You can review the latest Business in Vancouver book reviews below, which feature contributions from UBC Library’s Jan Wallace and UBC Bookstore’s Treena Chambers.

Making sense of online and social media marketing

This article is from Business in Vancouver June 8-14, 2010; issue 1076

Understanding Digital Marketing: Marketing Strategies for Engaging the Digital Generation

By Damian Ryan and Calvin Jones

Kogan Page, 2009

Are you a marketer struggling to understand how to harness micro-blogging? Search engine optimization? Site analytics? RSS? Pay per click and other marketing 2.0 concepts?

Understanding Digital Marketing gives you a quick introduction to the latest language, tools and savvy to understand marketing 2.0 and engage consumers in a variety of ways online. This how-to book targets marketers, media analysts and public relations practitioners, and covers selling products online, web marketing, the rules of new media and ways of reaching new generations of digital consumers.

I chose to review this book because I thought it would give me a deeper understanding of my customers at UBC – the so-called millennium generation and generation X. However, examining these consumers is not the book’s primary purpose. Instead, it serves as a reference guide for marketers on very specific aspects of online marketing in web 2.0 land.

Some of the initial content is basic – choosing a website host and designer, for example. But mostly the book provides detailed advice and instructions about marketing online. How do the various types of social media benefit me as a marketer? How can I make the best use of these? What’s the etiquette surrounding social media? What are the best ways of distributing press releases online? What’s affiliate marketing and what are some of its pitfalls? As more and more of the marketing budget moves online, it’s essential to understand these topics. Case histories also help illustrate the concepts.

Many people prefer to ignore the blandishments of the social media milieu, such as Twitter and YouTube. This book successfully makes the case that, used well, social media can have a huge impact on business success.

As one Twitterer puts it, “Yes, social media is noise, noise, noise . . . but if you’re not listening you’re never going to hear the important stuff.” •

Jan Wallace is head of the David Lam Management Research Library at UBC’s Sauder School of Business.

Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places

By Paul Collier

Harper Perennial, 2010 (reprint)

Many people equate an election with democracy. In Wars, Guns, and Votes, Oxford economist Collier argues that voting alone does not guarantee true democracy, and that by ignoring sham voting processes we contribute to worldwide violence and instability. Using empirical data versus intuitive reasoning, he lays out his thesis in a clear and accessible way. Looking at ethnic politics, war, coups and state building, he outlines what he sees as practical measures of foreign policy success. He puts his research where his mouth is and welcomes people to check his website for more statistics than I could ever understand. You Are Not A Gadget

You Are Not a Gadget

By Jaron Lanier

Knopf, 2010

You don’t have to agree with Lanier, but his opinions in You Are Not A Gadget regarding the digital world are well thought out. As the web moves from exclusivity to inclusivity, Lanier – one of its creators – worries about its direction. Looking at open source, creativity, the effects of free culture, and mob behaviour at times experienced online, he contemplates the relationship between people and their computers. As a pioneer in the field of virtual reality his conclusions are valuable, but his argument sometimes seems flawed. The book is a collection of his musings from Discover and Think magazines, as well as open letters, so it covers much ground in its critique of Internet life.

Gandhi, CEO

By Alan Axelrod

Sterling, 2010

In today’s workplace, people look for leaders with both moral and strategic authority. They look for people to admire. Axelrod taps into lessons from Mohandas Gandhi and re-fashions them into 100 lessons that can help overcome business challenges. Laid out in 14 chapters and using situations from Gandhi’s life, Axelrod’s book shows us how we can be leaders in a global business world. In Gandhi CEO, Axelrod’s writing is engaging and convincing. •

Treena Chambers is the marketing technology co-ordinator at the UBC Bookstore.

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