I’m off the grid until 8/20 — so read a book

cavepic.jpgYeah, I’m checking out again — this time for at least a week. The MacBook stays in Ohio as we head off for a 5-day kayaking adventure in the Apostle Islands, Lake Superior. That means I won’t be reading email or approving comments, but don’t let it stop you from sending or posting. I’ll also be out of cell phone range most of the week. Nice, eh?

I’ll post pics on Flickr when I return.

Summer reading. Had hoped to share impressions on my summer reading, some of it interesting, some not. But I ran outta daylight. Here are the I-mean-business books I’ve read so far, with links to reviews that are way more intelligent than anything I could say! One book has no link, since I didn’t find a worthwhile review.

images.jpgThe Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture (Keen)

Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder (Weinberger)

Damage Control (Dezenhall & Weber)

Citizen Marketers: When People Are the Message (McConnell & Huba)

The Assault On Reason (Gore)

Weinberger and Keen are important reads for folks interested in social media and how it affects our lives and our businesses. I’ll come back to Keen’s book sometime in September, since it calls into question many of the tenets that social-media evangelists preach. If you’re up to your keister in Web 2.0, you need Keen’s alternative POV to keep things in perspective, even if he rants at times.eim_cover_medium_web.jpg

If you manage information in the digital world — as we all do — you need David Weinberger’s brilliance to help you understand it. Weinberger’s new book won’t change the world as The Cluetrain Manifesto did, but it’s an important and highly intellectual work.

images-1.jpgBTW, is it coincidence that the cover of Keen’s book so closely resembles Cluetrain? Just thinkin’ out loud.

I found a lot of “teachable” info in Citizen Marketers, a book that’ll help you understand how social media are affecting your clients. It also will suggest ways to harness social media in a responsible way. But I didn’t find a lot here that I didn’t know already, perhaps because of the authors’ high profile in the blogosphere. Still, if you are exploring social-media strategies, McConnell and Huba can help you.

I took, at best, a few nuggets from Damage Control, which claims that “everything I know about crisis management is wrong.” Since that isn’t even remotely true, the book turned me off from the outset. It does present some worthwhile case studies, so I’d recommend it as supplemental reading for crisis management nuts. But it’s hardly a must read for the rest of us.

images-2.jpgAl Gore’s newest is a political book to be sure — even a bit of a rant — but you need to read it. If you care about the future of this great republic, and if you care about truth in communication, this book matters. But be forewarned: It’ll scare the shit out of you, especially if you voted for the other guy in 2000, which, sad to say, I did. Doh!

I’ll be thinking of you next week as I traverse the waters of Gichigami, off the grid!

Sidenote: Our son Chris may join us at Madeline Island on the 16th. He and the TransArctic Expedition boys completed their adventure and are resting in Gjoa Haven, an Inuit village on an island in the Arctic Ocean.

3 Responses to I’m off the grid until 8/20 — so read a book

  1. Kait says:

    Bill,
    Have a great trip…do some relaxing for the rest of us, would ya?

    Found this link today: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/08/09/technology/google.php. Perhaps you’ve already seen it…how Google is changing reputation management! Incredible…this company is causing me to think about stories I’ll tell my children about the Internet at WAY to young an age!

    Happy paddling…

  2. Judy Gombita says:

    I will await your report on successfully “pull(ing) the plug on digital culture” for one week, so that next vacation you inspire me to go 100 per cent off the grid, too (i.e., no PDA).

    The Apostle Islands looks like a beautiful spot. I’ve only been to the north side of Lake Superior (Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario), where of course the Sleeping Giant dominates. Didja know that Lake Superior “is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area and is the world’s third-largest freshwater lake by volume?” (Thanks, as always, Wikipedia.)

    Happy trails, I mean paddles…..

  3. Sharon says:

    Hey, Happy Anniversary…of your blog of course….appears according to your archives you have been at this for almost one year. Thankfully it hasn’t created a tax problem for you! love, sms

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