Laura Belgrave's Reviews > Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business

Socialnomics by Erik Qualman
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's review
Sep 13, 2009

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bookshelves: kindle-version, nonfiction
Read in September, 2009

Erik Qualman, in taking on a relatively new field, does a commendable job in laying out what social networking and social media are all about, something few people -- other than those who study it -- can really wrap their heads around. Likewise, because the subject matter is something that's probably shifting in communication more rapidly than almost anything, Qualman notes time and again that the ever-changing landscape will require those who embrace it to remain nimble and current.

But where Qualman seems to fall short is in distancing himself from a role as cheerleader and finding a more objective voice to describe not only the value of "socialnomics," but the pitfalls inherent in it. That's especially true for businesses that don't fall into "physical product" camps, or for those who tend to cater to an older audience. Qualman can't be singled out on this count; most people who write about social media seem to direct their assessments to markets that cater to the young, who are most active in social networking. Sure, that group is significant and most involved with Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, social bookmarking and other areas of social expression over the Internet. But that just means that Qualman and other authors in this field need to delve a little deeper in order to determine the longer-term value in social networking.

If Qualman could tone down his enthusiasm for social networking as a business tool just a hair, and ramp up his research into its impact for all demographics and business types over a longer time, then I think he'd have a more compelling story.

Bottom line: Good start; waiting for a better finish.
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