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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding introduction to social media marketing
Mitch Joel is president of Twist Image, a successful digital marketing and communications agency with offices in Toronto and Montreal.

The basic premise of Six Pixels of Separation is that "we no longer live in a world of six degrees of separation... everyone is connected."

Joel is a very engaging writer, having honed his skills on his own blog for...
Published on Sept. 21 2009 by sean s.

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars The Book is a Little Out of Date
Many of the ideas in the book are explained with technologies that are out of date, or examples that are not valid anymore.
The book itself is good, but it is one of that books that nobody will read in the next decade.
I believe more generic and life-time ideas should be published as book. Maybe, the weblog is a better way of expressing them.
Published 3 months ago by Afshin


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding introduction to social media marketing, Sept. 21 2009
By 
sean s. (montreal) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. (Hardcover)
Mitch Joel is president of Twist Image, a successful digital marketing and communications agency with offices in Toronto and Montreal.

The basic premise of Six Pixels of Separation is that "we no longer live in a world of six degrees of separation... everyone is connected."

Joel is a very engaging writer, having honed his skills on his own blog for years before the publication of this book in September 2009.

While acknowledging other online marketing activities, Joel spends most of his time discussing more "conversational" channels, namely blogs, micro-blogs (e.g. Twitter), podcasts, online social networks (e.g. Facebook), sharing sites (e.g. YouTube), user-generated content, wikis (e.g. Wikipedia), and widgets (applications).

He makes many excellent points. To name a few:

- "Your brand is not what you say it is... it's what Google says it is" (echoing Chris Anderson of Wired magazine)

- "Most businesses are not present enough in the search engines and they're leaving big money at the table (or for the competition)"

- "Digital marketing is not a one-night stand... it is about building real relationships, both with your customers and with your potential customers"

- In an excellent section entitled "Trust + Community = ROI", he summarizes with crystal clarity six ways to build trust in the `trust economy'

- "Everyone is so busy getting excited about the channels (and tactics) that they completely put aside the strategy and the brand"

- "Your website sucks - mostly because it was an afterthought and now it's the main calling card for your business"

- "Think ripples, not splashes... ripples are the powerful conversations that are generated when you share your content online"

- The bottom line is about facilitating and amplifying C2C positive communication about your brand. And if there is the occasional C2C negative communication, Joel suggests, "suck it up". Consumers will take it as a sign of your honesty

- "You can't have a strong business without a strong community" (or at least a strong community helps you have a stronger business)

- "Know Control". In a chapter filled with helpful observations, Joel demonstrates how the notion of Control has evolved in the social media universe

- "Digital Darwinism favors the community, not the creator or the enabler of the content" (this is a profound insight that is arguably the main point of Bob Garfield's book The Chaos Scenario)

- "Traffic does not equal Community"

- "Attention does not equal Trust"

- "Not all `Friends' are created equal...for your business to grow using online social networking, you are going to need a way to understand more about the individuals you are connecting to than how many connections they have"

- "Openness will make us very private... Many individuals are going to recoil in an effort to protect their privacy more and more... People are going to wake up en masse and be much more careful about what they put online and where"

Even with Joel's many helpful suggestions, of course there's no free lunch, even in "free" media, because getting social media strategy right often means a significant time commitment, and in our creative economy - or indeed in any economy - time IS money. A 2009 poll of (mostly small) businesses by Michael A. Stelzner found that 64% of are using social media for 5 or more hours each week, and marketers who have been in social media for years are devoting 20 or more hours each week.

And brands that are recognized leaders in social media like Starbucks, Dell, Nike and Amazon devote substantial financial resources to their online activities, being engaged deeply, on an ongoing basis, across numerous social media channels.

One of the main strengths of Joel's book is that ultimately it is not about the first digital screen (TV) the second digital screen (Computer), the third digital screen (Mobile device) or the fourth digital screen (In-store signage). As Rishad Tobaccowala has observed, "the media may be digital, but human beings are analog". Ultimately many of Joel's insights are not about media, but rather about human nature.

My one very minor criticism of this book is with Joel's assertion that "six degrees of separation is no longer relevant. In the digital world there are no degrees of separation between you and your customers".

In fact, everyone is NOT connected to everyone. Much as I would like to be connected to Lionel Messi, Barack Obama and José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the fact is that there ARE degrees of separation between me and them that I will likely never breach, regardless of the social media campaign I mount. With even the average consumer being bombarded by 3000 marketing messages a day, the burning question now is how do you BREAK THROUGH, especially to those you would most like to reach, and whose communications are filtered, double-filtered and triple-filtered. Barack Obama reads TEN letters from average Americans a day, out of the tens of thousands he receives daily.

Despite this minor reservation, this is an outstanding book. Unless you work for Forrester Research or for Altimeter Group, you will likely learn a lot. And even if you work for them, you can learn from the exemplary clarity of Mitch Joel's writing style: Highly recommended!
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Book is a Little Out of Date, May 22 2014
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Many of the ideas in the book are explained with technologies that are out of date, or examples that are not valid anymore.
The book itself is good, but it is one of that books that nobody will read in the next decade.
I believe more generic and life-time ideas should be published as book. Maybe, the weblog is a better way of expressing them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great, Sept. 20 2013
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Terrific all round. Describes the evolving use of social media in laymens terms. Great book, great service. great price yes
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great for small business owners, Aug. 30 2012
This review is from: Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. (Hardcover)
Joel's book was very timely... if i had read it in 2009 when it was published, i would have been far more impressed with the content. But this book isn't really targeted at me: i'm online, have a blog, and am familiar with many of the services he mentions -- and i don't even run my own business.

That said: if you are a business owner and you aren't getting the majority of your business through the internet (whether it be referrals, sales, customer relations, searches, or advertising) then this book is for you. No business, no matter what size or how remote, has any excuse not to be online -- it just makes good business sense. You better do this, before your competitors beat you to it. This book might provide you the insight and motivation to take your business to the next level.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Digital / Social Media understanding, March 12 2012
By 
Karma Agent (Toronto, Ontario) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. (Hardcover)
Good insights. Mitch Joel is well connected and understands it. Read his book and follow him online if you're seeking a better understanding of digital / social
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting online is easy - but what are you doing about it?, Oct. 15 2009
By 
Paul Copcutt "Square Peg - personal brand con... (Dundas, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. (Hardcover)
Usually for me, there is one book that I read each year that I would say to anyone "It's a must read" - for 2009 this is THE book. With some books I buy they are hard to pick up again - with Six Pixels of Separation I found it hard to put down - in face I have started to already read it again! This book will go on my list of resources that I expect every client to read and implement as part of their personal branding development.

Mitch Joel of Twist Image has written a book on the importance of online brand building and digital marketing that should appeal to every business owner and marketer, because there are tips, resources and tools that we all can use. But it goes beyond just being for the service professional or entrepreneur, much of what Mitch talks about can be easily translated to anyone looking to manage their personal brands in a digital age.

What I particularly enjoyed was Mitch's writing style and layout of the book. An ex-journalist can be as much a curse as a blessing, but Mitch has been blogging and podcasting for over 5 years. The content and value that he provides almost daily in those mediums has transferred so well in to the book and he has interspersed this with real life examples of his own learnings (he admits he has not done it all correctly) and also has many insights in to the way that others have built and developed their brands.

Bottom line is that if you are not involved in social media, web 2.0 or any other 'new form' of connecting then Mitch almost pleads that you have to be - no question, no excuses, no option. He makes strong cases for even the smallest of business to be there and benefit from their involvement, with a very heavy emphasis that it's not about marketing and advertising, but collaborating and connecting with your customer and potential customers.

Do not put this book on a 'one day I will read this' or buy it and then add to the pile by your bedside. Put all those other books, articles, magazines etc you are reading to one side and invest your time in a book that will shift your thinking, challenge your beliefs and cause you to take action not out of fear of missing out or being too late but out of excitement for the opportunity and the sheer fun of it all.

As the title says - "Everyone is Connected, Connect Your Business to Everyone"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to Social Marketing, Dec 31 2009
By 
Kurt Berger - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. (Hardcover)
I picked up this book to help with a work assignment on social media. What I immediately liked was the tone of realism and pragmatism. Mr. Joel is up front that success means you must understand why you want to do this, what is required, and what tools are currently available to you. All warnings aside, Mr. Joel is clear that the flattening effect of the new channels allows anyone to carve out their niche. Marketing has become personal, and each individual can build their own "personal brand".

The book is well architected. Topics progress logically from basics of the digital channel to future trends. Chapters have a summary at the end. Through out the book Mr. Joel provides lists on topics such as `building trust', `the six online tools you should be using', `the six general rules for a healthy blog', and `the four types of content'. He shares examples from his own career. Mr. Joel asks you many questions to draw you in, forcing you to reflect on his themes.

Mr. Joel lays out the evolution of marketing from a one way feed controlled by few players to open, trust-based conversations between many participants. The ecology analogy permeates the book. There are any many niches that evolve in a "Digital Darwinism". The genes for survival include credibility, responding to your community, patience, understanding your environment, and innovation.

Passion is a core theme. To achieve the required focus and commitment, you must be passionate about your topic. Passion gives you your voice; it supplies the energy to consistently contribute. Passion makes you authentic and keeps you engaged for the long haul.

Also core is the intertwining of the medium and the message. Chapter twelve, "Tribal Knowledge", explores this theme in depth. In effect, content becomes the carrier signal for the message. Content can be improved by collaboration and conversation to be a better carrier signal. A better carrier signal means the message is delivered in a more engaging manner. Engagement is two-way, making listening, responding, and being trustworthy important to success.

Mr. Joel should be proud of his work. He is optimistic and upbeat without leaving the impression that he has all the answers. This is a pragmatic introduction to the topic of social marketing. For further reading consider one or more of "World Is Flat" (T. Friedman), "Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives" (N. Christaskis and J. Fowler), "Tribes" (S. Godin) and "Blue Ocean Strategy" (W. Kim and R. Mauborgne).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read., Oct. 30 2009
By 
Micheline Bourque (Montreal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. (Hardcover)
Let's start by saying that Six Pixels of Separation is a worthwhile read. If you don't believe me, click here and check out all the terrific reviews it has gotten since it was launched last summer. Written by Mitch Joel, Canada's Digital Marketing Rock Star as many say is a book where you can find out everything you ever wanted to know about digital marketing, personal branding, social media, but didn't dare ask. A roadmap of some sort to help you cross over to the new world of interconnectivity. (like Dan Ariely said author of Perdictably Irrational which I haven't read yet).

When I turned the last page, I felt I had run a marathon. I felt I had put out a lot of effort, kept my focus on the big picture while going over chapter after chapter of this amazing amount of information and ended up learning so much. A bit like one would feel (I imagine) in tackling a marathon one mile at a time in order to reach to the ultimate goal. Mine was to learn as much as possible which I did and I felt good afterwards.

This might seem strange coming from someone who has a somewhat good knowledge of digital marketing. I have recently started this blog in the hope of living up the experience of digital marketing more thoroughly. I've gotten somewhat involved with social media: Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Mybloglog, Friendfeed, Technorati, Delicious, Youtube, Google Reader and others. I followed the Canadian Marketing Association Certificate in E-Marketing Course given by Mitch Joel himself and got my certificate. (A real gift I made to myself by doing that. I highly recommend that course). I worked as a web strategy consultant for a major company for the past 3 years. In short, I think I knew more than the average folk from the outset. I was a bit curious to see how much more I would learn. The conclusion is that Mitch's book will now become a reference book for me. His book is a real roadmap.

Of the specific things I learned, I certainly appreciated the chapter on Digital Nomads. If you're not familiar with that expression just think Wifi and I-phones, or being connected all the time, anywhere. I am not very knowledgeable about mobile marketing. I've not worked yet on any mobile marketing projects, so it made it very interesting for me. (For your reference, in Montreal, Yasha Sekhavat is an expert in that area). I also enjoyed the chapter called You are Media, which deals a lot about personal branding, a new in-word which is not always well understood.

Mitch Joel is not an inventor, but he is an awesome communicator and a very passionate man. I find that there is something evangelical about him because of his true power of persuasion. (This personality trait might come from his love of motivational books.) In reading Six Pixels, I felt that he was speaking to those of us that need to acknowledge the changes are at our doorsteps and to start embracing those changes in new media now. He does so in a very convincing and authentic manner.

If I was a senior level manager or executive in the corporate world, this book could serve as a major wake up call. The message I would receive is Act before you're too far behind... This book would also answer all of the many questions I might have about new social media. It would provide me with a picture of things, and how everything interlinks.... (Note: I would strongly recommend his book as gifts to your clients for those of you like me who are consultants.)

Another thing gained by reading the book is all of his references. Many contemporary authors are mentioned. There are tons of concrete examples of companies that have successfully used the Web. In short, you get how it all works and fits together by reading about true stories.

I think that my favorite quote from the book would be. It says it all for me:

Now we're all forced to understand better what happens when user-amassed wisdom forms in the shape of communities and meets through the power of technology. (p.225)

I really have great admiration for Mitch Joel. I have posted an article previously about him. Click here to read it: Thank you Mitch Joel! He is so talented and energetic, the sky is literally the limit for him. I wish him all the best. My feeling is that he is a man who simply loves life a nd people and wants us all to have access to all that is best... Thanks Mitch, once again!

Let me know if you also read the book and what you thought!

P.S. Six Pixel of Separation refers to the famous adage where we are only six steps away from any other person. Wikipedia says it this way: Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Read this before engaging with your customers online!, Feb. 1 2011
This review is from: Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. (Hardcover)
In Six Pixels, Mitch Joel (President of Twist Image) discusses the rise of the online trust economy, a powerful force that favors the crowd over companies. He provides readers with a wealth of information on how to successfully navigate this new medium, including information on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Blogging and Customer Reviews. By making use of such phenomena as the momentum effect, faith based initiatives, and viral expansion loops, businesses can build a following through digital channels and begin to realize a tangible return on investment. The key, according to Joel, is to be flexible, put in the time required and relinquish control so that your customers can play with your brand. Definitely a must read for anyone making their first foray into online marketing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Some Many Great Ideas From Reading This Book, Jan. 12 2010
By 
Christopher Berry "Chris Berry" (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed reading this book! Having started a new company in 2009 ([...].), this book was a timely read. I have so many ideas to now try out as we begin our online marketing strategy.

Thanks Mitch!
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