Book Look – Power Friending

It seems like social media is everywhere these days – Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Gowalla, Pandora, flickr, and the list goes on.  Without a true “social” aspect to a product or service you are giving up a segment of your market that is probably “low hanging fruit.”  But once you know about “the Twitter” how do you take the next step in understanding how social media fits into your lifeyou’re your business?  Amber Mac has literally written the book, Power Friending, on where to go, what to do, and how to keep it all together in the world of social media.

The first thing you’ll notice is that despite being a hardcover, the book is only about 7 inches tall and 5 inches wide or about the size of an open hand.  If the book were a friend, it would be easy to shake their hand.  Think of Power Friending as the written form of Amber Mac herself.  In a baseball game worth of chapters Amber takes readers through a history of social media followed by the building blocks, strategies and techniques that can lead to success.  And of course, examples of those who have used social media well and those who….chose poorly.

As a Twitter and Facebook user for a few years there was a lot that was familiar, but almost as much was new.  I’ve recorded a handful of videos on my laptop over the years despite the one-click video production on my MacBook.  Mostly because I didn’t really have a good idea about producing video  – especially lighting.  I probably could have looked up these tips, but Power Friending presented them in an easy to understand manner. 

For the big test: Amber follows her own advice.  She promoted the book on Facebook, talking with prospective users, tweeted about it, and offered some goodies like “Email the receipt for the preorder today for a free t-shirt.”  And of course, a fun trailer on YouTube.

It you’re a social media expert or a newbie trying to establish yourself online there are probably some great tips waiting for you in Power Friending. 


The Real McCoy – Books, Bytes and ‘Backs

I remember hearing a friend describe watching a no-hitter with his girlfriend. She wasn’t a huge baseball fan and wanted a “real” no-hitter where the batter never even made contact with the ball…

This week Amazon announced that Kindle titles were now outselling hardcover books at a rate of 108 per 100. As one of the most important milestone reached by e-books this is exciting news. Paperbacks are still outselling e-books but their inherently lower prices and slow adoption of e-reading devices will keep this form of dead tree on the shelves for many years to come.

In the super long term however, I think the hardcover will be the survivor and paperbacks will find themselves overtaken by the electronic format or formats that win the e-book wars. Hardcover books have been largely unchanged for decades and before that, hundreds of years. Yes, binding have improves and we no longer wrap our books in leather, but the basic size and feel of a hardcover for our ancestors would be familiar to us and vice versa.

I don’t own a Kindle or Nook, but I do read the occasional book on the iPhone now and am really impressed with the iPad. The iPad is heavy, but so is a hardback. While I don’t often feel old and stodgy – I scrapped money together from a paper route in 6th grade for my first computer and have been tech obsessed ever since – I like reading from books. I like old books. Sometimes the moldier and dustier the better.

What would truly be perfect would be an electronic paper that could be bound into a book like traditional paper. You would be able to purchase books and load them into this template book and the pages would transform into whatever book you loaded. A true e-book. Kind of like that ultimate, pure, no-hitter.

All-Star Game 2010

Tonight is the MLB All-Star Game and I’m excited. The Game is something that has gone in and out of my life. As a really young kid I watched every year, including one great year – I can’t remember which though. What I do remember is that Cecil Fielder was at bat and the announcers said the pitcher was “bowling” the ball to him and the Fielder was “larger than the average size pin.” My brother and I still laugh about that.

I regret not seeing the infamous tied game.

What got me back into All-Star fever? Fantasy baseball. Nothing like seeing your guys all playing together like a real team or your ace shutting down a friends slugger. Here’s to another AL victory 🙂