Something old, something new ...


I really do try to keep as much as possible in The Job Stalker focused on the Job Search (or, as I've noted previously, at least on things germane to my job search, since that's what I'm dealing with on a 24/7 level!), but every now and again I have things come up which I feel are worthwhile bringing in, even if they're only peripherally on-target.  This is one of the reasons I spun off the "Book Feature" feature from the "Author Interview" feature, as sometimes there are books which are plausibly of interest to the readers of this blog, which don't necessarily lend themselves to asking "job" questions of their authors.

Obviously the books here are in that zone.  One of them is a "classic" of the new Web, and one is a brand-new look at a wide swath of current trends.  Now, if you're looking for a gig involving applying gaskets to widgets (or the like), these are probably not going to do much for you; but if you're in marketing, new media, or technology, they are things you might find a benefit in reading.

It is amazing to think that Seth Godin's Permission Marketing is over a decade old at this point ... so much of this material is still "cutting edge" and awaiting full implementation across industries.  Reading it is both an "action call" and a strange sort of time-tunnel, as many of the specifics he deals with have gone through changes that he (evidently) was unable to foresee (for instance, championing the record clubs for developing "permission models" before the entire music industry was blasted by the rise of digital piracy).  Some go with the territory of talking about tech as viewed over time (an example I give in my review is his warning about not getting too fancy with stuff that would require "high" modem speeds, citing a baud rate that would be 1/1000th the download rate of current smartphones!) ... the literary equivalent of sci-fi films with "high tech" CRT stations (have you tried to find a CRT monitor/TV for sale recently?)!  The vintage material aside, Godin's book is a treasure trove of very perceptive advice, advice that has remarkably (or, more cynically, not remarkably) managed to not be heeded by most businesses.  

The other book here is brand-new, and considerably more tightly focused.  It is, at one point in its introductory material, specifically considered to be for "C-Level" executives ... however, despite that narrow "target audience", Phil Simon's The Next Wave of Technologies: Opportunities in Chaos offers a good over-view of a wide array of "technologies" available to corporations.  These include (to cut-and-paste from my review):  Cloud Computing, Open Source, Software as Service, Service-Oriented Architecture, Managing Mobile Business, Social Networking, Enterprise Search and Retrieval, Enterprise 2.0 Business Intelligence, Master Data Management, Procure-to-Pay, Agile Software Development, Enterprise Risk Management, Global Engineering, plus sections on Project Failure, Sustainability and "Green" business, etc.  Obviously, to the average "job seeker on the street", a look at how to implement these various bits of arcana isn't of much use, but being able to get a timely "snapshot" of all of these in one place could well be.

The main author, Phil Simon, pulled together a team of experts who had all written extensively on their subject areas, and had them come up with a "now" view of what's involved in these, what their opportunities and challenges are, and how they can best be put in place within an organization.  Edited to have a fairly consistent "tone" throughout, this provides a level of immediacy that no one writer could hope to manage in a single (and still up-to-date) book.  If one's job search is likely to have elements of any of these areas, checking out this book might well be a good "research move".

Again, neither of these books are about getting you a job, but being conversant with their subjects could well help you work your way into situations where their material is part of the package.  As noted, I think the Godin book is a must-read for anybody in marketing, sales, communications, etc., and the Simon book is a useful resource for getting up-to-speed on a lot of material all at one go.  Needless to say, both are discussed in a bit more depth over on my review blog.

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