The subtitle for Now Is Gone is "A Primer on New Media for Executives and Entrepreneurs" and I think that very accurately sums up this book's focus and target audience. In short, anyone who wants to leverage new media in their business is going to find value in this book.
It's a nice, short read and yet the authors manage to cover all the critical components of new media. One of my favorite sections in this book talks about the "five steps that a business must embrace to know its social media initiative will work." They are:
- Give up control of the message
- Participate within your community
- Determine whether your community is social media savvy
- Committing the resources
- Understanding transparency and ethics
It's easy to look at a failed social media initiative and point to one or more of these items as the reason the project collapsed. Some organizations stick by old media rules and insist on controlling the message themselves (#1), others take a "if you build it, they will come" approach and don't bother becoming active community members (#2), etc.
Here are a few other excerpts that really jumped out at me:
"I have a hunch that the years ahead will be very exciting from a creative standpoint, as well as from a media view," said Kipp Monroe. "Creative content that does resonate with the culture and cuts through will be in big demand. Call it an online renaissance. I can't wait to see how what we call advertising will look 20 years from now."
Build value for the community. This is a strategic principle. When you are looking to "market," know your community. It is only by listening, reading, and understanding that community that you can serve it with valuable information. Building value for a group of people means making a core decision to create content for them regardless of the technology or social network.
Brian Oberkirch offers this valuable insight for his fellow bloggers: Focus on building the tribe one person at a time. Forget the Technorati 100 thinking. Being famous to 15 people is a huge advantage if they are the right 15 people.
Now Is Gone features a great companion website where the story continues in blog format. It's also an excellent way to communicate directly with the authors. This book is filled with solid insight and is a must read for anyone who needs a quick lesson in new media capabilities and tactics.