Thursday, April 5, 2012
Title: What Would Google Do?
Author: Jeff Jarvis
Genre: Social Media, Marketing
Page Count: 426 pages
Publish Date: January 27, 2009
Book Type: Owned Hardback
Picture from Goodreads
My Review: Throughout “WWGD?”, Jarvis made some excellent points. Relationship building between a brand and a customer online makes sense. Now, one bad comment can spread throughout the Internet very quickly. Taking the time to respond could save the situation from escalating even more. The correlation between link building and networking also makes sense. If someone is creating good content, it is likely other people will link back to a particular article. That link will create a network and ultimately build relationships.
It also makes sense for a company to want to be searchable. If they are not easily found, a reader can probably find the information elsewhere. It is pretty brilliant for a company to ask their customers exactly what they want. The customers know what they want, so a business might as well take those ideas into consideration.
In the section where Jarvis discusses what each industry would look like if they were controlled by Google, some good and some questionable points were made. Jarvis is not saying that Google should run all of these companies, he is just pondering what a world would be like if companies used Google’s methods to operate each industry. Many of the ideas, if not a bit idealistic, seem possible. However, to claim that public relations professionals and lawyers are hopeless seems, well, a bit hopeless. He believes they can never be transparent, and perhaps he is right. However, with the Internet, it could possibly happen.
One of the best aspects of “WWGD?” was the stories. Jarvis is an excellent storyteller and the stories break up the book from being strictly academic. They brought in a human element. At times, the content could get a bit repetitive, but sometimes it takes a message being repeated a few times before a reader can retain that information. He also invited readers to continue the discussion on his blog at Buzzmachine.com, which is good considering technology is always changing.
Overall, “WWGD?” was a well thought out book that was easy to read. It probably would work best with people high school age and higher. A basic understanding of social media and the internet is necessary to fully appreciate “WWGD?”. A complete novice would most likely be a bit lost with some of the terms and phrases used throughout the book. The main takeaway is for companies to join conversations online and develop relationships with their customers. Ultimately, Jarvis really just wants businesses to focus on the customers instead of themselves.