Paul Adams is an insightful guy. I was wowed by his early thoughts on online social networks from back when he was trying to plug his ideas at Google.Paul Adams is an insightful guy. I was wowed by his early thoughts on online social networks from back when he was trying to plug his ideas at Google. http://www.slideshare.net/padday/the-...
So I've been waiting to read (and just finished) "Grouped", and here's a brain dump.
It is a fast read, and feels a lot like an "Elements of Style" for online social marketing. There isn't much discourse on theory, rather a list of expanded bullet points on what goes on in online networks, with a focus on marketing. The list of references at the end of each topic is excellent, and worth pursuing.
Should you read it? Whether or not you choose to read this book, here's his perspective:
"[To stay relevant] a new knowledge set is required [for] designers, marketers, developers and advertisers: social behavior, networks, and how people think."
The book distills his thoughts on these topics into self-contained chapters, and coming from a guy who's probably had as many scars here as anyone else, it'll be a useful reference for a practitioner to spark ideas and avoid some mistakes.
The underlying ideas are things that he's been thinking and talking about for a while, and you can get the general flavor from one of his recent talks. http://vimeo.com/29576241
Some of the homilies that stayed with me:
1. The social web is not merely a buzz. It will gradually become what we think of as just "the web."
2. Think of the social web like electricity -- you don't have an "electricity experience" in a product, it invisibly drives everything and you just use it.
3. Center your products around people, not the technology or even the content. Or somebody else will, and eat your lunch to boot. (The video above has a example about Facebook photos and why it grew, interesting perspective for any ’fish readers. Also interesting examples from Etsy, nytimes and so on.)
4. The myth of the highly influential few. Highly connected does not mean highly influential. He points out the situation in social groups is more nuanced -- basically a rebuttal to the tipping point thesis as applied to social marketing....more
I'll say right away that this is a slog of a read, and I only made it through the first two chapters.
That said -- I was quite intrigued with the teachI'll say right away that this is a slog of a read, and I only made it through the first two chapters.
That said -- I was quite intrigued with the teaching approach, I wish there were more books written in this style.
It works roughly like a series of little number puzzles that gives you glimpses of underlying patterns, and then nudges you to uncover, and then prove those patterns. It's hard mental work for sure (and it seems like my brain cells have atrophied to the point where I'm not able to plug away at it for very long.) But whatever you pick up sticks around for longer; and there's the little joy of discovery every time you break through each puzzle. Good stuff, but recommended only when you have some brain cycles to spare....more