A Cool Reading List On Social Media, Networking And Leadership


I’m not really into reading books on how to actually use a particular tool, I don’t like the technical stuff. In the case of social media, I’m more interested in learning about the phenomenon behind it, about the leadership, the tribes, the passion of unknown individuals exposed to become something awesome and how we are becoming more connected as human beings.

So here is my book wishlist for the rest of 2009 (I already read some…):


1. Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us by Seth Godin

We see Tribes behind every successful brand, organization, politician, non profit and cause. And yet it seems almost impossible to attract a tribe. In this book, I try to explain that the challenge is leadership, not marketing or hype.

You should also check out the TED Talk: Seth Godin On The Tribes We Lead

Here is the summary for the presentation: Seth Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so.

crush 2. Crush It!: Why NOW Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

Do you have a hobby you wish you could indulge in all day? An obsession that keeps you up at night? Now is the perfect time to take that passion and make a living doing what you love. In Crush It! Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion, Gary Vaynerchuk shows you how to use the power of the Internet to turn your real interests into real businesses. Gary spent years building his family business from a local wine shop into a national industry leader. Then one day he turned on a video camera, and by using the secrets revealed here, transformed his entire life and earning potential by building his personal brand. By the end of this book, readers will have learned how to harness the power of the Internet to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true. Step by step, Crush It! is the ultimate driver’s manual for modern business.

You should also watch this presentation of Gary at Web 2.o Expo NY.

trust 3. Trust Agents: Using The Web To Build Influence, Improve Reputation And Earn Trust by Chris Brogan & Julien Smith

In Trust Agents, two social media veterans show you how to tap into the power of social networks to build your brand’s influence, reputation, and, of course, profits. Today’s online influencers are web natives who trade in trust, reputation, and relationships, using social media to accrue the influence that builds up or brings down businesses online.

The book shows how people use online social tools to build networks of influence and how you can use those networks to positively impact your business. Because trust is key to building online reputations,, those who traffic in it are “trust agents,” the key people your business needs on its side.

“This one’s a keeper. If you do business online (or do business with people who have ever been online) or know someone who once used a computer, I strongly suggest you get smart about the ideas in this book.” – Seth Godin

Also, Chris Brogan is speaking tomorrow night in Orange, Cali if you’re around, check it out @ Chapman University Presents – An Evening with Chris Brogan

sixdegrees 4. Six Degrees: The Science Of A Connected Age by Duncan J. Watts

You may be only six degrees away from Kevin Bacon, but would he let you borrow his car? It depends on the structures within the network that links you. When the power goes out, when we find that a stranger knows someone we know, when dot-com stocks soar in price, networks are evident. In Six Degrees, sociologist Duncan Watts examines networks like these: what they are, how they’re being studied, and what we can use them for. To illustrate the often complicated mathematics that describe such structures, Watts uses plenty of examples from life, without which this book would quickly move beyond a general science readership. Small chapters make each thought-provoking conclusion easy to swallow, though some are hard to digest. For instance, in a short bit on “coercive externalities,” Watts sums up sociological research showing that:

“Conversations concerning politics displayed a consistent pattern …. On election day, the strongest predictor of electoral success was not which party an individual privately supported but which party he or she expected would win.”

Six Degrees attempts to help readers understand the new and exciting field of networks and complexity. While considerably more demanding than a general book like The Tipping Point, it offers readers a snapshot of a riveting moment in science, when understanding things like disease epidemics and the stock market seems almost within our reach. –Therese Littleton

herecomes 5. Here Comes Everybody: The Power Of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky

“Clear thinking and good writing about big changes.”
– Stewart Brand

“Clay Shirky may be the finest thinker we have on the Internet revolution, but Here Comes Everybody is more than just a technology book; it’s an absorbing guide to the future of society itself. Anyone interested in the vitality and influence of groups of human beings -from knitting circles, to political movements, to multinational corporations-needs to read this book.”
– Steven Johnson, author of Everything Bad Is Good for You and Emergence

“How do trends emerge and opinions form? The answer used to be something vague about word of mouth, but now it’s a highly measurable science, and nobody understands it better than Clay Shirky. In this delightfully readable book, practically every page has an insight that will change the way you think about the new era of social media. Highly recommended.”
– Chris Anderson, Wired Magazine 

Also, this great presentation from TED: Clay Shirky: How Social Media Can Make History

linked 6. Linked: How Everything Is Connected To Everything Else And What It Means by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi

How is the human brain like the AIDS epidemic? Ask physicist Albert-László Barabási and he’ll explain them both in terms of networks of individual nodes connected via complex but understandable relationships. Linked: The New Science of Networks is his bright, accessible guide to the fundamentals underlying neurology, epidemiology, Internet traffic, and many other fields united by complexity. Barabási’s gift for concrete, nonmathematical explanations and penchant for eccentric humor would make the book thoroughly enjoyable even if the content weren’t engaging. But the results of Barabási’s research into the behavior of networks are deeply compelling. Not all networks are created equal, he says, and he shows how even fairly robust systems like the Internet could be crippled by taking out a few super-connected nodes, or hubs. His mathematical descriptions of this behavior are helping doctors, programmers, and security professionals design systems better suited to their needs. Linked presents the next step in complexity theory–from understanding chaos to practical applications.


If you have any other good prospects, share them in the comments…

Photo Credit: MorBCN

  • sabrinalovestoogo

    Wow! These are now on my wishlist too. So much to learn…

  • Thank you Sabrina, glad you like them… and you are right, I don't even know which one to get next.

  • sabrinalovestoogo

    Wow! These are now on my wishlist too. So much to learn…

  • Thank you Sabrina, glad you like them… and you are right, I don't even know which one to get next.