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Category: Erin Raimondo

eBook Reviews – A Reading List for Social Media and Small Businesses

The rumours are true – not all ebooks are created equal. Some are more suitable than others, depending on the audience. This time around, we checked out and rated the following ebooks according to their usefulness for small business owners.

We’re doing a little quantitative rating, for folks who like numbers – and a little qualitative rating, for the philosophers.

Here's how we broke it down:

Readability: 1 – 5 All writing is not created equal – what is the tone of the writing? Does it keep my interest, or does it feel like I'm slogging through a quantum physics textbook?

Layout: 1 – 5 Are there screenshots? Will you go cross-eyed? Do the visual elements add to the understanding of the content?

Interactivity: 1 – 5 Is there or isn't there content designed for the reader to interact? Worksheets, sample plans, reading lists etc.?

Kool-Aid Test: How much social media kool-aid must you have ingested prior to reading – is the book geared towards the absolute beginner or a brush up for the already savvy. A thimble-full? A shotglass? A pitcher?

Letstalk eBook: Let's Talk: Social Media for Small Business

John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing

Price: Free

Readability: – 4 – Written in a fairly conversational, easy to read style, the content comes at you at manageable pace – not too rushed, but neither is it pedantic. The author maintains a clear, consistent voice and overall, it's a nice light read.

Layout: – 3-
The layout relies pretty heavily on a lot of subtitles and lists, but as the reason such formatting is so popular is clarity of information, you can't fault it. Plus, there are even a few pictures and diagrams thrown in for illustration, including a nice little one of a social media take on Maslow's Hierarchy.

Interactivity: – 1 –
Not so much, on this point. There are a few references for further
reading, but no solid list of suggestions for continued reading/learning.

Kool-Aid Test:
A shot glass – Taking care to do a quick explanation of each technology before getting
in to the usage of it, Let's Talk definitely makes itself accessible to
the beginners – fitting, as it's specifically aimed at small businesses
looking to get their feet wet in social media.

Final Word:
This may not be overly innovative, but it does what it sets out to do – provide a social media primer for small businesses. The value here definitely lies in it's clearly laid out, easy to understand introductions to the various types of social media tools out there.

Artists eBook:
Getting Started with Social Networking for Artists and Arts Organizations

Rebecca Coleman

Price: $19.95

Readability: – 5 – I've got to say, one of the things I liked best about this book was the voice of it – it somehow manages to make me feel as though someone's actually talking to me. Rebecca manages to cover a pretty broad range of principles and technologies (in a comparatively shorter format) without rushing it.

Layout: – 3 –
Perhaps I'm simply too close to my years of history text books, but I find myself longing for more visual interest. It's laid out nice and clearly, and there are some good screenshots to illustrate the references, I just wish the vivaciousness in the writing came through a little more in the design to make it a little bit easier on the eyes (41 pages is a lot of text to take on the screen)…but ah well. It's organized, and the writing makes up for it.

Interactivity: – 5 –
Here's where it shines. The ebook comes with 10 pages of
worksheets, sample plans and examples for multiple social networks,
complete with a fill in the blank social media plan template. Very
pretty, very handy.

Kool-Aid Test: A thimble
– Another one written for beginners, but from a different angle. As
Getting Started is aimed at artistic types who may or may not have a
business background, it starts right down at basic marketing principles
and works its way through social media from there, focusing on
networking. Even for non-artists, it provides a solid intro to the

Final word:
The originality here lies in the well thought out worksheet section. While most ebooks on the topic have suggestions, Getting Started literally gets you started, even for those no background whatsoever in marketing. A great little starter kit!

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