[Book Review] Socialnomics: Erik Qualman’s Wiley Book

Erik Qualman is the Global Vice President of Online Marketing for EF Education. He recently published, Socialnomics: how social media transforms the way we live and do business.

I haven’t gotten too deep into Qualman’s book, but I can share some of my reflections from what I’ve read thus far of the book. And I’ll add to that, interactions that I have had with Erik (assumably: and likely) through the Twitter account which promotes the book.

The Basic Run-Down: Despite some of the Chicken-Little reflections of what is (and-has) and will likely happen in the social web, Qualman makes known some of the genuine developments of the space. Though, a large percent of what I’ve seen so far is from a cultural perspective, he does provide understanding that could translate into an increased advantage to promotional users, like myself.

What I mean is, you won’t get practical advice about using social (anything) to advance your brand or your business. This isn’t a tactical book about how to use social tools and social networks to one’s promotional or other objectives (at least it doesn’t appear to be so far), rather it is more of a retelling of what is already pretty well know. Which is, as the subtitle suggests, the truth that our lives and business practices are (continually) being changed by advancements and opportunities with technologies.

Real Change: Social media, and social networks in particular could arguably be categorized as a social development  (ie. the way we use these technologies have change, so it’s more of a cultural shift, but the technologies change too) so, really technology is still at the heart of things.


Semantics aside. The frenzied state of which much of the book has presented the “social world” have led me to think that Qualman is less the preceeding visionary and more the recap historian.

The Last Word (for now): While much of what is being said in the book is interesting and honest, the frantic delivery of NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME:; it’s all changing and it’s all happening because of THIS and ONLY THIS feel a little embarrassing.

I hope that as I get further into the book (I’m on page 33 now) I’ll find that the Chicken-Little bit has dropped off a bit and the delivery is leaner of OMG.

*I’d like to add as a disclaimer: Obviously no one here is perfect. Qualman or any other book author. And the fact that he has written, and published, and is promoting his book (I’ve had some interaction on Twitter) is phenomenal. I’ve written no books, and so I feel a little judgmental/hypocritical in picking apart his book, but heck I gotta write about something. : ) Seriously, though much of what I attempt to do with this blog is to speak my two cents worth and hopefully that is for betterment, not demise.

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  1. Christopher:

    Great to see you here! Thanks for reading Socialnomics. I think as you read further into the book you will get a sense for what really gets me excited about the space. Specifically, just as we no longer search for the news, it finds us. We will no longer search for products and services rather they will find us via social media.

    This is where word of mouth becomes world of mouth. We care more about what our friends think than what a search algorithm thinks and that is really one of the large future promises of social media.

    You may find some of the case studies helpful, although they may be dated in the book and is why I add more at http://www.socialnomics.com.

    Thanks again for reading the book and taking the time to commment!

    Best, Erik

    P.S. Yes, that was the “real” me on Twitter

    1. Erik: Great seeing YOU here! I really mean to be less cynical in my approach and response to things, but you know this world. I’m working on that, I’m also working on finishing Socialnomics with an open, albeit watchful eye. I’m sure it’ll be enlightening; even if – and maybe especially if – it doesn’t promise to unlock the greatest “insider” secrets to MASSIVE Twitter followers!! : ) Thanks for dropping in here and saying hi. That’s really cool.

      PS I’ve already retold the story about the Bacon Salt entrepreneurs. Onto, chapter two.

        1. Classy guy. And I will say that I’m into chapter two and it does seem that the pace is settling nicely. Will continue to update and share feedback.

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