The Art of Social Media — A Must Read
Read The Art of Social Media. Buy it. Deliberate about the title if you must, but just find the book, purchase it, and keep it. You need it.
Art, Science or Engineering - Whateves.
Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick's new book, "The Art of Social Media" is only 100 pages long, but took me a day to finish because it is so packed with good ideas that I had to keep stopping and trying out new things.
As I read and furiously took notes, I kept struggling with the fact that I thought "art" was the wrong word choice. I wasn't taking notes about the art of social media. I was taking notes about the science of it. No, I corrected myself mid-thought. Not the science of social media. The engineering of social media. There is nothing theoretical about this book. It's all bullet (apropos word, considering the cadence of the writing) point, staccato facts and directives. Then again, is "engineering" the right word?
Maybe "Design of Social Media"?
Anyway, let's move on. The Art of Social Media is a catchy title.
On the one hand, I couldn't put this book down. Well, that's not technically true: Actually, the problem was that I kept putting the book down, in order to take notes and try out new stuff. In fact, a usually fast reader, I took quite a long time to finish The Art of Social Media because of this. I couldn't just skim most chapters and move on.
Many bits and pieces were obvious: There is a little quiz you can take on the book's website, and, since I adore quizzes, I took it immediately. Not impressed with the quiz. Really, you should be able to pass the quiz before reading the book. The Art of Social Media does go over basics, but dives in quick to deeper waters and stays there, packing every square millimetre of space inside with link after link of really great resources, interspersed with witty prose capsules that had me virulently sharing (via Facebook and Tumblr) as I read. I think I even Tweeted one or two.
Here, try this one:
"110. Don't Call Yourself a Guru or an Expert. If you are a guru or an expert, people will know it. If you aren't one, no one is going to believe you. In particular, 'Social Media Guru' is an oxymoron because nobody really knows how social media works - including Peg and me!"
Perhaps that is my favourite part of this book: I feel like the curtain is down. This is real. Thank you, Guy and Peg, for saying so many things that I feel need to be said. "SEO is bullshit." "Nobody knows how social media works." "Don't delegate social media to an intern." I found myself cheering every so often while reading, even when I disagreed with them. This book is just so gosh darn refreshing! c.f. rule # 109: "Don't Swear."
I may feel like "abdicating to an agency" isn't always a bad idea, or that "joining blogging networks" needed to have the important caveat the these networks should not be spammy (but then again, maybe that should be self-evident). But for the most part, I agreed with their points and was just so dang happy to read this kind of blasphemous truth.
Buy the Art of Social Media for the Guts Inside
In the end, though, all those awesome tips are just the stuff that kept me cheering and emotionally charged and hoping these two keep on truckin' for a long time to come. What makes me think that this book is a keeper, one to buy and hold on to, is that I honestly couldn't keep track of all the incredible resources packed inside. At one point, I had about 34 tabs open in my browser, after a quick 15 minute jaunt through the book. Some of the stuff is basic, but much of it is not. All of it is helpful.
Buy the book. Just do it.