Seth Godin Medley

The Big Moo:
The Big Moo is sorta like a follow up to Purple Cow, but from a variety of authors.

33 different writers tell short stories about different concepts related to starting or running a business, balancing life and business, & being remarkable. It also emphasizes not trying to be perfect but to do stuff & get customer feedback. The short nature of each story makes it easy to read like 20 to 50 of them in one sitting. The diversity of voices means there is probably some useful stuff in there for just about anyone.

The stories do not have who wrote each one underneath them. You can sorta guess some of them, but others are not so easy.

I have a bunch of these. If you want one please email me your address and I will try to send one to you if I can. I am going away for a bit soon, so it will be about a week before I mail these out. If you get one and you like it you must review it on your website, in the comments below, or tell at least two friends about it.

Knock Knock:
Knock Knock [PDF] is a free ebook which seems like it has many tips about websites better that are similar to the tips in The Big Red Fez. It is a quick and short read, talking primarily about website conversion. Not bad for free, but I think I liked The Big Red Fez a good bit more.

The few areas where I thought this book fell short:

  • some of the math with the percentages sounds a bit confusing. Like 1 times 50% is 0.5, not 2. I think he should throw the added step in there to say 50% conversion means you need two visitors. Most of Seth's writing is an easy read and I am good at math, but his math parts did not flow well.

  • He has a number of adverts for his other books in there, but thats what you get for the price of free (although I liked many of his other books a bunch more than this ebook). His other books seemed more like he was writing to get a specific point across (be remarkable, go for the edges, tell good stories, etc etc etc) but this one seemed more like he had a bit of time on his hands and wanted to put something out in between publishing full books.
  • He says you can & should show repeat visitors a different page...but sometimes that could be a bad thing. How can you be sure that they were not interested in something specifically on that page?
  • Some pages without apparent reason to the author at the time of writing do have other purposes that the writer may not have realized. For example some pages can be great link bait. Just by having honest and original sounding content that ranks for random stuff you can get some killer links. (I have an .edu link from a random professor who is the completely morally opposite of me pointing into a site that had casino related content on it). I believe some of the best content that was ever created was created on accident or without motive, and then was later reshaped into a profitable format & business model after readers or friends gave feedback about it.

The cool bit about Knock Knock is that Seth says if you can think up a part two to his Knock Knock book and he likes it then he will plug it. It might be a good opportunity for a few SEMs / SEOs to get a bit of exposure and open up a relationship with a smart viral marketer. Seth's testimonials are priceless because he is well known not to promote crap and is good with words. In the past I think he left a good testimonial for Andrew Goodman.

Who's There:
Who's There [PDF] is a free ebook by Seth Godin about blogging, mainly about viral blogging.

If you look at his blog, PageRank, and the fact that it is uncommon for any of his posts to go without a trackback, you would see that Seth is good at the blog thing :)

Some of his tips in Who's There were also on his blog in the past, but I think he is right on the money with them. His blog along with SearchEngineBlog have always been two of my favorites since I started reading blogs.

A few things I don't fully agree with

  • He said every post should get you new subscription. I think if you write specifically for that purpose all the time you may be setting the bar too high, and your writing will eventually clearly show that goal if it is first and foremost your goal, and some people may take that negatively.

  • Seth said the hygine of the comments and trackbacks are not important. I don't think Seth has been reading Threadwatch much if he believes that. On many blog sites the comments end up driving the content.
  • Seth was a best selling author before he started blogging, and was naturally pretty good at blogging right out of the gate I think. Some people new to blogging could really benefit from leaving relevant comments on other related sites, and I don't think he really mentioned that much. Reading and commenting on related sites is a good way to help get started if you are new to blogging.

Seth is one of my favorite bloggers, and it was really cool of him to make those ebooks available free.

Published: September 8, 2005 by Aaron Wall in book reviews


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