens to smart phones within about a year of their first phone. Young teens now just want a smart phone. The like to skip all that other stuff unless it might be an iPad in addition to their smart phone. It will become very clear to you in reading The Now Revolution that you better understand how this affects your business.

You can see my full review at [...]
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on March 4, 2012
Said Jay Baer on a recent YouTube clip I had been listening to while I was reviewing my notes on The Now Revolution. Its a harsh statement but an honest one that I completely agree with.

Like the last book I reviewed, (Content Rules) this is another well thought out playbook for successfully integrating new media into any organization. Amber Naslund and Jay Baer do so by breaking down the current paradigm shift in communication into 7 different changes to traditional business along with practical instruction on how to implement their recommendations.

The first two sections of book focus on company culture and human capital. I was very happy to see this at the forefront of their argument as this is generally missed in most books about social media. I would also argue that the majority of organizations take both of these resources for granted. Obviously, it is a difficult task for leadership to take a hard look at the company culture that they have helped cultivate and then determine whether of not they are built to engage, but it needs to be done. As for human capital, the knee jerk reaction is generally to seek out a "social media" guru from outside the organization and empower them to implement a social media strategy ASAP and trust that everyone will fall inline. The harsh reality is that employees who are part of the existing company culture may already exist and with a little basic training, are then able to create and execute a well thought out engagement strategy.

Naslund and Baer also put to rest the age old argument as to who (ex. Marketing, PR, Customer Service, etc.) should own a social media initiative within an organization: everyone. They then go on to instruct how to build a strong team of talent that can execute successfully while complimenting each other.

In the next sections, the authors present operational needs that are necessary for any organization to be successful with social media. They begin by reinforcing the importance of brand monitoring, how to properly execute it, analyze it and who should be included in any reporting distribution. They then go on to introduce the concept of "Response-Ability" which focuses not only on best practices for engagement but also the need for the right players executing the proper strategy and content. They expand upon this last concept by arguing the need for a crisis playbook that is flexible and easy to understand by everyone involved.

Naslund and Baer complete their book with a section focused on creating realistic goals first, and proper metrics second.

My only feedback beyond "this is a great book" is:

I noticed that of all the reviews I've read, the majority of individuals state that this is perfect content for the C Suite crowd. Although I don't disagree with this, I feel the content is actually important to any employee (ex. middle management, front line troops, etc.). Remember in the world today, daily participation in some form of social media is practiced in the majority of American households if not International. Given this, if Executive Leadership hasn't understood the reality of the current paradigm shift, then no book will change their thinking or behavior.

The use of Microsoft Tags throughout the book. Don't get me wrong, making the book interactive and offering addition useful information outside the book is pure genius, but why not generic QR codes or a combination of the two? :P

In conclusion, I highly recommend this book to anyone who cares about their business, their employees and their customers. The content is timeless and practical for a business world that changes on a daily basis.
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on December 6, 2011
The Now Revolution is for those working in the Social Media world, not for individuals looking to dabble online more proficiently. From how to hire the proper talent and skill sets necesssary to be successful to how to organize the troops and get your corporate army in motion, The Now Revolution is a VERY USEFUL book. Discussing complicated concepts broken into digestible, practical advice, Jay and Amber don't waste your time with fluff and buzzwords -- you can actually put this information to use in your organization today.

Highly recommend this book by Jay Baer & Amber Naslund for all companies in or looking to get started with a social media program.
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on January 10, 2012
>>>..."The NOW Revolution" is an Investment For PurchaseUsage that will offer Immediate Payback to Serious Builders that want "A" Game Improvements or "A" Game Development NOW / Today!!!..."The NOW Revolution" is Rich Knowledge, Context, Content, etc. contained in 202+ pages from Jay Baer & Amber Naslund, Renowned Marketers & Social Media Experts, etc.The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, More Social, etc.
>>>..."The NOW Revolution" opens with Praise, Contents, Acknowledgments, Introduction ( Welcome to the NOW Revolution & Get More Than You Bargained For ) Sections to prepare Us For 7 Immediate Business Plan Shifts!!!...Ready, Let's Roll!!!...
>>>..."The Now Revolution" builds on 7 Immediate Business Plan Shifts!!!...
>>>... Shift 1 - Engineer a New Bedrock.
>>>... Shift 2 - Find Talent You Can Trust.
>>>... Shift 3 - Organize Your Armies.
>>>... Shift 4 - Answer the New Telephone.
>>>... Shift 5 - Emphasize Response-Ability.
>>>... Shift 6 - Build A Fire Extinguisher.
>>>... Shift 7 - Make a Calculator
>>>..."The NOW Revolution" closes with an Excellent "Where Do We Go from Here?" To "Possibility Awaits" >>> "The NOW Revolution means that almost any business can be a superstar, including yours. - Are YOU Ready To Take The Stage?"...Time Is Of The Essence! / Time Is Our Only Non-Recoverable Resource!!!...>>> Carpe Diem / Seize The Day!!!...Michael.
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on February 7, 2011
With the attention span of a gnat and the bladder of a flea, I read this book cover-to-cover in an hour and 40 minutes. It's not just another social media book, either. It's an operational look at how to make your business social and there aren't any of those books out there. I think Now Revolution should be required reading for businesses, especially those looking to get into social media marketing but not sure where to start or where it will take them.

While I know the authors personally, I can't say enough good things about this book.

But in an order of fairness, if I had a criticism its that the section on measurement doesn't go deep enough for me. Still, it's not a measurement book. It's a 30,000 foot view. Measurement books exist (Web Analytics 2.0, Social Media Metrics, etc.) but books that tell you how to change your culture to be a social business don't. This one is that.

Highly recommended.
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