The Passport to a Well-Planned Social Media Journey

Chris Brogan is the quintessential trust agent for social media. If you’ve already read Trust Agents, the book he co-authored with Julien Smith, you’re well-versed in the characteristics—people who humanize the Web, understand the systems and how to make their own game, and who connect and build fluid relationships.

Chris Brogan’s new book, Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online*, is a collection of posts that originally appeared on his blog, which he has since updated and edited. I can attest to the fact that having it in a nicely bound book with the new additions will serve you well (and besides it has such a cool cover!) What he accomplishes so perfectly in this book is tackling the discussions about social media tools and social networking, and coming at them from multiple directions. As you read the book, you’ll undoubtably entrust Chris Brogan with taking you on a social media journey, and as a result, you’ll feel more confident about the tools you’re currently using and the ones you decide to pursue.

Social Media 101, goes well beyond the usual discussions of Facebook, Twitter, blogs. LinkedIn. MySpace, Flickr and Digg.  Brogan explores rich media–audio, video, video hosting, and live video, browsers, internet , social bookmarking, IM aggregator applications, blogging platforms–home base blogs and mobile blogging, listening tools, shared documents, collaboration, and screencasts.

Many of the pieces are literally chock-full of useful information and tips e.g. 50 ways, 100 tactics, 5 moves, 50 steps. He references and includes links to bloggers and websites you may never come across on your own, but you’ll be happy you took the time (as I am) to stop and visit those sites.

Chris Brogan writes about uses of social media in business and addresses blogging policies, social media strategies, marketing, and how to keep communities alive with community building. He offers lists of topics for blogs, and considerations for blog design. While he does a great job highlighting issues for business/industries generically, he also singles out freelancers, entertainers, real estate, entrepreneurs, hotels, and musicians.

Brogan suggests we build accounts on various web platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) because as he says they serve like “passports” and are needed to visit virtual places. I think you’ll find in addition to your passport you’ll want to take your copy of Social Media 101 with you, which will prove to be a great itinerary plotted out by one of the most trusted travel agents around.

* DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION Special thanks to John Wiley & Sons for providing a review copy of Social Media 101 for this blog post. Wiley books are available at your local bookstore or by calling 1-800-225-5945.

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