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The Whuffie Factor: The 5 Keys for Maxing Social Capital and Winning with Online Communities
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The Whuffie Factor: The 5 Keys for Maxing Social Capital and Winning with Online Communities

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  308 ratings  ·  44 reviews
The book that catches the crest of Web 2.0 and shows how any business can harness its power by increasing whuffie, the store of social capital that is the currency of the digital world.

Everyone knows about blogs and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and has heard about someone who has used them to grow a huge customer base. Everyone wants to be hands-on, grass
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 21st 2009 by Crown Business (first published November 11th 2008)
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3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  308 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Claire-France Perez
Tara Hunt's book is not just about a clever way to make conversation on Twitter, but a human story of conversations and where they lead. Hunt is a Canadian who made a splash in San Francisco, but then she returns to Canada in style: in her "Whuffie Mobile."

Whuffie is the concept of Social Good Will, which is gained by creating value for other people before asking for value (like a sale or a like or whatever) as if it were a Feelings-Generated Bank Account: you make a deposit before making any wi
Jan 19, 2010 rated it liked it
A goofy title hides a solid review of the web 2.0 landscape. Those, ahem, seasoned enough to remember the slow-motion tsunami that was the introduction of email and the internet are experiencing the same feelings in the face of Facebook and similar social networking tools in combination with pocket-sized PCs known as smart-phones. Despite the clichés the game of business is changing as a component of overall changes happening in human relationships. Early adopter Hunt is a prime position to guid ...more
MsSmartiePants the candy...
Very good. On par with Groundswell. I learned so much more about social networking! Plus, great info on how to use social networking to improve the effectiveness of marketing and PR in business and our personal careers! There were referrals to useful websites full of FREE content available to enhance your own pages, blogs, and sites. This book is all about building value and keeping your mindset where it needs to be in this 21st century: how to help your customer get what they want and need.
I lo
May 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a great read, and I could feel Tara Hunt's passion in this subject coming off the pages. Relationships or Whuffie is important for curating returning customers and for them to spread the news of your business. This is even more so when we are at the stage of moving beyond social media and into social business. We need to engage more with our loyal customers and empower them to be our advocates.

Social media is one of those things that are hard to justify the ROI, similar to telephones an
Jw van Eck
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Extremely easy-to-read how-to guide on what connectivity in the age of the Internet can do for you, or for your organisation. With a lot of anecdotes (with the obligatory mentioning of Zappos, Moleskine, TED) and a few useful lists on what you should think about if you if you want to take the community marketing approach.

With "Be human, Exceed expectations, Get into flow, Listen to your customers, Get your higher calling, etc" I do get the feeling I have read it all before, and could easily ref
Shawn Williamson
Really good, fun read. I particularly liked Chapters 9 and 10 so book finished on high, positive note.

If you remember only 5 things Tara says

1. Turn the bullhorn around. Stop talking and start listening.
2. Become part of the community you serve and figure out who it is you are serving. It isn’t everyone. Then get out of your office and into the community.
3. Be notable and create amazing experiences for your customers. It isn’t enough to design something that works. You need to design remarkable
May 18, 2009 rated it liked it
I love everything this book has to say about businesses making effective use of social media tools. The only thing that keeps this from being a 4 or 4-star review is the editing. I tend to think that Tara Hunt's editor did her a bit of a disservice here - the writing in places is distractingly ungrammatical, and the overall structure could be confusing for someone new to social media. (Why, for example, write a book about social media tools that doesn't explain these tools until somewhere around ...more
Michael Dobbie
Mar 16, 2009 marked it as to-read
excerpt from a review...
"Money isn’t the capital of choice in online communities, it is Whuffie - social capital – and how to raise it is the heart of this book.” In the Web 2.0 world, market capital flows from having high social capital. Without Whuffie you lose your connections and any recommendation you make will be seen as spam, met with negative reactions and a loss of social capital...Tara Hunt has found, online success comes from building a community and being part of it – not by pushing
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-book
Goed boek over het professioneel inzetten van social media. Het is inmiddels al een paar jaar oud, maar omdat het gaat om een manier van benaderen en niet de specifieke tools die je hierbij moet gebruiken veroudert het niet zo snel als de meeste boeken over online marketing. Ik vond het zelf toegankelijk, logisch en interessant en het zette me aan het denken over hoe ik haar advies in de praktijk zou kunnen toepassen. Vol met voorbeelden, van iemand die duidelijk al veel ervaring heeft in de sec ...more
Aug 31, 2009 rated it did not like it
Very unimpressive. I was basically an extended biography about why we should think she's so cool because she's so good at social capitalism using online media. I think she needs more friends "IRL" to counteract the online ego.

There wasn't a lot of useful information for me. I'm certainly not a social media marketing guru so I thought there'd be a lot more for me but I pretty much knew it all. There were a few websites that looked interesting but those could have been compiled in a one-page list
Nov 30, 2009 rated it did not like it
She's very much promoting herself. When a book about social media in late 2009 has to define what Twitter and Flickr are, I just question who the audience is if it's not a "how to." And then having to explain who Dave Weinberger is. Clearly not a book I am the audience for but I just found this wholly unimpressive. It's not where I'd send people looking for the reasons why. I'd go to, oh, Dave Weinberger.
Apr 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a seminal book of social media wisdom, made even better because it riffs off Cory Doctorow's vision of a science fiction future that is making inroads today. Tara Hunt went on to start her own company and do marketing for other folks, but the merits of authenticity and social capital continue as relevant concepts in the business arena.

Approachable, well written. You may read other books that are more recent, capturing technological changes, but the core principles remain germane.
Michelle Jones
Jul 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that was kind of wasted on me but I think it’s good and will definitely recommend it to people. Why was it wasted on me? Because I already kind of live “The Whuffie Factor.” Open, transparent, trying to do well by doing good, being a good community member, etc, etc. I live the social media lifestyle (for lack of a better term) so there wasn’t a lot of new information in this book for me.
Nic Brisbourne
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Some really good stuff in this book. You have to pick out the good bits, but I think the general assertion that tomorrow's winners are going to be the companies that participate genuinely in social media and contribute to the community above and beyond selling their product/service. Beyond that this book is full of good practical tips on how to operate in this brave new world, both for traditional brands and entrepreneurs building community websites.
Derek Neighbors
Mar 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great content, with good examples. Was difficult to read because we live this everyday at Gangplank. It was nice to see some of our everyday articulated into the written word. If you own a company you should probably read this book to gain some insight into the future workplace and how the world of work is evolving.
Belal Khan
May 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
When I first purchased this book, I'd give it 5-stars. However, concepts are dated today. Principles are still true about social media, but you don't need this book to explain why it's important and what the potential is today. Just understand the importance of PR in brand building and you'll understand the concepts in this book and more.
Derek Neighbors
Nov 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Great content, with good examples. Was difficult to read because we live this everyday at Gangplank. It was nice to see some of our everyday articulated into the written word. If you own a company you should probably read this book to gain some insight into the future workplace and how the world of work is evolving.
Nov 28, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a good book with numerous examples on harnessing Web 2.0 and social media technologies (Facebook, Twitter) to make a good business even better. I read only the first third, but I'd return to this one if I were running a business. Much of the material resonates with a book I read a few years ago by Jeff Jarvis called _What Would Google Do?_.
Adam Walker Cleaveland
May 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: technology
Tara gives a GREAT overview of how social media is changing the world today through businesses and imagines how else that might affect you and the way you run your own business or organization.

It's a really great read and I recommend it.
Fred Sampson
Dec 20, 2011 rated it liked it
A book that could easily have been a chapter. Hunt chose to cover all of social media (as of 3 years ago) from the perspective of the value of reputation, which is not at all wrong, it's just one perspective. Don't take "Whuffie" as the final word.
Jun 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Tara has lots of first hand experience of managing communities and fame on the Internet. The book does a good job of showing her approach to customer-centric social network interaction. I especially liked the real-world accounts of companies and people she has worked for.
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good read if you are looking at how to engage online. It should encourage people on the power of building relationships online.

I thought the writing could have used some better copy editing. I was distracted by switching of pronouns and verb tense.
Amy Denim
Sep 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-by-audio
Great ideas and info here. Some of it (especially the twitter stuff) is a little out of date, but the concepts are still very valid. Glad I read it, and will spread the word to my friends in business and writing that they should too.
Kathleen Rainwater
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
A step by step guide to building social capital or "whuffie" via Web 2.0 tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr and other social networking sites. Full of real life examples of how companies have used and abused social media for marketing purposes.
May 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Loved this book! Not a be all end all business book, but an excellent take on the new social plane of the digital landscape and it's importance for business. This book is more an attitude adjustment than a market strategy. With that in mind, I wholeheartedly recommend!
Feb 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: other
Despite being a bit of a fluffy, flower-power guru book, I would heartily recommend this book for anyone with a business who are thinking of starting with social media. This book contains a lot of valuable lessons on do's and don'ts, backed up with a lot of anecdotes.
Sep 26, 2009 rated it liked it
A decent primer on social media best practices for businesspeople who need to get up to speed fast. Not a whole lot of new material for those who've been following the trends from early on, but it is refreshing to sit down and think about this stuff in more than 140 characters.
Jun 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: socialmedia, tech
An enjoyable read if you like social networking or thinking about advertising your business online. Lots of great examples of what having social capital (whuffie) can take you and your business/projects.
Marc Weidenbaum
Read this as part of a reading group discussion at It's a good introduction to the values of social networks. My group read it in regard to how its lessons can be applied to the arts -- to individual musicians and to organizations.
Dimitrios Diamantaras
A bit fluffy, but has good examples of engaging online communities for business and social purposes.
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