Sample pages from Me and My Web Shadow

Today is slated as publication day by Amazon, but we’re still two weeks away from the March 29th actual publication…

Meanwhile this is a sample of the first 25 pages of Me and My Web Shadow my publisher has very kindly put together.

It’s basically the contents, introduction and some top-line advice about managing your reputation and presence on the web.

You can download the PDF from my Slideshare also…

Book news: cover, US launch in June and other bits #webshadows

Off to the printers!

It’s official: Me and My Web Shadow: How to Manage Your Reputation Online is in print production right now… H’rah!

Here’s a shot of the cover that the publisher shared with me…

US publication date is now June

Me and My Web Shadow’s US launch is now set for June, pushed back slightly from May. The reasons for this are all good – and the US publishers sound really positive about its chances.

(If you want to pre-order a copy in the US, it’s a steal at Amazon for just over $10.)

UK launch events

Contrary to my dreams of publishing glory, large and lavish launch parties are a thing of the past. I shall be celebrating the launch in Brighton with a knees up no doubt, but there are also plans afoot for some events in London – an iCrossing client event – and further afield. If you are interested in running a joint event or in having a Me & My Web Shadow briefing/primer at a regular event you run do let me know.

Review copies and competitions

If you are a journo or a blogger I have a handful of review copies available in the UK. Once these have run out, the publisher has promised me some for a competition, so I’ll do a prize draw!

But if you can buy one and expense it/write it off against tax/think of it as an investment that’s even better – it’s just under ?9 and you will boost the sales rank in Amazon (currently 112,000 – though we hit the heady heights of 19,000 on Thursday). Think of it as a slightly pricey vote in the X-factor finals of the Amazon charts with a free?entertaining?and informative book gift for every supporter… ;-)

The web shadow of #webshadows

Ironically the web shadow of #webshdadows the book is quite slight at the moment, so in the spirit of the book marketing maestro, Seth Godin, I’m practicing what I preach and establishing the book’s network presence.

Naturally there’s a Facebook group and a Twitter profile now – hurrah! Please follow/fan/connect, if the mood takes you…

The end of Facebook quiz spam?: Facebook continues to add privacy enhancements

Facebook yesterday added a welcome feature to its privacy controls: the ability to control who sees different types of content you share via applications.

The example Facebook’s blog used was sharing a greetings card via an app like someecards – maybe you don’t want everyone in your network to see your hilarious design.

Perhaps it will also mean that people will be more likely to be selective in their updates about quizzes and social games like the massively popular Farmville. While many enjoy these Facebook apps, the stream of updates drive other people nuts and can become what one colleague of mine refers to as “functional spam”.

This development’s another good reason to invest the time in setting up different groups for Facebook friends, one of the approaches discussed in the sections on managing networks of contacts in Me My Web Shadow. While some people keep their Facebook network closed and restricted to friends and family, many of us have networks that include colleagues and acquaintances that we don’t want to share *everything* with.

This is a good move from Facebook: I hope there will be further development in making privacy controls easier to access, use and understand.

Q: What’s the number one thing people want their browser to do?

A: Block ads.

Sometimes it’s worth reminding ourselves of the simple truths about online media and marketing.

Like the fact that, given the choice, a lot of people don’t want banner ads, pop-ups and other sundry promotional interruptions getting in the way of whatever they are dong.

I was reminded of this when Google kindly turned on the ability to add extensions for the Chrome browser on Macs today.

Number one on the list of things I could download to improve my browser was Ad-Block

And down there at the bottom you can see another version. Half a million unique users that don’t see a thing…

Online media: Finding balance between stock & flow

I’m grateful to Lloyd Shepherd for the point to a post by Robin Sloan called Stock & Flow. Recalling studying for his degree in economics, Robin recalls:

There are two kinds of quantities in the world. Stock is a sta­tic value: money in the bank, or trees in the for est. Flow is a rate of change: fifteen dollars an hour, or three-thousand tooth picks a day. Easy. Too easy.
But I actually think stock and flow is the master metaphor for media today. Here’s what I mean:

  • Flow is the feed. It’s the posts and the tweets. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that remind peo ple that you exist.
  • Stock is the durable stuff. It’s the content you produce that’s as interest­ing in two months (or two years) as it is today. It’s what people dis cover via search. It’s what spreads slowly but surely, building fans over time.

Over the past few years I’ve thought of hurly-burly of daily online interactions as being very different to the bigger content artefacts I’ve created. In the case of the e-books I wrote for iCrossing, at times they felt a bit like avatars, going off into the world doing their own thing under creative commons…

I’d meet a client and the e-book was already there engaging with various people. It was an eery feeling for someone who’d never been published much before anywhere, your thoughts-as-content travelling the world causing things to happen, people re-using them in all sorts of ways (translating into Chinese, incorporating in textbooks in India, using it as an appendix to a business plan, to name just three).

One challenge is trying to balance out investment of your energy and effort in flow/stock. Interesting especially if you are fitting these things around a day job.

Blog posts are a bit of both really aren’t they. Sometimes they simply let people know you’re still there – hello! – and other times (and you’re not always sure when) they become stock, a focus for a conversation, a defining statement about what you believe, a new turn of phrase that captures an important wisp of the the zeitgeist.

Generally, I walk an erratic personal media path, subject to wild swings into stock or flow. When I was writing my book on personal reputation online last year, I was all stock creation. It took me over to the point of madness. Other times, perhaps toward the end of last year I was living too much in the Twitter stream without much time for reflection, time for creativity to take shape.

As Robin puts it:

And the real magic trick in 2010 is to put them both together. To keep the ball bounc ing with your flow—to main tain that open chan nel of communication—while you work on some kick-ass stock in the back ground. Sac ri fice nei ther. It’s the hybrid strategy.

Balance. Equilibrium. Great idea, so hard to get it right…