Title: The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More Stuff

Date Completed: 11/23/09

Author(s): Clara Shih

Copyright: 2009, Pearson Education, Inc

# pages: 211

Genre: Business/Marketing

While I was waiting for my replacement copy of Zorba the Greek, I picked up this book.  I’m reading it, of course, to figure out how to get the word out about Building a Bookshelf.  I’m very new to Facebook – I’m not what you would call an early adopter – and so I feel like I need all the help I can get.

This book really sparked a lot of ideas for me.  Not just ideas for Building a Bookshelf, but also ideas for businesses I’m starting or want to start, and even for my employer – a big corporate giant who doesn’t seem like the Facebook type.  If you own your own business, you need to put this book on your must read list.  It really outlines where business is going, and what you need to do to make sure you are onboard.

The first part of the book talks about the history of the internet and how far we’ve come in such a short time.  Essentially, she is reminding you of how quickly the world has changed because of technology so that you can get the idea that it is all going to change again with social networking.

She also talks a lot about why social networking has caught on as fast as it has.  I’ll be honest – I was one of the people saying ‘why do I care that my friends are on their way to the grocery store?’  But, since joining Facebook and reading this book, the light bulb has gone on for me.  Two of the aha moments I had:

  1. Today’s teenagers consider e-mail to be something ‘old people’ use.  Ok, folks…I remember life without e-mail, so to think that it has already become passé is just a little much for me.
  2. Social Networking allows you to maintain more relationships than you would otherwise because the level of effort of maintaining them is so much less.  Shih brings up the fact that kids who are in junior high today will have a roldex of everyone they’ve ever met when they are adults in the business world.  Why?  Because they will not need to spend any effort to maintain those relationships.  Once you add them to your social network, you maintain the relationship with very little effort.  Huh.  I think they are onto something!

The book has a lot of very practical ‘how to’ steps.  You will see me put some of these to work on the Building a Bookshelf page over the next couple of weeks.