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Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business Hardcover – August 24, 2009
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“A 2010 Finalist for the Berry-AMA Book Prize for the Best Book in Marketing”--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From the Author
Thanks for making my book #1 in 8 different languages. Per your (my readers/fans) requests , I've updated and added ten new chapters to the best selling original. I hope you enjoy! --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
In the first paragraph of the introduction, Qualman writes "Just like social media itself, this book is written in sporadically digestible sound bites." This is all you need to know about this book. If you want a brainstorm of half-proven assertions that you can mine for ideas for your next marketing campaign, you'll probably find this book valuable. If you're looking to establish understanding and a long term outlook on social media, keep looking because another way that this book is like most social media is that it will have a short shelf life.
Socialnomics promises to reveal how social media transforms the way we live and do business, but it doesn't reveal or inform so much as it presents a lot of loose anecdotes about the power of social media and how it appears to be affecting the world. While he occasionally makes a passing mention of the downside of social media, his tone is too often an infomercial-like positivity about the sheer awesomeness of social media. A particularly cringe-worthy example is how he closes his introduction by claiming that social media will reduce redundancy and recapture billions of hours that can be redistributed toward the betterment of society.
This is a bridge too far and if you're going to make paradigm changing predictions like this, you'd better devote some serious grey matter into backing it up. Socialnomics doesn't. It's as if every argument in the book is allocated 140 characters of reasoning before we move on to the next topic.
Writing about disruptive technologies is a dangerous sport. Chances are that you'll be wrong about a lot of things, but the ones that have done it well like Howard Rheingold and Douglas Rushkoff were able to do it in a more profound way that caused you to evaluate how we interact with media and each other and their works continue to have value long after the judgement has come on whether they were right or wrong.
I get the feeling that Qualman can do better and in his next book he should write a book that can't be tweeted. It might have a longer shelf life.
The problems I have with this book stem from my perception that the author offers what seem like well pondered conclusions but reveals no data, no research and very little support evidence or hard quantitation so I was left to wonder if these "facts" are based on hard data or on the author's own biases and cheery assumptions.
He seems to talk about the 2008 U.S. presidential election a little too much throughout the book which is a bit annoying for business professionals looking for application and then late in the book Qualman delves into human resource management as related to social media and it just seems to go a bit overboard. Advice like, "[hire young talent and] simply get out of the way because the young talent may be vastly more talented in certain areas" may be accurate but it is so vague and general that it is worthless advice. One assumes he means that because young talent is much more in tune with social media that they will be able to perform better at job functions that have ties to social media, but again, no specifics, no details and no supporting evidence for this claim. It is at these moments in the book that it seems the author is a bit too much of a kool-aid drinking cheerleader simply repeating, "this changes everything." We've heard all the hype already. Now let's get down to specifics. His passion is clear but hard data is lacking.
That being said, the overriding message of this book is important for all business managers who need to understand how social media changes the game and why they cannot wait to embrace the future with social media touching just about every aspect of business and consumer behavior. Qualman makes the case as to why it isn't all going away anytime soon.
I recommend this book for those new to social media or those managers who still need to be convinced that it is the future direction of marketing. If you are already familiar with the space and are looking for advanced "how to" methods and detailed case studies then this is probably not the book for you.
--Review by the author of the e-book, "How to Build and Manage Your Brand (in sickness and in health)."