The book that almost was

Shel Israel’s forthcoming and much pimped book, Global Neighbouhoods, has been dumped by publishers and now even by the great man himself.

I wasn’t too impressed with Naked Conversations as, to be honest, I felt it was out of date almost as soon as the words were typed. That sort of brochureware collection of case studies is undoubtedly hard work to collate, catalogue and criticise but with a medium that’s evolving as fast as social media or blogging, a book is too static a format at this early stage in the game.

Having said that, the idea of Global Neighbourhoods is an intriguing one – especially for an immigrant such as myself who has friends and relatives in, to name a few, Australia, China, UK, Malaysia and the U.A.E. . I keep in touch with these guys through a combination of Facebook, email, IM, this blog (Hi Grandma!), Skype (Hi Grandma!) and phone. If I had a cell phone, I’m sure SMS would be on that list as well.

I’m just not sure it would’ve made a good (read profitable) book. Seems to me that, by dropping this particular book idea, Shel is avoiding “second season syndrome” until he comes up with something actually worthwhile.

Something actually worthwhile 

The two things that are changing corporate communication, marketing, advertising and public relations.

In other words, the two things every marketer has to know about the Internet and how it’s changing their jobs.

In my mind, these two things are:


Open, honest communications

Sure, this may sound like a rip-off of The Search by John Battelle (that I’m currently reading) and The Cluetrain Manifesto but it’s a killer combination and something that I feel is realy important right now.

It’s also two concepts that wouldn’t go out of date as quickly as, for instance, the blogging fad and that I feel would sell pretty well. After all, who would trust a marketer who didn’t read the latest theories?

Think about it. The way we discover and consume media has changed completely. Previously we’d flick through newspapers and magazines to find something worth reading. Now we give it a goog just do a Google search.

We used to wait for the latest edition of TimeFHM or The Economist, now we read, watch or listen to our friends, family members and colleagues. Why? Because they speak like real people; like we talk to them. Being a polished, professional writer can actually, perversely, hinder your communications. Look at Peter Himler’s blog. Brilliantly written, fantastic insights but only 27 Bloglines subscribers, a platry Technorati ranking of 26,491  and a “Todd And” ranking of just 110 to show for it.

The combination of those two things? That’s a huge cultural change. Think about it.

2 Responses to The book that almost was

  1. Peter Himler says:

    Hey Ed. Thanks for the kind words…I guess. As someone who also read The Search (a year ago), Naked Conversations The Long Tail, We the Media, and too many others, I certainly understand that cogent, heartfelt writing on topical subjects alone is not sufficient for building one’s ranking on Bloglines, Toddand, whatever.

    But, unlike others in this space, I choose not to spend my free time linkbaiting the rest of the blogosphere with gratuituous comments to have my Feedburner chicklet register bigger numbers. It’s hard enough churning out digestible and hopefully informative posts every weekday…for two years running now.

    Would I like to have more subscribers? Absolutely. Am I tagging my posts and linking to other relevant (e.g., content enhancing) posts? You bet. But I don’t view this as a competition with the bloggers listed on Toddand or elsewhere — many of whom, by the way, post just once or twice a month, or write about the unfathomable or obscure. If my blog were monetized, it might be a different story.

    I simply like to write and share some of the passion I have for the PR industry — past, present and future. I figure if I continue to produce relevant, easy-to-read, entertaining and optimized copy, an audience will eventually find me.

    Nonetheless, if you can recommend a better way to “build it,” so “they will come,” I’m all ears, though purchasing AdWords and linkbaiting others are not in this blogger’s cards right now.



  2. Michael says:

    “The way we discover and consume media has changed completely. Previously we’d flick through newspapers and magazines to find something worth reading. Now we give it a goog just do a Google search.”

    Personally, I don’t discover as much as I’d like. I’d prefer to flip through the National Post and have a headline pop out at me. When I search for something, I have to conceive of it first. Now, the closest I can get is to scroll awkwardly through a digital edition or navigate the 100+ stories on my Google Reader. Or I could actuall buy a copy…

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