1. Books

Global Neighborhoods Preview

Shel Israel, co-author of Naked Conversations, has a book in the works, this one dubbed Global Neighborhoods. Shel’s one of the most respected blogging and social media evangelists, and I’m sure this next work of his will once again set a framework that the masses will enjoy wrapping their heads around.
David_berkowitz_time_cover_copyAfter reading his synopsis on his blog, however, I wonder what’s new in the book that hasn’t been said already, including in the recent issue of Time that put a mirror on the cover and called everyone its person of the year thanks to the advances in social media (the cover story got a little long-winded, but after I read some of it over the weekend, there was enough substance to it that I found the issue worth a read).
I’m curious to read the book itself, as you can’t always judge a book by its synopsis. I’m especially eager to read the interviews described on Shel’s blog, such as the one with the president of Estonia. He clearly dug deep and tried unearthing all angles for it. I’m just wondering if there needs to be a whole book on it, and if the book will have much to say that, for instance, Thomas Friedman didn’t already cover in works like The World Is Flat
Yes, the timing’s even better now for a book like Shel’s. YouTube, with its frequent footage of “Republicans Gone Wild,” may have managed to hand the Senate over (albeit precariously) to the Democrats (there’s footage of Dems gone wild too, but John Kerry and a couple others aside, they had fewer foot-in-mouth-on-camera moments last election season). Second Life meanwhile isn’t just a program – it’s practically a new operating system for online community. Yet how different is all this from when TheGlobe.com had its heyday? The case studies and examples keep getting better, but the overall message seems to be the same.
That being said, Shel’s one of those smart guys out there who I’m always better off listening to. Just sitting in as a third wheel on a conversation between him and Jeremiah Owyang made my trip to a Frost & Sullivan event last year worthwhile. Shel’s one of those guys who gets it, whatever the it of the day is. Read the synopsis, comment on it on his blog (or mine), and keep tabs on what he’s up to. Skeptical as I am, I’ll still make sure I’m among the first to read the book when it’s out.

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    January 2, 2007

    Thanks for the respectful comment and the tough questions. When Robert and I started Naked Conversations, we were repeatedly asked how it differed from Cluetrain Manifesto. The answer is that it differed a great deal. I plan to cover new ground, based on what will be at least 50 interviews. A central theme will be the focus on what happens when a new generation comes of age–and I am talking to a good number of that generation. As far as the World is Flat goes, I enjoyed the book. But what Thomas Friedman missed, in all due respect, was what I find most interesting. He told you what Microsoft was up to in China and UPS in the supply chain. I am much more focused on the little companies in unlikely paces who have the potential to disrupt those incumbents. I’m also interested in tiny companes using social media to become global when they have fewer than 20 employees. I just posted the TOC and you and your readers might check it out to see if this further answers your questions.


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