Becoming Professional: A Blog

Sleepy-Eyed Book Reviews: The Facebook Era

Posted on: February 6, 2010

This is a rare experience. Today’s post is a book review of The Facebook Era that I know will be read by the author, Clara Shih. I mentioned the book in a tweet a week ago and she contacted me, so I put the chances of her not reading this at zero. But what else would you expect from an author of a social networking book? I already gave Ms. Shih a brief review on Twitter, but 140 characters is not enough to really evaluate a book. So, Ms. Shih, here are my thoughts, 2nd edition.  

I do recommend The Facebook Era by Clara Shih. Ms. Shih does a great job explaining how networking works through Facebook and how Facebook is useful for everything from a job search to marketing a product. Good info, if you can stay with it. The problem is sticking with it. Disclaimer: I read my professional literature right when I wake up. I don’t even leave my bed. I might have a shorter attention span and lower alertness that makes me likely to doze on a book. Hey, I doze without the book.

Still, there are some undeniable similarities between The Facebook Era and a text book, and those are notoriously sedative. For instance, Ms. Shih has helpfully provided lots of case studies, but she’s put them in grey boxes, exactly like text books do with their case studies… I skipped them immediately, a habit I got into at school.

On Twitter, Ms Shih asked me how to improve the book for the second edition. 140 characters is too short to really give good feedback, so here it is:

  • You do a great job explaining how to use Facebook in advanced ways, but then you explain the simple principles of viral marketing. Your strength is in the tough stuff. Those who don’t get the basics should read Facebook for Dummies.
  • The book needs more personality. We can tell from the Facebook photos of you that you have it, but the book lacks it. Please put more in. Stories of your experience to illustrate your points instead of the case studies in grey boxes.
  • Case studies… and more case studies… in grey boxes… Maybe it’s because I recently graduated, but I hate text books with an unholy passion. This reminded me of those. However, this would be a great book to market to college professors, as is. Students have to buy your book, and they’d love you if you kept the price point the same (I distinctly remember $190 books. It’s just paper, publishers. Bring it down some, please.)

End summary: Good book. Useful information. Definetly worth a read. Could it be improved? Hell yes, but what can’t? I look forward to the second edition. Ms. Shih already has great info, next is emotion. Ms. Shih, I want to be your biggest consumer evangelist, just give me something to be passionate about.

Anyway, who’s to say I shouldn’t just have my coffee first so I’m no so critical?


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Who Am I?

I am a Digital Native who is trying to puzzle out what exactly that means. I share my thoughts on social media, digital business models, and PR here on this blog.

I am currently getting my Masters in Digital Marketing from Hult International Business School, having gotten my B.S. in Marketing from Arizona State University. Everything is on track and I am making headway towards my dream: World Domination... or being a productive, helpful citizen and marketer. Whichever comes first.

Don't hesitate to get in touch. I Tweet daily at @KateDavids and also have a science fiction and fantasy blog ( and Twitter (@Masked_Geek).

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