Archive for the Social Media Book Reviews (by A. Dustus) Category

Say Everything: How Blogging Began… (Book Review)

Posted in Blog, education, Social Media Book Reviews (by A. Dustus), writing with tags , , , , , , on January 13, 2010 by dustus

Since beginning “The Dustus Blog,” I’ve become obsessed with learning everything I can about blogging and it’s history (see Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging, Bloggers on the Bus, Problogger, etc…). My studies emerge from an initial curiosity and deep respect for what I consider a technological gift (my free WordPress blog). Without a doubt, blogs have changed many lives—including my own.

That being said, I’d like to share with you some thoughts about the new book Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It’s Becoming, And Why It Matters by Scott Rosenberg. In my opinion, this detailed work paints a comprehensive portrait of what blogging was, is, and how user-generated content and frequent posting transforms our world. Say Everything also explains current tensions between bloggers and other writers.

Say Everything recounts how the Web’s first inventors welcomed creative contributions from all over the world. Scott Rosenberg defines the technological evolution of blogs, including early precursors of Web interaction and cursory reporting of 911, as well as political reporting that led news-seekers to flock online. Rosenberg then focuses on many notable blogging personalities that emerged from this social movement. For instance, the exhibitionist blogs of Justin Hall, the written and technological contributions of Dave Winer, stories about Evan Williams and the rise of Blogger and Twitter, political blogging, etc… (The scope of topics covered is “mindblogglingly” extensive.

After reading Say Everything, I remain fascinated by how bloggers are perceived by the traditional media and esteemed literary circles. Aside from Noble Prize winning author Dorris Lessing’s outright dissing of blogging (which can be read online), Rosenberg discusses the “journalistic beef” bloggers have inherited. In sparking debate over literary quality of posts, journalistic jeering points fingers (perhaps the middle ones) at bloggers’ lack of reporting acumen and experience. Prominent bloggers, quick to respond, have questioned the authenticity of an “unbiased” press, major coverage errors, and instances of uninspired writing.

Rosenberg considers the motivations of both sides in the Blogger/Journalist arguments, presenting an overall clash between the verities of tradition and an expanding open source world. In Rosenberg’s promotion of blogging over its criticisms, he concludes (quite eloquently I might add), “Links beat walls and gates… the wisdom of experience, might actually represent the resentment of a dying order. Finally I concluded that it did.”

My recommendation = Say Everything… It is in the best interest of every new and serious blogger to read this.
Scott Rosenberg
is an American journalist, editor, blogger and non-fiction author. He was a co-founder of Salon Media Group and and a relatively early participant in The WELL. Rosenberg’s first book, Dreaming in Code appeared in 2007.

The World According To Twitter (Book Review)

Posted in Blog, education, social media, Social Media Book Reviews (by A. Dustus), writing with tags , , , , , , on December 31, 2009 by dustus

by David PogueDavid Pogue’s The World According To Twitter is funny, witty, and represents some of the best posts found on Twitter. In fact, this compilation combines humor, creativity, and interesting stories about people’s lives.

Enjoyable tweet topics/prompts in The World According To Twitter include:

Identify an irony of life
You’ve lived your life this far. What have you learned?
You know you’re a Twitter addict when…

David Pogue’s book also presents stories about people getting tattoos, cute things kids say, getting dumped, worst job stories, and memories of one’s first kiss.

In addition to plenty of puns and “twitterspeak,” individuals share some of the greatest moments of their lives, as well as many examples of situational awkwardness that I found funny, tragic, and pathetically relatable. Pogue’s book even includes micro-blogs of weird numerical coincidences, wordplay, and my favorite: Summarize a famous book in 140 characters. For example, the following are two of my favorite book summaries:

He was beautiful, so beautiful. All I could think or write about was his beautiful beauty. Oh, and he was a vampire

You can make it through anything if you don’t lose your head.
(A Tale of Two Cities)

The World According To Twitter = Much more than a joke book. It’s an enjoyable collection of tweets and wisdom that made me laugh and think about life.
David Pogue is the personal-technology columnist for the New York Times. He contributes a print column, an online column, an online video and a popular daily blog, “Pogue’s Posts.”

The Facebook Era—It’s Complicated?

Posted in Blog, education, social media, Social Media Book Reviews (by A. Dustus) with tags , , , , , , , on December 22, 2009 by dustus

Social Media makes it easier than ever for people to reach out beyond immediate networks and geographical confines— profoundly affecting individual lives, communication, and professional practices. The Facebook Era by Clara Shih examines this current sociological phenomenon, as well as the significant implications for all Facebook users.

According to Shih, over 200 million people worldwide are logging into Facebook, and it appears that interlinking across social sites is becoming more common for individuals and lucrative for businesses. The ability to message across Internet platforms certainly renders us an interesting and interactive digital society.

Facebook has grown massively in a short period of time. Drawing from her IT experience, Clara Shih provides clear insight into the promise of social networking and its diverese uses on Facebook. This book is more than a series of instructions on to how to best understand Facebook, place highly-targeted advertisements, or invite friends and colleagues to events. Rather, The Facebook Era offers speculation about our future being an even more interconnected world where social platforms are enhanced by third-party applications.

Surprisingly, I also learned a great deal about LinkedIn reading this book. In addition, it was eye-opening to read about how many companies recruit and attempt to make the Facebook experience more interactive for customers through games, sharing content, and efforts at online relationship-building.

The Facebook Era
concludes by considering the future of our increasingly connected world. I believe Shih is correct in stating, “…we must completely rethink our relations, interactions, and business strategies.” Indeed, the future may be more people-centric with technology used to enhance a balance between online and offline worlds.

Really enjoyed this book!
The Facebook Era = “It’s Complicated” lol. Seriously though, a great book about our current digital world and the future of social media. Highly Recommended.
Clara Shih
is an author, blogger, and entrepreneur who pioneered the use of social networks for business in 2007 with her Faceconnector application, which integrates Facebook and Salesforce CRM… (read more)
Author interview via YouTube:  In this clip, Clara Shih discusses Facebook, her inspirations, immigrating to the United States, and the possibility of creating your own destiny.