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Social Media Is Bullshit

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  215 ratings  ·  47 reviews
A provocative look at social media that dispels the hype and tells you all you need to know about using the Web to expand your business

If you listen tothepundits,Internet gurus, marketing consultants, and even the mainstream media, you could think social media was the second coming. When it comes to business, they declare that it’s revolutionizing advertising, PR, customer
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by St. Martin's Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 532)
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Peter Derk
Jan 03, 2013 Peter Derk marked it as did-not-finish
Not a bad book and a quick read, but long before the end I decided not to finish it.

Basically, anyone who knows anything about social media knows that it's bullshit in terms of the ways it's being used by large companies or corporate entities.

I did a personal Twitter experiment a couple weeks ago where I hit the Follow button next to every single person that came up. People who followed me and everyone THEY followed. In a week, just by doing that I more than doubled my followers. You can also me
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Jake Adelstein
SOCIAL MEDIA IS BULLSHIT isn't slamming the value of social media whether it be twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn (Tumblr for creepy old guys). It's a great book about how the promises of social media as a marketing tool are overrated and a quasi-documentary on the corporatization of social media to the point where the legendary one smart writer/editor/blogger who builds a following and goes from rags to riches is pretty much extinct. It's partly a polemic* (hey, I barely know what this word meant ...more
Joshua S.
Dec 09, 2012 Joshua S. is currently reading it
OK, I actually finished this weeks ago. It's a good, solid little book. On the one hand, B.J. Mendelson makes a very strong case, using real-world examples, for why it's probably not smart for mom and pop and small/medium businesses to invest a great deal of time and resources into new media platforms... however.. the big caveat to the whole book is that, in my view, these are still very early days for the whole 'web 2.0' or, if you like '3.0' platform... as always, our society (the part of huma ...more
Pinky
Say Hey! Say Ho!

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I think the thesis wasn't clear, but otherwise, thumb up!
James
B.J. Mendelson’s “Social Media Is Bullshit” is a welcome counterpoint to conventional social-media wisdom, especially for those of us who have to produce, plan or monitor social-media channels for our job. Mendelson punctures a few key social-media myths, claiming:

1. Most businesses fail to benefit financially from their presence on the Big Six social media platforms.

2. Many cases trumpeted as “viral” triumphs actually have substantial corporate budgets behind them or other extenuating circumsta
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Linda
Well presented approach; confirmed much of what I thought about social media. The best take away is "start local and grow your network, have a website, get to know people."
Rishonda
518-832-9844. This is the first book I've read where the author included his phone number, so I just though I'd pass that along to you. In fact, he mentioned his number at least 3 times, which just goes to demonstrate his willingness to speak to people and create a sense of community. Sort of like Social Media is supposed to do, but doesn't.

Marketing books tend to go way over my head, and while this one was easier to read than most, there were still several concepts I didn't quite grasp. But I
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Kevin
Sorry B.J., but I didn't like it. I think you raise some valid points and it's good to question social media. But I've seen too much good happen through social media to just throw it all out.
Ernesto Vergara
Cyber-Hispters, mitos y como todo el Hype de Social Media le da beneficios solo a los que venden humo. Es un libro para bajarse de la nube y dejarse de creer huevadas. Muy recomendable.
Christy
I got 61 pages into this book. I just couldn't. He starts off by name dropping and going through his background, which I get to a degree- he has to build credibility. But I couldn't get past my general dislike of this author as I read page after page. It seems like he's trying to be "edgy" (he ended a chapter with the phrase "hand job". ooooooooooooooh!) and contrarian, dismissing the value of all marketers (I'm sure he has a point to a degree). But 3 of 4 sections are basically spent setting up ...more
Paul
What a perfect title. I actually couldn't agree with the author more and I think he lays the book out perfectly. Yet, I feel like he could have built a stronger case overall. I would have given this book 4 stars if it not for one thing......blasphemy. For no apparent reason, the author uses it not once but twice to be funny and draw an analogy. And both times it's primarily against Christianity. First of all, I see no reason for it in the context of this book, whether you are a Christian or not. ...more
Harry Roger Williams III
This is incredible: in a book about marketing – selling what you “make” – that is only 196 pages, not counting the end notes, he waits until a footnote on page 226, keyed to a comment on page 152, to offer his web address where you can find out what HE makes. Is there a word for “more humble than just humble?”
Two days ago I reviewed Stephen Dobyns’ The Burn Palace and included some of Stephen King’s comments about it. I didn’t quote King calling it “the embodiment of why we read stories, and w
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josh
Nov 03, 2012 josh rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone trying to build a brand, drum up sales or seek publicity
Recommended to josh by: shelf @ UAPL
Mendelson spends a great deal of time digging up articles, examples and stories from a variety of sources to support the argument that "social media"- for whatever that term is worth - doesn't work to drive business and generate a positive ROI for most individuals, businesses and organizations that are being hammered with the advice that "you must have a social media presence!".

While the title is eye-catching and Mendelson utilizes a humorous style, I feel like he's preaching the the choir. Who
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Alan Kercinik
While the title is a bit of a misnomer -- B.J. Mendelson is arguing, I think, against certain practices and social media types -- this is worth a read for any marketer. Because he does bring a level of critical thought that the practice of marketing could use a bit more of.

He's not afraid to challenge assumptions. And he's not afraid to name names -- he has no love lost for the Chris Brogan types of the world -- and while that may not be a bad thing, it does distract from his argument. He would
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A.C. Bauch
this book proclaimed and supported an idea that i've long suspected: that social media, especially for marketing purposes, is overrated and not as helpful as we have been led to believe. and the myth that we must use social media to promote our businesses or risk getting "left behind" is often perpetuated by those who have a vested interest in those tools' success.

although i don't currently conduct any online marketing for my business, i'm comforted that the "old-fashioned" approach i have used
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Jerry Courtney
Maybe not the best edited or articulated contrarian view of social media hipster-ism and the token how to section at the end I could've done without, but I appreciate that someone who has lived in and tried to apply the tools of the world of social media and marketing is willing to put this forth. The bitterness of the lessons he learned aside, a good lesson to take from this is you really can't succeed on any platform or medium if you don't know what it is you wish to accomplish with it. I didn ...more
JD
This book is a good think piece if you're planning on venturing into social media marketing - it's not necessarily a discouraging book, but Mendelson's writing is there to give you a reality check. You may not become famous strictly by posting Youtube videos or tweeting. He highlights the outside factors that have contributed to the successes of such internet phenoms such as Justin Bieber and Will it Blend? and dispels the myth of the Internet star. I think it's funny to read a book that (even t ...more
Kimee
I'm so glad that I happened to be taking HubSpot's "Inbound Marketing Certification" course when I read this book. It made me think more critically about social media in general and question the legitimacy of the course (Whose interests does my certification really serve?).

Mendelson says he meant to be a good comedian with this book: "I'm saying what everyone else is already thinking." He succeeded because to a certain extent I felt like I had already thought and read this book. The points that
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Brian Bennett
It was a very fast read (I read it in a day and a half) and a lot of his points are interesting. Specifically, that social media "success" is still determined by who you know and what you put out, rather than the quality of the content.
Matthew
This books is everything that I can ask for of a nonfiction book that examines something in contemporary America. It makes a thesis (of sorts) in this case about a problem, examines the history of how we got there, presents many myths that are being recycled in the echo chamber, presents a case that debunks many of those myth, & then presents multiple solutions in how we (the oridnary consumer) can operate effectively. His outside sources are put forth & cited in case the reader wishes t ...more
Matthew Davidson
The title is interesting and the author has a valid point on how the only people making money off social media are the ones selling social media.

Mr. Mendelson brings up examples of social media success stories, such as the Old Spice campaigns, and adds the facts that pushed these things to success, which are often left out by those selling social media.

Mr. Mendelson also points out that the money required to run some of these social media campaigns which are simply out of the reach of the small
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Jimbo Kennedy
BJ tells it like it is. We all love social media, but who truly enjoys hype-sters and wannabe experts? No one. BJ, in this excellent exposé, clears the fog.
Steve Fox
I would give this a higher rating if I didn't find so much of it to be common sense. Problem is, not enough people use common sense.

The book also suffers from repetitiveness - the message really is clear far before the book is done. Editing is an issue, too, I suppose because the book may have been rushed to publish in order to take advantage of the current opportunity for sales.

Regardless, it was worth my time and there were examples in the book that helped with my own clarity in understanding
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Cyndi
There are two sides to every story- this is the other side of social media.
Marc
I loved this book because it is written in plain English, makes several key points clearly and concisely and is frankly, a lot of common sense. As someone who is a digital marketer and "social media" guy - both as a practitioner and now as a consultant, I found the book refreshing and to the point.

Of course social media can help, just like anything with the right approach, resources and intent social media is a viable tool in a marketer and PR person's toolbox. Just don't bank everything on it,
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David
Great summary of 'social media' reality. Social media seems to be following the Gartner's Hype Cycle pretty well - climbing up the expectation curve. This is my third social media book and allowed me to 'balance' the promises/hypes of the earlier books. I am still feeling my way through 'social media' and it's applicability to fixing business issues. I see possibilities, but no 'compelling' reason to 'jump' in all out. Plans to go through few other 'social' books. See if I get different perspect ...more
Diane
Dec 03, 2014 Diane rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Diane by: John Merchant
Shelves: non-fiction
Skimmed this one. He mostly writes a history of his own experiences with the internet, from its beginning. Many people will identify with his experiences, but I didn't find it particularly insightful. The title is my favourite part.
Brett
I have to admit I ended up just skimming the book, and wasn't all that impressed. Maybe I should have read the whole thing in detail, I just couldn't make myself spend the time. The whole thing reads like, "These guys said I would be able to be successful with social media but it didn't work for me so it's all bullshit."

My main impression is that Mendelson tried to "use social media" but doesn't really understand what the social space is all about.
Bob Fowler
The book starts out very good with a nice sense of humour. But I started to bog down in later chapters. I think he makes some good points (that social media is largely a marketing ploy that only the big guys can benefit from), but I think his arguments are a little too one-sided. I agree that social media may be largely a mirage for the little guy, but can you squeeze out some value from it?
Nathan
The basic content of the book is good. The writing style borders on rant from time to time, but that is to be expected from the title. There are a few good points and insights for those not so familiar with the marketing (like myself). I'm glad I read it, but would have a hard time knowing exactly who to recommend this book to. I know I don't plan on hiring a social media marketer any time soon.
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[(Social Media is Bullshit)] [by: B.J. Mendelson] La trampa de las redes sociales

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“Marketing departments aren’t going to give marketers their money unless they know what they’re spending money on works. But since many don’t even know what “social media” is, they’ve created room for marketers and others to fill that information gap—with bullshit.” 1 likes
“You could have the best idea in the world, but if people don’t like you, don’t trust you, or don’t know you, they’re not going to consider it. However, if you cite what someone else is saying, someone they might have heard of, that lends the idea more credibility.” 1 likes
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