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Zarrella's Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas Hardcover – 2011
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About the Author
Dan Zarrella is an award-winning social media scientist at HubSpot. He has a background in web development and combines his programming capabilities with a passion for social marketing to study social media behavior from a data-backed position and teach marketers scientifically grounded best practices. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
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.
The author starts off by building his framework on three points. For your ideas to be more contagious, you must:
1. Increase the number of people exposed to your content.
2. Create more attention-grabbing content.
3. Include powerful calls to action.
Following this, the author provides relevant data to prove his claims. This information is invaluable, and very helpful to anyone who uses social media at all. For instance:
Do you know if it helps or hurts to call yourself a guru (or author, speaker, founder)?
Do larger groups or more active small groups spread ideas faster?
Are negative or positive ideas more contagious?
Should you talk about yourself?
How often should you share content?
What is the best day and time to attract "retweeters"?
What is the best time to blog for your click rate? For comments?
All of the answers to these questions, and many more, are in this book. Each section is short and to the point, no more than four paragraphs and a visual graph of the data that backs it up. This is a book that will pay for itself easily, and the information contained in it is valuable to every business, author, and marketer. Highly Recommended.
Along comes Dan Zarrella -- no overly-inflated guru, but an advisor I have admired for a while (His opening dedication shows someone skilled with weaving words). Zarrella's book identifies, what he aptly calls the Unicorns and Rainbows mentality that infect today's society.
I urge you to get his little book on contagious ideas...what they are and how (if you are clever)to make them contagious. As he says, it has absolutely nothing to do with the idea being good or bad (witness poorly examined assertions and denials about Global Warming).
As with any well-formed argument or observation, Zarrella's to-the-point writing is impossible to block or counter. It's like an oncoming bulldozer. No unicorns can stand in its way.
Because most of us dream of the Internet dripping money into our bank accounts; this may one of the clearest guides to getting there. It cuts through all the (useless) touchy-feely advice of "make the customer your friend." I have enough friends, I want more customers.
Zarrella is a guide to turning the oft-confusing power of social media to your advantage.
P.S. I agree with one of the reviewer's assessment of the Domino Project...good tools, cheap.
Most recent customer reviews
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