Tag: Blogging



25 Oct 09

First off, I believe this book is well intentioned for corporate folks who have large organizations begging them to understand what this “whole social media thing” is all about.  It’s very appealing to this audience for a few reasons.  1) The methodical approach to much of the first 2/3 of the book are getting folks to understand the statistical value of target markets relating to technology, referred to as “Technographics”.  This approach could be very helpful to folks who need statistics to prove anything to someone else.  2) Lots of large companies are used in the Case Study examples.  Again, I believe this approach gives anyone who works in what they believe is a “stodgy corporate environment” hope that their organization too can overcome the fears of innovation.

My biggest concern about this book is that it really seems more as a sales pitch for consulting company where the authors work, Forrester Research.  This really puts me off, but alas, there were lots of gems gleaned in these pages.

This book couldn’t be further opposite of “Trust Agents” if it tried.  They only really have one thing in common and that is “people connect to people”.  I repeat, “People connect to People!”

Although I like the idea that they have a winning step by step approach for entering the Groundswell (the large uprising of customers voicing opinions and blogs about you online where you have no control), but I also worry that issuing a step by step approach to a crowd who are likely reading this book because they don’t know where to start, is like telling someone how to build a watch when they ask for the time.

The one missing message of this book was “just try it”.  Especially if you are in a much smaller environment (and I’ll bet you are) than the examples of companies given in the book.  In the legal administrator ranks we have a term called “Paralysis by Analysis” and it’s exactly what it sounds like.  People and companies will continue to put off the inevitable by over analyzing the circumstances or waiting for one more example of what can go wrong.

I don’t believe this book gives you everything you need to start a complex groundswell engagement if you’re a large company, but after all now you know that Forrester Research has the capacity and technical skills to help you over analyze the situation of your customer base and determine exactly what direction you need to go in.

I found it absurd to state things like, “This solution only cost the company $280,000 to start and maintenance is only $25,000 per month.”  Statements like that help me fully understand that Forrester is targeting much larger fish than me or my firm!  LOL

Don’t get me wrong, I did like the book, but just having finished Trust Agents (a very feel-good and personal book), the writing style and approach from a corporate formula approach just hit me wrong.

I think it was mis-titled.  Should have been “Groundswell: How your Fortune 500 Company will be Transformed by Social Technologies

(This was my second Kindle book completed, but this one I started and finished on my new International Kindle 2! Much nicer to read on!)


Filed under: Management,Social Media,Twitter

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25 Oct 09

Trust Agents is written by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

First off, this was the first book I read “cover to cover” on my Kindle 1 (Kindle gifted to me by my good friend Devri Owen).   As for my Kindle experience, I think more time should have been spent by the publisher to ensure proper formatting of the Kindle version.  It appeared that much of the book was “centered” with the exception of some excerpts which had a significant left indent, leaving 1/3 of the left side of the page blank, which you couldn’t entirely understand why in the Kindle.

So, about the book and content.  I loved it.  But I’m heavily involved already in Social Media.  So, because of the amazing relationships I’ve already built using Social Media, I felt this book perfectly worded my experience.  Of course I’m going to love a book that expresses my own experience.  :)

The big thing about this book for me was simply explaining that it didn’t matter what online tool you were using (twitter, Facebook, etc.), this book is about connect with people using these tools.  It’s about building relationships and becoming a Trust Agent.

One of my favorite messages in the book refers to the “One of Us” mentality. “One of Us” refers to the group of social media fanatics which, if you operate by the methods explained in the book, you get to become “One of Us” and accepted into the inner circle.  Once in the inner circle, you have new social responsibilities.  Perhaps more importantly for this message was that instead of being seen as another corporate sales person you’re “One of Us” by contributing to the overall success of everyone participating.  You connect with people for the sake of helping them accomplish what they need, instead of just reaching out to accomplish the sales needs of your company.

What I loved most about the book was the writing style.  I love reading blogs because people talk like people and not like corporate types.  That’s how this book was written.  It’s written in a very casual blog style.  Writing in this style helps the reader personally identify with the writers.

I work in the legal field (Accounting Manager for Summit Law Group).  So, as you may not know, trying new things in the legal field is very suspect to those around you.  Especially when you operate by the “Trust Agent” standards of just meeting people, trying to connect with them, helping them out with things, all while not forcing your own business down their throat.  So, I am often asked how my social media involvement helps my firm (usually by those outside my firm).  I often have to explain that I love helping people connect with others.  I’ve met HUNDREDS of the people that I tweet with and those folks I consider good friends.  I know that if/when they need legal services they will contact me to see if I know of someone (inside my organization or other) who can help them with their issues.  They contact me for a few different reasons.  MOSTLY because I’ve built a “One of Us” relationship with them where they feel I’m a friend and can be trusted for such a reference.  Although I have hundreds of Social Media contacts, I have even MORE contacts in the local legal community and will work very hard to help them find the counsel they need to solve their issue.

If you are already using Twitter (in specific, although Chris and Julien avoid specifying the online tools), this book will help you enhance relationships on Twitter.  It’s excellent at reminding you that people connect with people, not businesses.  A business who is involved with Social Media will never be a trust agent (my words not theirs).  A business might be a source of information.  But people connect with people.

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.

If you have a Kindle, pick up this book here at Amazon.com or you can buy the hard-copy book also at Amazon.com


Filed under: Social Media

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18 Feb 09

I always thought “Richard’s Legal Admin Place” was boring and I never really thought it was “cool” to have my name in the title. Hopefully “The Legal Hokey-Pokey” will be more catchy!! :)


Filed under: Blogging

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