Feb 10

Help me shape what I write about in my book

Here’s an outline of the book’s content.
What sounds most interesting? What sounds least interesting?
What parts sound like they would help you most in your job?

1. Introduction
The shift towards a social web
How the social web is changing marketing and advertising
How technology doesn’t change many aspects of human behavior
How technology does change some things
Why people need to focus on human behavior, not technology

2. The Real Life Social Network
How offline behavior influences online behavior
How real life social networks are structured
Strong, weak and temporary ties
How people use different communication tools
Mapping the real world social network to online social networks

3. Influence
How people make decisions
How people influence each other
Who influences us the most
How to identify who influences who
How to calculate influence

4. Identity
Why identity is a critical part of the evolving social web
How people shape their identity online
How people have multiple identities
How people’s identities are shaped for them
Social status and why people post seemingly trivial mumblings

5. Privacy and Trust
The ‘public paradox’: How people are and aren’t becoming more public with their information
Respecting the information you have about people
Why maintaining trust is more important than anything you can do with people’s data

6. The Business of the Social Web
How customers are talking to each other
Why you can’t build bad products anymore
Behavioral advertising
Why word-of-mouth marketing is the best strategy for the social web
Marketing to communities of people

7. Understanding your customers
Using social media to do research
Using social media to build better products

8. Conclusion

Feb 10

I’m writing a book about the social web

I’m writing a book. It’s due out in August. Here’s an elevator pitch – I’d love feedback:

Social Circles

How offline relationships influence online behavior, and what it means for design and marketing

We are witnessing a fundamental shift in the structure of the web. We’re moving from a world of content and consumption, to a world where almost all websites will support person to person communication. In hindsight, this shift is an obvious evolution. Since we first walked the Earth, humans have been hard wired to connect and communicate.

Currently, many companies are trying things on the social web without a strong understanding of the underlying human behaviors and motivations. Their success is limited, and to improve, we’ll all need to build an understanding of sociability. Sociability is about how, and why, people communicate.

Understanding sociability is complex, it involves many disciplines: sociology, network science, psychology, design. Although none of us can be experts in all of these areas, there are some fundamentals about how people communicate that we can all understand and leverage.

To date, these fundamentals have been hard for the majority of us to learn, as they have either been spread across many books, or are described in books that are heavy on theory, and therefore hard for busy professionals to take the time necessary to read and comprehend.

This book gives you those fundamentals in a couple of hours. It is fast to read and easy to understand. And it is actionable. It contains pragmatic things you can do with these fundamentals, to make your actions on the social web successful, starting tomorrow.