LOVED IT! I follow Gary very closely so I have already heard him say many of the things in this book, but there was even a ton of stuff new to me. IfLOVED IT! I follow Gary very closely so I have already heard him say many of the things in this book, but there was even a ton of stuff new to me. If you want to build a business around your passion, and want to use the web to build it, read this book. Gary lays out the perfect plan. Quick easy powerful read!...more
I recently finished reading the book "What Would Google Do?" by author/blogger/journalist Jeff Jarvis. Jarvis is probably recognized primarily as proprietor of the popular blog Buzzmachine.com. I had an interest in this book right from the start because I am fascinated with the approach Google takes to everything they do: Offering premium services for free and finding alternative ways to make their money. A lot of money.
Without giving too much of the book away, Jarvis first dives into the "Google Rules." These are concepts which he feels Google (and other successful web companies) follow which make them successful in the growing world of social media and instant search.
One of the firsthand stories that really summed up the status of marketing and customer relations in the Googlefied world today was Jarvis' own example of typing "Dell sucks" on his blog after a bad customer service experience. The buzz from that single post grew and grew, and it eventually reached the front page of Google for the keyword "dell," at which point Jarvis got a call from Dell and they tried to make it all better. Dell has since changed their approach to service and actually uses Twitter to keep a finger on the pulse of their customer base. Marketing has become less of a bullhorn and more of a conversation.
The concept that I really took away from this book was the idea of being a platform. Google is a platform. Facebook is a platform. Twitter is a platform. We as users of the web can create our own online brand using these tools. Businesses can do the same. Give people control to create and improve...and they will. From my own standpoint, so much of my business is Google-based. Get up in the morning, check my Google-hosted Gmail, read my favorite blogs on Google Reader, browse news topics from the past 24 hours on Google search, etc. The platform is alive and well.
As for making money, Jarvis argues that the idea of a "side-door" is where it's at in the Web 2.0 world. If your platform itself is not free or at-cost, someone can easily come in and undercut you. However, if you are running free services and able to create a side-method for income (think Google's ad-words/ad-sense concepts), your user base will be much greater and your income will instead be generated from marketers.
The last half of the book was Jarvis' attempt to apply Google concepts to other business types: media, advertising, retail, utilities, manufacturing, airlines, real estate, money, welfare, etc. Some of these were really interesting, and some were kind of "out there" in my mind. But Google is an "out there" company and I guess that's why they're so successful.
I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in the direction of business in a Web 2.0 world. ...more
If I was a beginner, I would definitely give this book a better rating. As an intermediate, I can only give it three stars, mainly because some of theIf I was a beginner, I would definitely give this book a better rating. As an intermediate, I can only give it three stars, mainly because some of the examples he uses are kind of cheesy. However, this is a well-organized book and as an experienced web designer it does offer a nice refreshing view of the author's design process. Definitely a worthwhile read (or skim) for anyone in the web field....more
I really enjoyed this book, though not as much as A Walk In the Woods. The historical information Bryson packs into this one is worth the reading alonI really enjoyed this book, though not as much as A Walk In the Woods. The historical information Bryson packs into this one is worth the reading alone. This book also gives insight to the growth of extreme consumerism that has become rampant. At times, Bryson crosses the line of "too much information," but I guess he's just being honest with his childhood experiences. Bryson's an entertaining writer....more
I love the subtitle "Good news for the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt out." That would be a fitting subtitle to the Bible itself. I think a lot peopleI love the subtitle "Good news for the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt out." That would be a fitting subtitle to the Bible itself. I think a lot people have a "prosperity gospel" approach to Christianity (ahem Osteen...) which I disagree with. Manning argues that the picture of victory in Christ is Christ himself on the cross. By following Him, we won't necessarily have wealth, health, and success in the world's eyes. But instead we will have Christ to cover all of our shortcomings through love, mercy, and grace. ...more
Philip Yancey might be my new favorite author. We'll see after I read a few more of his books, but between reading this book and some of his articlesPhilip Yancey might be my new favorite author. We'll see after I read a few more of his books, but between reading this book and some of his articles online, I like his approach. What I really liked about this book was how he strips away any pre-existing impressions we have about Christ based on things we learned in Sunday school, movies, etc. He takes the approach of looking at scripture pretending you don't know what's going to happen in the next chapter. Pretend you don't know Christ is going to be crucified when learning about His life; Pretend you don't know He's going to be resurrected when He is crucified; etc. The "profoundness" of so much of the Bible really shows with this approach.
There is so much relevance in this book. It was written 10 years ago but like so many of the good books I've read lately, Yancey warns against the advancement of Christianity through political, "power over" approaches (similar to Boyd, Claiborne, etc), and points to Christ's own life as an example of the nature of God and his mustard-seed Kingdom. It does not resemble any earthly kingdom.
My confession is that this book has been sitting on my shelf for 10 years. I read portions of it for a class in college, but never the whole thing. Having sold many of my college books, I am glad that I hung on to this one....more
Just so people know - I don't want to read this because my work sucks. :-) I'm my own boss, so work is awesome. But I'm interested in learning more abJust so people know - I don't want to read this because my work sucks. :-) I'm my own boss, so work is awesome. But I'm interested in learning more about the ROWE concept and how it applies to non-traditional work schedules. ...more
Another book my wife recommended, and an enjoyable read. I only give this one 3 stars because I felt it was somewhat predictable, and the dialog betweAnother book my wife recommended, and an enjoyable read. I only give this one 3 stars because I felt it was somewhat predictable, and the dialog between the characters was totally un-realistic. However, the story itself was good and had a good message, with an emphasis on forgiveness, patience, and redemption. A very quick read, too....more
This book was both hilarious and insightful at the same time. I thought A.J. Jacobs did a great job of trying to live as literally Biblically as possiThis book was both hilarious and insightful at the same time. I thought A.J. Jacobs did a great job of trying to live as literally Biblically as possible. But, as a Christian, I wish he would have put a bit more time and effort into the New Testament of the Bible. It was almost like he got to Christ in the Bible, decided he couldn't really believe that he was the Son of God, and never really got much further than that.
His interviews and experiences with a variety Biblically-minded people kept the book fresh. I really enjoyed it....more
When I was in college, I had a class on urbanization where we broke up into small groups. Each group was then assigned an inner-city neighborhood in tWhen I was in college, I had a class on urbanization where we broke up into small groups. Each group was then assigned an inner-city neighborhood in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. My group was assigned the Powderhorn/Central neighborhoods of Minneapolis, and we spent the next few weeks getting to know the area. (On the first day we saw the cops chase down a teenager on foot)
One of the stops we made was to a church that was home to a local TeenChallenge ministry, so we sat in on one of their daily worship services. We were surrounded by a ton of local youth, guys on one side of the room, gals on the other. It was quite the experience to see the service get going and watch these folks with such rough backgrounds become filled with the Holy Spirit.
This is the experience that David Wilkerson talks about in his book, The Cross and The Switchblade. He talks about his initial calling to the streets of New York City in the early 60's, and the ministry he started that targeted troubled youth, often heavily involved in gangs and drugs. There is a heavy reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit, which they discover has amazing power to overcome often deadly addictions such as heroin.
If there's one thing I'm left with after reading this book, it's an amazing sense of boldness on the part of Wilkerson and those around him. For a random small town pastor to go to the streets of NYC on a whim and risk his life for thugs and killers is an incredible testament of boldness through Christ and the Holy Spirit. ...more
A great insight into the US economy and the half-truths we've been told. Schiff does an excellent job of educating the reader in basic economics, andA great insight into the US economy and the half-truths we've been told. Schiff does an excellent job of educating the reader in basic economics, and then confronts the current myths of our markets head-on. This book is well-organized and actually very easy to read.
About a quarter of the way through I thought, "Wow I've heard Ron Paul say a lot of this stuff." and then I looked up Schiff online and found out he was Paul's head economic advisor. The things these guys have been saying about the US monetary policy, housing market, inflation, etc for the past few years have ALL come true.
I really wish I would have read this book when it first hit the shelves. Great advice in it!...more