The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business has been on my reading list for some time now and I finally got it out and I wish I had done so earlier. Tara Hunt is the author of this book and is someone that I have followed for quite a while on Twitter (@missrogue) and her blog (www.horsepigcow.com). I figured the book would have some good content but I was really impressed with the balance of this book. There is some theory, some tactics, some examples and lots of great thought provoking content. While I was reading this book we were actually crafting a new social media strategy for Tripwire (@TripwireInc). It was very helpful to keep our thought process on target to what mattered. I won't give away all of the secrets of the book but the main topic is about how you go about building social capital. One of the topics she discusses early on is the concept of turning the bull horn around. So many companies are stuck in this mindset of telling everyone their message instead of listening to people and joining the conversation. You really don't want to be that guy at the party that only talks about themselves all night. So if you have any interest in learning more about building real relationships using social media as a tool set then this is a great book to read.
Last year at SXSW I went to hear Tara talk about this book in an interview. There were only a few of us there but I wanted to hear what she had to say because I had been following her on Twitter and knew she knew here stuff. As she came out of the interview I introduced myself and started asking questions about tactical things. I built no relationship first but wanted something out of the deal. I wonder why she kept walking as fast as she could? :) Looking back it was a very annoying thing for me to do but lesson learned. Read the book and you will see how this really is me withdrawing social capital from the relationship in which I had nothing in the bank.
On a related but side note I actually listened to this on an audio book. One crappy thing about this i realized is that it is hard to go back and reference anything without some type of physical copy. The other note is that I found this audio book read at a very slow pace. Hit the 2x button and it will be much better. This one can be done in a week of driving (or less if you have a really slow commute. )