I had the opportunity to speak at Social Media University - Milwaukee a few weeks ago. Some of the follow-up email has been asking for the recommended reading list I gave out during my Blogging For Success session. Here the list and some reasons these are worth your time:
Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky - This is the big idea book; it's the one that examines social media from a sociological viewpoint with outstanding examples the reduced friction the Internet provides. Here is what we said in our Jack Covert Selects - "Technology allows more loosely formed groups to accomplish more complicated tasks to greater effect, whether sharing tips for hacking new features on iPhones or staging boycotts after complaints go unaddressed. The rules are changing and, as Shirky says, 'What the group does with that power is a separate question.'"
Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff - There is no question that this is the book to read if you are in a corporate environment. The book was written by two analysts from Forester Research that provides a framework that executives recognize and language that fits the Fortune 500. Download an excerpt of the book to get a feel for the book. There is also a new condensed version of the book called Marketing in the Groundswell which contains a new introduction and three chapters from the original book.
Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin - Seth's premise is pretty simple: most of the products and services are not designed to be used with the new tools and techniques that are available to marketers. The call for corporate blogs and the creation of viral videos leads to meatball sundaes. Seth wrote a great ChangeThis manifesto based on this idea called Marketing Mismatch: When New Won't Work With Old (Riffs on Meatball Sundae). I also did a podcast with Seth when the book came out.
Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith - I am recommending this a bit on faith because the book comes out later this month. Chris is certainly one of the leading voices on social media and if you need proof go read this.
Say Everything by Scott Rosenberg - I recommended this specifically for my blogging session. Rosenberg is a journalist and writes about the evolution of blogging. He talks about the players who have shaped the medium (Heather Armstrong, Robert Scoble, Evan Williams, and Dave Winer to name just a few). It is a good book to catch up on what has been happening over the last decade. There are also excerpts from the book available on the book's website.
The Twitter Book by Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein is a simple book that teaches what you need to know about Twitter and also takes the next step providing tips for using the service to its full extent.