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Book Review: Socialnomics, how social media tranform the way we live and do business

October 10, 2009
Socialnomics by Erik Qualman
Socialnomics by Erik Qualman

This Summer brought a snow of books around social media. Socialnomics, written by Erik Qualman, is one book reflecting a clear and current view of how the burst of social media tools triggered a significant shift in business models we have been using for a few decades. “We have shifted from a world where the information and news was held by a few and distributed to a millions, to a world where the information is held by millions and distributed to a few”. Qualman strongly urges businesses to break out of old habits – moving a product to a digital environment is not enough, one needs to make use of social media tools as well as make adjustment and work with changes in user online behavior. How does one do that? The book carries some really great notions and ideas:

  • The greatest hurdle for social media now is the misconception that social media consumes more time, while it is actually an aid that helps one be more efficient and productive. The key is seeing how it serves each and every one of us. I have used a specific example in the my blog on martindale.com which is only one way – social media offers a wide variety of tools suited for all industries and audiences.
  • The social media is spreading so wild and fast because it is about the general social good – it promotes the useful and beneficial to the consumer as well as society.  When you reapply a product using social media, think of how your audience can participate in shaping and defining it. Those who include their consumers as taking some role with production, will gain.
  • The social capital created in social networking sites is a major threat to current search concepts and behaviors which no longer work for us. what makes the difference? Social networks encompass an element of trust, one that is to be find very minimalistically in various search engines.
  • User Generated Content is significantly changing the way we produce and consume information, where the consumer is many times an equal, if not a better, contributor to the product: it enables the blogger expert to stand out from the large network journalist. Smart businesses will adopt the change and not resist it (it will happen anyway).

Qualman dedicates a good portion of the book to examine real life cases of business who have and have not used social media tools to leverage their products, and the consequences of new business models – those which have worked as well as those that have not – on marketing and market/consumer reaction. Inspirational book well worth the read.

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