As long-time readers know, I often rant against social media marketers who focus too much on the tools and technologies (especially when those tools or technologies might be commonly believed to be the “next big thing”), generally losing sight of the more permanent and more important human behaviors that underlie those tools or are enabled by them.
So when I set out to write microMARKETING, I challenged myself to keep the focus firmly on the big picture (ironic perhaps, but the right thing to do nonetheless.) I knew that — by default, if not design — my book would be a product of its time and would, therefore, be loaded with references to Facebook and Twitter, YouTube and Flickr, blogs and lifestreams, Buzz and Brightkite. But I hoped that it wouldn’t read as nothing more than a document of what’s hot right now, and remain relevant for years to come.
So did I succeed? Well, you’ll have to read the book to know. But when I received a copy of the book’s index for my review, I was pleasantly surprised. The index clocks in at a solid eight pages, set in two columns of what looks to me like 8-point type. By my slipshod math, there must be somewhere between 600 and 700 indexed points but only:
- 8 references to Twitter
- 5 references to Facebook
- 3 references to YouTube
- And a smattering of one-off references to Flickr, Google Buzz, Brightkite, iPhone Apps, Foursquare, Gowalla, Delicious, reddit and social media formats like blogging, lifestreaming and sharing.
Instead, the index is crammed full of concepts, people, companies, campaigns, books, films, songs and more. Sure, there are more than a dozen-odd mentions of social media sites throughout the book — in fact, I am confident that there are actually dozens of mentions of Flickr alone; more mentions still of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
But what struck me was that, even though today’s most popular social sites are mentioned by name throughout the text, the indexer picked up on the reality that the people, ideas and real business implications were more important, more noteworthy and index-worthy than the specific tools that play supporting roles.
Not to pat myself on the back, but I think I may have gotten it right this time.
As an aside, the woman who prepared the index — Joanne Sprott — keeps a blog where she sometimes writes about the books she is working on. This weekend, she included microMARKETING in a post which, I suppose, qualifies as the first public review of the book. She called it a “must-have” and says she’s holding onto her copy as she looks for ways to put some of the principles into practice. I can’t think of a nicer compliment (other than maybe “you’re so good looking”), especially coming from a social media lay-person. See what else Joanne got out of the book — check out her post on An Indexer’s Review of Books.