At the E2.0 Boston conference I saw plenty of handwringing about the lack of successful practical examples around social computing. I can point to one – a personal example – over the last year how my book, The New Polymath has drawn on communities and crowds and social CRM.
Here is how the book has benefitted in at least 10 ways:
While my book is not specifically about social media or E2.0 like Seth Godin’s or Charlene Li’s books – it covers wide ground from nanotech to cleantech -there many, many examples of innovative uses of communities and collaboration including:
- The mandatory mentions of Facebook, Twitter, various Google and Apple contributions to social networks and how the freemium business model is likely to evolve
- Social CRM examples from firms like appirio and others at Avon, Starbucks, PepsiCo and commentary from Paul Greenberg
- How the SAP SDN, Cognizant 2.0 and GE’s Support Central communities are growing virally
- How the Apple iPhone application and BP’s innovation ecosystems have evolved
- Research from Prof. Tom Malone and colleagues about the “genomes” of communities – how they get formed, what drives them etc
- Commentary from Bill Kutik and Jason Corsello on how social networks are reshaping talent management strategies
- Telepresence and other collaboration technologies and commentary from Oliver Marks
- How cloud computing is evolving and incorporating collaboration like salesforce is with Chatter
Blogger profiles in book
- There are at least 30 bloggers from around the world profiled/quoted in the book. Not because they are bloggers but because they are innovating as entrepreneurs, market analysts, corporate executives – or just have a fascinating perspective on a subject matter the book covers.
- I drew heavily from the Enterprise Irregulars – Jeff Nolan and Brian Sommer in the chapter on ethics, Anshu Sharma and Phil Wainewright (UK) on Cloud Computing; Ramana Rao and Nenshad Bardoliwalla on Analytics; Dan McWeeney on Interfaces, Charlie Wood on how he leverages a breathtaking range of Google apps in his small business, Ross Mayfield, Sig Rinde (France) and Ray Wang on Communities.
- I also leveraged the SAP Mentor community – Dennis Howlett (Spain). Jim Spath on communities; Anne Petteroe (Norway) on Interfaces in the many countries she has done business; Marilyn Pratt on women in tech. Gretchen Lindquist is profiled as a Polymath for her wide range of skills and interests outside her work day
- Several bloggers are in the chapter on Consumerization of Technology because they had written in “how technology has affected my hobby” guest blog series last year. They include Michael Lamoureux (Canada), Mike Prosceno, Naomi Bloom and others
- Bloggers I respect and follow – Paul Kedrosky is profiled in the chapter on analytics, Troy Angrignon (Canada) on ethics, Pat Phelan (Ireland) on global mobile roaming and Rajagopal Sukumar (India) on impact of mobile technologies on life in India
The “Peer” Author Brain Trust
It is intimidating to be a Gulliver in Brobdingnag, the land of giants. You are dependent on a giant publisher (Wiley, $ 1.7 bn in revenues), gigantic retailers (like amazon $27 bn), and even bigger shippers (like UPS $46 bn). It’s easy to get lost in them and between them. So early on, I started to lean on a small community of authors with several books under their belt. David Axson, Howard Dresner, Jon Reed, Phil Simon, Jeffrey Word and Paul Greenberg were invaluable in keeping me sane through the mysteries of the publishing process.
The Crowd Editing process
I used a crowdsourced model to help review the countless versions of the book. Charlotte Otter (Germany), Dennis Howlett (Spain) and several in the US like Debbie Brown reviewed various chapters and made the book richer. As with software, the more eyes that review the material, the better.
I also used a network to provide feedback on the gorgeous book cover. Judith Rothrock, Kimberly McDonald and others assisted here.
The book has received glowing endorsements from a number of tech executives and authors. Many of these were facilitated by people I am in contact with via social networks. Carlye Adler facilitated Marc Benioff’s foreword. Andrew McCarthy assisted with Dave Duffield’s review. I have never physically met Chris Curran, Linda Avey, Don Tapscott (Canada) or Shawn Otto – only deal with them through social media. Yet each graciously made time to review an advance copy and write nice blurbs
Countless bloggers asked for advance versions of the book and wrote up reviews in the build up to the book release. You can see the growing list on this page. In contrast, most mainstream media has waited for the hard copies to be available and most got them last week.
Bloggers around the world helped with introductions to local media in various countries – Maggie Fox (Canada), Paul Sweeney (Ireland), Helmuth Guembel (Germany), Thomas Otter (S. Africa), Harish Jagtiani (India), Marilyn Pratt (Israel) and Devan Sabaratnam (Australia) have pitched in.
Social technology for book marketing
I set up a Facebook page for the book and a LinkedIn Group. I posted weekly excerpts from the book on my blogs. I used an amazon author page to post videos and notes about speaking events. I set up a Twitter hashtag for the book.I used BookTour.com to propagate information at book events. Typepad, my blogging platform, helped me with new features as I posted excerpts. Google searches, alerts and other technology have been invaluable.
The book has its own nice website. I selected Tim Brocato, the designer based on – you guessed it – a crowd sourced set of recommendations. William Mougayar (Canada) kindly set up a unique configuration for the book on his vertical search portal, eqentia.
Multi-media content about the book
While the book itself is traditional in its look and feel (and looks somewhat better, but still black and white in the Kindle and iPad formats), it is mind-boggling the numerous formats the social community has discussed it. Dennis Howlett and David Vallente have videoed me talking about the book. Peter Fingar created an animoto and Jon Reed and Jim Spath have created podcasts around the book. Zoli Erdos livened up the book excerpts with fancy graphics as he reposted them on the Enterprise Irregulars site.
Several case studies in the book – GE Global Research Center, Zoho, Plantronics, appirio, NanoArt – invited me to write posts about the book for their blogs. salesforce.com allowed me to leverage the Facebook page of Marc Benioff’s book, Behind the Cloud. Jane Hynes of salesforce.com gave me lots of advice on the social technology they used to market his book.
Community members have helped in a number of book related events. Susan Scrupski and Sameer Patel facilitated my presentation at E2.0 in Boston. John Peavoy (Ireland), David Terrar (UK), Martin Linssen (Netherlands) and Bernard Duperrin (France) are helping with a European tour. Several bloggers like Brad Feld are holding virtual book giveaways.
Many have tweeted about the “wow” candidate contest around the book. Several are soliciting votes for themselves. Why not ? It means bragging rights to be nominated as the most innovative from a book chock full of innovative people, products and places. And to win free books from the wide Wiley catalog.
Periodically my publisher has reminded me – social buzz is fine, but the bulk of a business book’s sales come from case studies in the book and from speaking engagements. Those come in chunks of 10, 50, 500 copies. The social customer only buys 1-2 copies. It is an unfair battle.
In the initial sales, they have turned out to be right. The bulk sales are far outstripping the individual sales. But is great to see so many of these individual readers tweet approval of the book. It is their siren call to an army of social customers which I expect to buy the book over the next few months as it gradually ships around the world.
Its takes a village to raise a child, said Hillary Clinton. To write a book, I say. So many to thank. But first, let’s all celebrate a solid example of how Enterprise 2.0 can help in so many aspects of a campaign.
Any campaign. Anywhere in the world.