You may have seen the tweets with the hashtag #digitaledu but if not, I’m back in school. Wednesday nights, I take a class on digital media working towards my Digital Strategy and Communications Management Certificate at the University of Toronto. I love learning!
One of our assignments was to review a book, so here is mine. Just to preface, Mitch Joel rules.
Six Pixels of Separation – Mitch Joel
The old “six degrees of separation” is dead. The Internet has connected us all. Before social media, the party game in which you figured out how you’re connected to Kevin Bacon was alive and well. I, too, wondered what steps I would need to take in order to be connected to the star of one of my favourite dance movies. Yet, if played now, I am sure it would be down to one – his twitter account. Mitch Joel’s “Six Pixels of Separation” explains just that, we are all connected, and, if you’re a business, the need to connect to everyone is imperative.
One of the most powerful pieces of the book I read that flipped my brain to sponge mode, ready to absorb the musings of Joel, was, “[a]ll of my past and current personal successes in life … has been because of online channels.” I thought about that, for me, it rings true. My job is online, some of my greatest friends came from the Internet, and I even get to keep in touch with my cousins who are all over this world through apps. Personally, I didn’t need to be convinced by Joel that the Internet is a magical place; I’ve already drank that Kool-Aid. But if you do, this is probably a book that will assist you in getting your mind right.
As a fan of personal branding – Chapter 7 is one I will say everyone should read. Your brand online is truly who you are. Joel uses Chris Brogan as his example of a man with a phenomenal personal brand, sharing a story in which Brogan tweeted for directions and immediately his phone was buzzing a mile a minute. 80,000 followers were cited at the time, he’s now over 236,000 – the power of his brand, but also how vividly obvious time has passed. The basics still make sense; never lie, nurture other personal brands and share them, and realize that a corporation is made up of many personal brands that are telling a corporate story in their own way. Plus, trust. Trust is the most integral part of personal branding. In a world where you can create an identity of your choosing, for example “Catfish”, personal branding boils down to being yourself.
I would recommend Mitch Joel’s book to anyone looking to gift someone in the C-Suite with a good read. Or anyone who you’ve ever caught saying, “digital is a joke!” The clear, concise writing will not only convince them that the online world is where they need to be, but also spark a fire to act immediately. I enjoyed the read, as it reminded me of just why I do this online gig in the first place – it matters.