Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 2 edition (July 31, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #748,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #109 in Books > Computers & Technology > Web Development & Design > User Generated Content #197 in Books > Computers & Technology > Internet & Social Media > E-Commerce #319 in Books > Computers & Technology > Business Technology > Social Media for Business
Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.It should be clear from the outset that I am reviewing the 2011 (second edition) of this book, not the first. Most of the reviews at .com (as I write this) are of the first edition, and there have been significant and important changes since then.Changes from the first edition? Shih writes of the changes on page 2: -- Each chapter now ends with a summary of takeways and an actionable to-do list. -- There are now two dozen case stuides and example that bring concepts to life. -- Rather than discuss Facebook alone, Shih now offers extensive coverage of Twiter and Linkedin as well. -- There are expert opinion sidebars from well known social media authorities. -- Five new chapters have been added including one on customer service, one on innovation and collaboration, one on ways to develop an individualized Facebook Era plan, one that offers advice for small businesses, and one on advice for nonprofits, healthcare, education, and political campaigns.The book is divided into four parts: 1. Why social networking matters for business 2. Social networking across your organization 3. Step-by-step guide to social networking for business 4. Social networking strategyThis is a basic book written for beginners. If you are a regular Facebook (Twiter, Linkedin, MySpace, Renren in China, Mixi in Japan, Odnoklassniki in Rusia), you may not find a whole lot that is new here, but Shih is not writing this book for you.I found the book informative, easy-to-read, and comprehensive. If there is anything about Facebook that you don't know, you will find it here.
I've never understood why Facebook is so admired - it now has about an $80 billion valuation based on trade in the secondary markets with only $4 billion in revenues, about $1 billion in earnings, and 3,000 employees (vs. Microsoft's $215 billion and 90,000, Google's $200 billion and 31,000, and Boeing's $55 billion and 164,500). So, I read Clara Shih's 'The Facebook Era,' figuring I couldn't go wrong since Clara recently replaced Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook's COO, and herself recommended by Larry Summers - the guy that didn't see the Great Recession coming and supports Free Trade along with the loss of millions of jobs) on Starbuck's board.Unfortunately, I still don't understand why Facebook has such a high valuation, though it does have 800 million members (WSJ, 12/22/11), and more than half its users log in at least once/day.Shih 'explains' Facebook's rapid growth as large due to having created a trusted environment - laughable given its repeated publicity for poor privacy control. Shih also mentions that some retailers offer discounts (eg. Sears, for 'liking' its Facebook page; in any case, Sears is practically dead and a market leader in nothing) - however, I learned long ago that most discounts and sales are offered by overpriced vendors, and still fail to match eg. , Wal-Mart, etc. Regardless, I'm not impressed by earnings of less than $1/user.Continuing, Shih points out that companies using Facebook can trend data - what company site offering feedback can't do that now? Oh, and Facebook facilitates personal selling via using one's friends as intermediaries - bet that goes over well; regardless, it seems quite expensive as well. Most of Facebook's ads are for small advertisers, per data firm comScore Inc.
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