One of the challenges of writing The Job Stalker is trying (and, yes, I do try, even if that does not seem obvious most of the time) to make the material here as broadly-based as I can. After all, this blog (which I did not originate) is intended to be about the job search from the perspective of somebody actively looking for work. It’s not a blog for an HR professional, it’s not a blog for a Career Counselor, it’s not a blog for some “employment guru”, it’s a blog from the perspective of somebody “in the trenches”.
Of course, when I took over writing this, back in November of 2009, I had no idea that I would still be unemployed sixteen months later … which is probably a good thing. However, whatever “tips and tricks” I had in my “job search toolkit” have long since been featured here, and what I’m left with is what I encounter in my own search. And, as anybody paying any attention to this blog will attest, I am hardly the “average” job seeker and I have been following a somewhat unusual search pattern, featuring social media and a lot of out-of-the-house networking.
Now, what I’m looking for is a “communications” job, something in PR, Publishing, Web, Social Media, Meeting Planning, Virtual Worlds, etc. (all of which I’ve done in the past), and all of these dove-tail into the evolving Social Media sphere, so there are a lot of books that are quite germane to my job search, which might seem to be completely off-base for somebody looking for an accounting or factory job.
Anyway, this is all to preface my featuring of the newest volume of Wiley’s “The New Rules of Social Media” series, Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business by Ann Handly and C.C. Chapman, which is quite a decent introduction to the world of Social Media. The “New Rules” series releases are intended as text books, and are (I’ve found) somewhat “dryer” than other books with similar scope and subject. While I found this well done, it didn’t have much of a “spark” for me, but it’s probably the 20th book on the subject that I’ve read over the past couple of years, so a lot of it was very familiar to me. However, if one was just encountering Social Media, this would certainly be a good “primer” as it covers (as one can guess from its rather long sub-title) a wide range of techniques and approaches within the field.
As I mention in my review, I have noticed that there are a lot of folks out there who are Social Media professionals who are raving about this book … but I don’t get what they’re seeing in it. I suppose that were I in a position where I was having to convince “dinosaurs” about the utility and effectiveness of Social Media as a vehicle for reaching the various audiences one would be interested in reaching, I’d find this book more useful as a way to, fairly directly and clearly without too great an effort, approach the topic. But the take-away I had was this was more of a “manual” than a “treatise”, more like reading a travel guide instead of Kerouac, or a maintenance manual instead of Pirsig.
Again, this is “on topic” for me, and I’m of the opinion that “getting schooled” in Social Media is likely to help anybody in their on-going endeavors, as that does seem to be the direction that a lot of business is heading, but (in the words of Dennis Miller) “your mileage may vary”. As always, a more detailed look at this is over on my review site.