Archive for December, 2010

At Home: A Short History of Private Life. Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson
Cover of Bill Bryson

At Home: A Short History of Private LifeBill Bryson.  2010. ISBN 978-0767919388.  I am a Bryson fan. This book porportes to be about this old country house in England that he lives.  Well it becomes a story of English ( and American) homes and how they became they way they are . You also find out the genesis of  room and board and all kinds of English phrases. Along the way you find out why mens’ suit-coats have useless buttons at the bottom of the sleeves.  And a whole lot else. Just a delightful book.

Cutting for Stone. Abraham Verghese.

Cutting for StoneCutting for Stone.Cutting for Stone Abraham Verghese. 2009. ISBN 9780307357779. Set in Addis Ababa during Selassie‘s reign this is a trip back in time and a full dip into the Africa of the time , set in the world’s oldest Christian country.  You lie the life of two twin boys, separated from Father and Mother, raised in a Mission hospital. Follow their lives into med school and training ( and weave in Eritrean  independence and Marxist  rule in Ethiopia.) One stays behind, one goes onto America . See the winding paths of their lives and how it all comes together in the end. A masterful story. Total enjoyment.

Social Nation. How to harness the power of social media to attract customers, motivate employees & grow your business. Barry Libert

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Social Nation. How to harness the power of social media to attract customers, motivate employees & grow your business. Barry Libert. 2010. ISBN 9780470599266.    The author is CEO of Mzinga  which manages 2 billion conversations a month.  There are so many books on this subject out there that how does one chose?  This book is written for business people in many different businesses.  The real world examples are powerful as are the numerous statistics.. Did you read about  how Glaxo Smith Kline effectively open sourced the background on malaria fighting drugs?  Of course he includes stories about the big guys like Google  and Mountain Dew, but there are numerous small company stories as well.  You can take the Social Skills online test to see where you fit in the scheme of things.  The chapter on getting started and the ten pitfalls is particularly useful.   If you are getting started on “this social media thing” this book is a good place to begin.

The Confession. John Grisham.

The Confession: A Novel

The Confession. John Grisham. 2010. ISBN 9780385528047.  What is a holiday break without the latest Grisham novel?  Fast paced story about a  little feisty lawyer vs the big guys.  This may be one of his best.  Perhaps one of the strongest cases against capital punishment you may read.  Despite knowing this was fiction, I found some of the content very distressing. Read it.

Twitter Marketing for Dummies. Kyle Lacy – Guest post

Edward Stern is a guest blogger for An Apple a Day and a writer on becoming a phlebotomist for the Guide to Health Education.
Twitter Marketing for Dummies. Kyle Lacy. 2010. ISBN 9780470561720. The Dummies series may not always be the best authority in certain topics, but in this case, it is. This book is by far the most comprehensive, in-depth guide to marketing yourself or your business via Twitter that I’ve come across. Everyone knows Twitter is all but essential as a marketing tool, but very few people understand it or know how to use it effectively. Kyle Lacy is in that minority, and after reading his book, you will be, too. Twitter Marketing for Dummies is not just a basic overview for beginners, though it does cover topics for novices like “what’s a re-tweet?” After getting the basics down, the author dives into how to create an effective marketing campaign, what constitutes proper tweetiquette, and how to walk the fine-line between self-promotion and spamming. It’s easy to make mistakes on Twitter that will turn off followers and reflect poorly on what you’re trying to promote; this book outlines how to use this amazing social media tool to your advantage. When you’re ready, it goes in-depth on the features social media consultants utilize; everything from third party applications that take full advantage of Twitter’s capacity for connecting and doing research on target demographics, to improving customer service and (most importantly), drawing followers who will care about what you’re tweeting. There are many books out there claiming to be the ultimate guide for learning how to market on Twitter, but few are as comprehensive, easy-to-read, and thoughtful as Twitter Marketing for Dummies. If you’re thinking about using Twitter to market your services or those of your business (and you should be), this is a truly excellent resource for getting started.  

Twitter Marketing For Dummies

speak human. Outmarket the big guys by getting personal. Eric Karlaluoto.

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speak human.  Outmarket the big guys by getting personal. Eric Karlaluoto. 2010. ISBN 9780981348209.  A Vancouver marketing firm SmashLAB was started by Eric and his partner Eric Shelkie.  This book is a compendium of lessons learned  (perhaps ordeals by fire) working  in the industry. What results is a very human book that contains his unique views on the communication business. His comments resonate well with what Rocket Builders has found over the years, as we seem to share a common world view with the author.  Good phrases that stuck with me (likely I have mashed them together  in my memory) :

  • positioning means…to get known for one thing
  • selling is all about numbers and sincerity
  • social networks give you access to a broader set of great individuals with different and unique skill sets
  • marketing is a long haul endeavor

Unlike many younger authors, Eric creates a very good set a of chapter notes  that provides good “proof” to what he is saying.  It speaks to a thoughtful work that is worth you taking the time to read it.

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private life. Jane Smiley

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private life. Jane Smiley. 2010. ISBN 9781400040605.  A fictional account of marriage in the 1880- 1950s from the point of view of the wife.  The wife, Margaret is a “saint” and the husband “Andrew” is a brilliant fool.  Not my normal cup of tea, but I found my self pulled through the book by the authors clear and thoughtful prose. The author is well known for her Pulitzer prize and this one continues the good work.

Content Rules. How to create killer blogs, podcasts, videos, ebooks, webinars. Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman

Content Rules. How to create killer blogs, podcasts, videos, ebooks, webinars.  Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman. 2011. ISBN 9780470648285.   Book 2 in the New Rules of Social Media Series, this book answers the question, ” So how do I make that good content I keep hearing about?”  It does a good job because of the real examples shown and the experience of the authors.  Their journalism experience makes this an easy to read, immediately useful book.  The point of view agrees with what our company sees as essential to client success in the Go2Market space.  This is a sales and marketing bookshelf keeper. Tell your friends to buy their own.

The 4 -Hour Body. An uncommon guide to rapid-fat-loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman,Timothy Ferriss

Timothy Ferriss speaks at Google, May 2007. Ph...
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The 4 -Hour Body. An uncommon guide to rapid-fat-loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman.Timothy Ferriss. 2010. ISBN 9780307463630.  At 550 pp and pushing 3 lbs, this is not just a book, its a bible.  Timothy always delivers excellent value in his books, videos and blogs, with each page bringing another nugget – getting the job done, with the most efficient effort- in the least amount of time. His online  references add almost as much info again.  If you follow his blog, much of this has been there. But now the wealth of info is in one place with the logic and proof.  I can testify that his strength gaining workouts really work. He is also very generous with references to the experts in all fields.  If you have a Kindle this is the book to get on it – and then its with you everywhere.  Great vacation read, plus each section stands on its own.

Need a pricing strategy? Fire a customer. National Post Dec 7 2010

Good article from Paul Hunt today in National Post.

Paul Hunt, Financial Post · Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010

If you haven’t walked away from a piece of business in the past six months, then it is very likely that your company doesn’t have a pricing strategy.

In other words, you are trying to be all things to all people, and that is not a strategy. In fact, it could have a detrimental impact on your business because it means that highly price-sensitive customers will infiltrate your company and obtain pricing that is well below what your loyal customers who value your offering pay.

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