Designing for Social Media Readings


My little social experiment in asking the world to suggest textbooks for the online graduate course I am teaching this summer is over. I had set up a disposable web page that ran for 90 days and, because all "Disposable Web Pages" are time sensitive, it disappeared yesterday.

Of course, I have archived the contributions that people made to the book list.

The projected audience for the course (which is part of the MS in Professional and Technical Communication at NJIT) are grad students majoring in PTC (designers, technical writers etc.) and those in management, communications, media, IT and design. The course will look at how organizations can use social media as communication tools for marketing, education & training and community building.

Making the "textbook" selection process itself a social media project seemed appropriate. There are not really many choices from the traditional textbook publishers in this area. Books and readings in social media are changing so fast that you can take several different approaches to it.

Since I am planning to have students each select a book that applies more to their own interest in social media, I wanted a good number of titles.

There were 16 revisions (3 by me) with 20 books suggested

Here is what the list looked like the night before it disappeared:


If you'd like to suggest a book - click the edit link, and enter the password social. Please identify your book suggestions by TITLE, AUTHOR and include a brief blurb about the book's focus if possible. If there's a link to more about that book, that would be great! [11 of the 19 had links - I added links to the others]
Thanks for your suggestions!

  1. What Would Google Do? - Jeff Jarvis

  2. Power Friending - Amber MacArthur

  3. Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices - Christopher Locke

  4. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations - Clay Shirky

  5. Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies - Charlene Li

  6. Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide: Business thinking and strategies behind successful Web 2.0 implementations - Amy Shuen

  7. Designing for the Social Web - Joshua Porter

  8. The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future - S. Craig Watkins

  9. Designing Social Interfaces: Principles, Patterns, and Practices for Improving the User Experience by Christian Crumlish and Erin Malone - patterns, principles, and best practices for starting a social website - More of a design focus than a book on what sites are buzzing right now (so it might be relevant longer).

  10. The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom by Yochai Benkler - Benkler is a law professor at Yale University AND he has also made the entire book available for free download at

  11. Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. - Mitch Joel - a business focus on using Net marketing, esp. free tools and services

  12. Enterprise 2.0 by Andrew McAfee ~ Web 2.0 for the enterprise

  13. Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation - Tim Brown

  14. The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business (From Publishers Weekly) Hunt, cofounder of community-marketing consulting firm Citizen Agency, presents the hows and whys of accruing "whuffie," her word for social capital in the Web 2.0 landscape. Introducing a wide range of post-blogosphere social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Flickr, Hunt clues in marketers to the possibilities with online success stories, influential voices and winning strategies. Detailed, practical profiles of networks and related tools make this a valuable, illuminating title for anyone looking to the ever-expanding realm of online social life for business success.

  15. The Cluetrain Manifesto - though ten years old, the authors' 95 theses about the networked marketplace probably make more sense today. Observations about business in America and how the Internet will continue to change it.

  16. Visual Thinking  by Rudolf Arnheim - more for art students perhaps - all thinking (not just thinking related to art) is basically perceptual in nature, and that the ancient dichotomy between seeing and thinking, between perceiving and reasoning, is false and misleading.

  17. Building Social Web Applications: Establishing Community at the Heart of Your Site -  by Gavin Bell

  18. The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, and Strategies for Business Success - Safko

  19. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide by Henry Jenkins.  This book puts web 2.0 technologies and trends into a much larger historical context of participatory culture.

  20. YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture by Jean Burgess and Joshua Green

Here's another list of related books that I found on a post at

  1. Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li's Groundswell

  2. Ken Auletta's Googled: The End of the World as We Know It

  3. Shel Israel's Twitterville

  4. Chris Brogan and Julian Smith's Trust Agents

  5. The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging

  6. David Meerman Scott's New Rules of Marketing & PR

  7. Paul Gillin's The New Influencers

  8. Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge's Putting the Public Back in Public Relations

  9. David Kirkpatrick The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company that's Connecting the World (Jan 2010)

  10. Tim O'Reilly and Sara Milstein's The Twitter Book

  11. Bob Garfield's Chaos Scenario

  12. David Meerman Scott" World Wide Rave

  13. Adam Penenberg's Viral Loop


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