FIR Reviews

Reviews of books dealing with PR and online communications

Saturday, May 09, 2015

FIR Book Review: Geeks Bearing Gifts by Jeff Jarvis

Geeks Bearing Gifts by Jeff JarvisGeeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News is CUNY journalism professor Jeff Jarvis’s latest book, exploring the pressures on current news models and the directions news organizations need to go in order to thrive in the digital world. FIR co-host Shel Holtz reviews the book, which has implications for organizational communicators, particularly in imagining the role of media relations in the future Jarvis imagines.

From the book description on Amazon:

“Technology has disrupted the news industry– its relationships, forms, and business models – but also provides no end of opportunities for improving, expanding, reimagining, and sustaining journalism. Geeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News is a creative, thought-provoking and entertaining exploration of the possible future(s) of news by Professor Jeff Jarvis, who leads the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Jeff Jarvis“To Jarvis, journalism helps a community better organize its knowledge so it can better organize itself: “But we in the field came to define ourselves less by our value and mission and more by our media and tools — ink on pulp or slick paper, sound or images over airwaves. Now we have new tools to exploit. Those tools require new skills and create new value. But at the core, we serve citizens and communities.” He offers not a single definitive future of journalism and news, but a range of possibilities depending on how journalists and journalism evolve – with the help of the “geeks” whose advances in media technology offer many opportunities for journalists and media entrepreneurs who are willing to think creatively and take risks.

“Jarvis, one of the preeminent voices on emerging forms of journalism, news delivery, and community engagement, advises many media companies, startups, and foundations. He is a former president and creative director of Advance.net, the online arm of Advance Publications, and was the creator and founding editor of Entertainment Weekly; Sunday editor and associate publisher of the New York Daily News; TV critic for TV Guide and People; a columnist on the San Francisco Examiner; and assistant city editor and reporter for the Chicago Tribune.

Get this podcast:

Geeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News

Publisher: CUNY Journalism Press
Hardcover, 234 pages
Published November 2014
ISBN-10: 1939293731
ISBN-13: 978-1939293732

Purchase at Amazon US (US Kindle edition), Amazon Canada (Kindle only), or Amazon UK (UK Kindle edition).

The book is also available for reading at no cost on Medium.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the "everything" RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for FIR Update email news.

Posted by shel on 05/09 at 11:06 AM
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

FIR Book Review: The Mobile Mind Shift, by Ted Schadler, Josh Bernoff, and Julie Ask

The Mobile Mind ShiftThe Mobile Mind Shift: Engineer Your Business to Win in the Mobile Moment provides the first comprehensive overview of what it takes to develop mobile resources that accommodate the growing expectations of users who increasingly turn first to mobile devices.

FIR co-host Shel Holtz reviews the book written by three Forrester Research analysts: Ted Schadler, technology analyst; Josh Bernoff, senior vice president of Idea Development; and Julie Ask, mobile analyst.

From the book description on Amazon:

“Mobile has reprogrammed your customers’ brains.

“Your customers now turn to their smartphones for everything. What’s tomorrow’s weather? Is the flight on time? Where’s the nearest store, and is this product cheaper there? Whatever the question, the answer is on the phone. This Pavlovian response is the mobile mind shift — the expectation that I can get what I want, anytime, in my immediate context.

“Your new battleground for customers is this mobile moment — the instant in which your customer is seeking an answer. If you’re there for them, they’ll love you; if you’re not, you’ll lose their business. Both entrepreneurial companies like Dropbox and huge corporations like Nestlé are winning in that mobile moment. Are you?

“Based on 200 interviews with entrepreneurs and major companies across the globe, The Mobile Mind Shift is the first book to explain how you can exploit mobile moments.”

Get this podcast:

The Mobile Mind Shift: Engineer Your Business to Win in the Mobile Moment

Publisher: Groundswell Press
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 2014
ISBN-10: 0991361008
ISBN-13: 978-0991361007

Purchase at Amazon US (US Kindle edition), Amazon Canada (Canada Kindle Edition), or Amazon UK (UK Kindle edition).

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the "everything" RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for FIR Update email news.

Posted by shel on 07/10 at 02:39 PM
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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

FIR Book Review: Age of Context, by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel

Age of ContextAge of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy explores the convergence of five technological factors—mobile, social media, data, sensors and location—and their present and future impact on everything from commerce to medicine to transportation.

FIR co-hosts Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz review the book in the context of an earlier FIR interview we conducted with the authors and two book launch events, including one in which Neville recorded Robert and Shel’s presentation as an FIR Speakers & Speeches podcast.

Get this podcast:

Age of Context: Mobile, Data, Sensors and the Future of Privacy by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
248 pages (print edition)
Published: September 5, 2013
Price: $22.49 (U.S., print edition), $9.99 (U.S., Kindle edition).

Age of Context is available in print and all standard digital formats.

About the Authors

Robert Scoble and Shel IsraelRobert Scoble is an American blogger, technical evangelist, and author. As a startup liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, he travels the world looking for what’s happening on the bleeding edge of technology. Robert has interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators, and reports for Building 43 and in social media. He is the co-author, with Forbes columnist Shel Israel, of Age of Context. Their previous book, Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers, published in 2006, has been called a watershed work in introducing business to social media.

Follow Robert on Twitter at @Scobleizer.

Shel Israel helps businesses tell their stories in engaging ways, as a writer, consultant and presentation coach. He is the author and co-author of five books including Age of Context – his latest book, co-written with Robert Scoble and released in September 2013 – Naked Conversations and Twitterville. Shel currently writes the Contextual Beat column for Forbes.com. Previously he has contributed to BusinessWeek, Dow Jones, Fast Company and American Express Open Forum.

Connect with Shel on Twitter at @ShelIsrael.

FIR online communities
Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future reviews, in the online FIR communities on Facebook, Friendfeed and Google+. You can also email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments; comment at Twitter: @FIRpodcast. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the weekly Hobson and Holtz Report, subscribe to the full RSS feed.

This FIR Book Review podcast is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Posted by shel on 12/04 at 10:07 AM
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

FIR Book Review: Attenzi - A Social Business Story, by Philip Sheldrake

AttenziAttenzi - A Social Business Story is a novel that shines a light on social business that goes beyond the all too typical homages to social media. It’s a relatively short and easy read intended to help readers explore what social business means for their organization, marketplace, communities and career.

With Attenzi, author Philip Sheldrake presents a sympathetic hero in the story-teller Eli Appel, newly-installed CEO of Attenzi, a fictional international company that makes and sells top-range kitchen equipment and services.

The book tells a compelling and credible story of one man’s journey that, unbeknownst to him at the start, would help him and his leadership team "redefine the way we all think about our business and its place in the market and its place in the world."

FIR co-host Neville Hobson reviews the Kindle edition of Attenzi and considers the power a work of fiction - a novel - can have in empowering the Eli Appels of our world with the clarity of vision and perspective to explore the evolution of the customer-centric mindset that has dominated management thinking for the past two decades.

As Eli says, "I hope it helps you develop your organization’s relevance, competitiveness and profitability. I hope it helps you forge your career and helps you bring your colleagues with you."

Get this podcast:

Attenzi - A Social Business Story by Philip Sheldrake.

Publisher: Philip Sheldrake
Digital formats (content equivalent to about 100 print pages)
Published: May 15, 2013
Price: Free under Creative Commons license.

Attenzi is available in HTML, PDF, ePub, Kindle, and iBooks formats at www.attenzi.com.

About the Author

Philip SheldrakePhilip Sheldrake is managing partner at Euler Partners, a London-based consulting firm.

He is a widely regarded consultant, author and speaker. He is a Chartered Engineer, a main board director of Intellect, the UK trade association for the technology industry, a board director of 6UK, a government backed non-profit promoting adoption of the new Internet protocol, and a founding partner of Meanwhile. He built and sold an award-winning public relations consultancy.

Philip wrote The Business of Influence in 2011 and was interviewed on FIR at the book’s launch.

Connect with Philip on Twitter: @sheldrake.

FIR online communities
Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future reviews, in the online FIR communities on Facebook, Friendfeed and Google+. You can also email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments; comment at Twitter: @FIRpodcast. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the weekly Hobson and Holtz Report, subscribe to the full RSS feed.

This FIR Book Review podcast is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Posted by neville on 05/15 at 01:10 AM
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

FIR Book Review: Nice Companies Finish First, by Peter Shankman with Karen Kelly

Nice Companies Finish First: Book CoverPeter Shankman applied his skills as a communicator and businessman to create Help A Reporter Out (HARO), an email service that connected journalists looking for people to interview with individuals with the experience or insights to meet the journalist’s needs. The free service was based on sharing and collaboration, principles Shankman brings to the fore in his new book.

What does a “nice” company do? In a Forbes interview, Shankman recounted this experience: “I was in a hotel and came back after a long day of meetings. I saw a note on my bathroom counter: Mr. Shankman, we noticed you left your toothpaste out. It’s running very low. We took the liberty of buying you a new tube. We know how busy you are. I was shocked. I took a picture of it and posted it on Facebook. I found out two days later from the PR person that they could trace back at least two reservations that came from that story. The toothpaste probably cost 39 cents or less, because they buy it in bulk.”

In this FIR podcast episode, Book Review Editor Bob LeDrew reviews Nice Companies Finish First.

Get this podcast:

Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management is Over—and Collaboration is In, by Peter Shankman with Karen Kelly.

Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
Ebook and paperback (256 pages) editions
Published in the US: April 2013
ISBN10: 0230341896
ISBN-13: 978-0230341890

Purchase the book online at:

FIR online communities

Share your comments or questions about this review, or suggestions for future reviews, in the online FIR communities on Facebook, Friendfeed and Google+.

You can also email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments; comment at Twitter: twitter.com/FIRpodcast. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the weekly Hobson & Holtz Report, subscribe to the full RSS feed.

This FIR Book Review is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Posted by shel on 04/25 at 10:02 AM
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Saturday, March 16, 2013

FIR Book Review: Civility in the Digital Age, by Andrea Weckerle

Civility in the Digital AgeAndrea Weckerle was an FIR interview guest in January, 2010, discussing CiviliNation, the organization she co-founded to promote civil behavior online. Now, as part of that effort, she has written Civility in the Digital Age, a review of the issues affecting civility online and proposing a “30-Day Action Plan” for restoring civility to your corner of the digital world

In this FIR podcast episode, Book Review Editor Bob LeDrew reviews Civility in the Digital Age.

Get this podcast:

Civility in the Digital Age: How Companies and People Can Triumph over Haters, Trolls, Bullies and Other Jerks, by Andrea Weckerle.

Publisher: Que Publishing
Ebook and paperback (320 pages) editions
Published in the US: February 2013
ISBN: 978-0789750242

Purchase the book online at:

FIR online communities

Share your comments or questions about this review, or suggestions for future reviews, in the online FIR communities on Facebook, Friendfeed and Google+.

You can also email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments; comment at Twitter: twitter.com/FIRpodcast. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the weekly Hobson & Holtz Report, subscribe to the full RSS feed.

This FIR Book Review is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Posted by shel on 03/16 at 05:27 PM
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

FIR Book Review: What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us by Guy Kawasaki

What the Plus!Google+ is Google’s social network, launched publicly in September 2011 following a three-month beta test phase. According to its Wikipedia entry, as of September 2012, it has a total of 400 million registered users of whom 100 million are active on a monthly basis.

In What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us Version 2.0, author (and unashamed Google+ evangelist) Guy Kawasaki explains how to get started, create an enchanting profile, optimize your content for social searches, share posts and photos, conduct video hangouts, and gain followers.

Each of the 15 chapters in the book’s nearly-200 pages offers practical advice and great tips that help you quickly grasp much of the specifics and get up to speed with using Google+.

Get this podcast:

What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us Version 2.0, by Guy Kawasaki.

Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Ebook and paperback (208 pages) editions
Published in the US: September 2012
ISBN: 978-0-07-181010-4
MHID: 0-07-181010-2

Purchase the book online at:

FIR on Friendfeed
Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future shows, in the FIR FriendFeed Room. You can also email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments; comment at Twitter: twitter.com/FIRpodcast. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the weekly Hobson & Holtz Report, subscribe to the full RSS feed.

This FIR Book Review is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Posted by neville on 10/18 at 02:35 AM
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