Automation Killed the Social Media Star

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Judy Dench looking over coffins in a scene from Skyfall, image by Sony

Has automation killed the social media star?

I think so.

The social media conversation paradigms of 2006 form a foundation for today’s online world. But Cluetrain Manifesto dreams have been bludgeoned and destroyed by the unrelenting advance of technology and corporate demands for better financial results.

The resulting technological imperative forces success-driven individuals and companies to use automation tools to drive online engagement.
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You’re Still Not My Audience

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Image by being LarsLars

Let’s be clear. You’re not my audience.

We have a relationship here, and you can talk back. Further, I realize that I am just one of you, all members of the same community.

I’m just lucky enough to have you come here now and again, and read my posts.

The miracle of social media empowers this very public symbiotic relationship of equals.

It’s also why communicators who call their stakeholders audiences drive me crazy.

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How a Blog Reader Titled My Next Book

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When I announced the revision of my book Now Is Gone, I published a draft of the first chapter, “Welcome to the Fifth Estate.” A reader, Ike Pigott, who is very familiar with the first book, thought the primary theory and content was so different from the first one that it should be retitled.

Here is Ike’s comment on the Fifth Estate post:

Geoff – maybe “Welcome to the Fifth Estate” would have been a better title for the book. After all, it appears to be such a substantial rewrite, with all new case studies, that it would go beyond Second Edition status.

In actuality, Ike’s comment is very correct. More than 50% of the book is new, and of the remaining portions at least another quarter is significantly revised. The Fifth Estate theory runs throughout the book, giving it a new more dynamic view of how traditional and social media work together.

I broached the new title with Jeremy Kay of Bartleby Press. Jeremy agreed: It would be best to retitle the book given the substantive changes. So there you are! A blog reader titled my new book!

Now the arc with Ike goes further. He was actually a blogger on the Now Is Gone blog, and wrote the last post on the site. So he literally had the last word on Now Is Gone, and the first word — the title — on Welcome to the Fifth Estate! Thank you, Ike, many times!

Generally speaking, one of the approaches to writing this book has been publishing some raw draft material here. I committed to considering all comments as pieces of information that can better the book. And now you see it in action.

Please, friends, if you have something to add on one of these posts, do so. I promise to cite you if it’s used, and there are already two citations in the current draft as a result of these comments.

Now Is Really Gone

Contraband - Now Is Gone

I’m happy to announce that I am currently writing the second edition of Now Is Gone (Bartleby, the Publisher), which will be released in 2011. Only a few hundred copies of the book remain in stock. Since the social media market has evolved so much over the past three and a half years when the first one was drafted, it will be retitled, “Now Is Really Gone.” You can read the draft of the first chapter — Welcome to the Fifth Estate — on Slideshare, as submitted to my editing committee.

Before describing planned changes for the second edition, it’s really important to thank Engage Author Brian Solis for his work in writing the introduction, consulting on direction and content, and promoting the first Now Is Gone. The book would not have succeeded without Brian’s help. If you don’t own Engage, you should. It’s your opportunity to get a great download from the leading voice in the business of new media.

Like the first one, Now Is Really Gone will serve executives and entrepreneurs, albeit the late adopters. This time the introduction will be written by Amanda Rose, the brilliant creator of the social media fundraising event phenomenon Twestival. Further, a new chapter will be added to the book on measurement, which will be authored by fellow Zoetica partner Kami Huyse.

Additional changes include all new case studies, each chapter with one cause and one corporate example. In addition to Kami’s measurement chapter, a new chapter will be added on cultural barriers to organizational adoption. The chapter on the future of social media will be omitted as will the interviews at the end of the original book. The remaining five chapters will all be revised.

Though the original book was generally well reviewed, the biggest source of criticism was the typos, a result of pushing the book to market to meet a 2007 publishing date and get our ideas into the marketplace. To significantly improve the new product, an editing committee has been created to proof each chapter ruthlessly. While we cannot promise a typo free book, I certainly hope to satisfy my staunch critics with the new product.

New draft material continues to be created, and some of it is blogged here in the Really Gone category. Comments that highlight weaknesses in the posts are appreciated, and if used, will be cited in the book. Like the original book, one of the features will be the citation of source materials. No one gets their ideas on social media in a vacuum, and I believe it’s really important to document sources.

It’s my intent to have the book rewritten by September’s close. Because of the forthcoming birth of my first child later this autumn (November 4 due date), after August I will be on a speaking moratorium until well into 2011. Even then, there will be no in-person book tour, all promotions surrounding Now Is Really Gone will be online. Family first.

Thank you to all of my friends and online supporters who have made this possible!

Amazon Delays

amazon logo Several folks received emails today from Amazon indicating they will not receive Now Is Gone until November 26th for the U.S., and December 5th for European Union customers.

First of all, let me apologize for this up front. A confluence of issues have occurred:

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