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Book Review: Jason Alba’s Book on LinkedIn (!!!)

August 9th, 2007

I'm on LinkedIn - Now What???Actually, that’s not the title of the book – the title is “I’m on LinkedIn – Now What???” The book has gone a few rounds with the Executive Editor, Scott Allen (author of The Virtual Handshake, columnist for Fast Company, entreprenuer guide at About.com, and more) and is with the copy editor right now. Then it will go through a layout process and will finally be ready for print! We’re shooting to have the process done towards the end of next month!

But the website is up (yes, there are a few things to finish, like number of pages and endorsements) and I just can’t wait any longer – today’s my first official blog post about the book! I’m really not sure how to “review” my own book… so I figured I’d (a) share the table of contents, (b) share why I am writing a book, and (c) share why I decided to write a book on LinkedIn.

I’m On LinkedIn – Now What has the following chapters:

Part 1: Getting started
– Ch01: Introduction
– Ch02: What is LinkedIn?
– Ch03: Your Profile
– Ch04: Account and Settings

Part 2: Making it Work for You
– Ch05: Connecting with Others
– Ch06: Searching
– Ch07: How Degrees of Separation Works
– Ch08: Recommendations
– Ch09: Jobs & Hiring
– Ch10: Services
– Ch11: LinkedIn Groups
– Ch12: LinkedIn Answers

Part 3: Wrapping it Up
– Ch13: LinkedIn for Personal Branding
– Ch14: Shady Practices
– Ch15: On Netiquette
– Ch16: Complementary Tools and Resources
– Ch17: Conclusion

Why did I decide to write a book?

I’ve always wanted to write a book. I started a book when I worked for Don Aslett, King of Clean, who had authored about thirty eight books (and had another five or ten in progress) – my book was going to be on basic issues that every IT manager should know about (since I was a new IT Manager). But my heart wasn’t behind it. I’ve always been intrigued with the whole book author thing and I started to meet people who were authors. I began to realize that I could, I should, do it. And I’ve leaned on many of the authors that I’ve reviewed here as morale support – even though they don’t know it. But that will be another blog post!

But why a book on LinkedIn??

JibberJobber is complementary to LinkedIn. As I developed a strong network with professionals in transition I would frequently get e-mails asking questions about LinkedIn. “Can you look at my profile and let me know what I can do to make it better?” was a common question. But all questions had this common theme behind them… “okay, I have an account… now what???” I always thought it would be a good idea to write a book to help my general audience and JibberJobber users (not always the same thing :)).

Then, at SOBcon in Chicago I was listening to Andy Sernovitz give a presentation on Word of Mouth marketing. One of the gems I picked out from his presentation had to do with finding something that people are already buzzing about and latching onto that, as a way to generate word of mouth buzz about your own stuff. I thought, hm, people are talking about LinkedIn, which is growing at about a million new members each quarter… what if… what if I could jump on that? It really was the needle that broke the camels back (or some clever analogy to say “it was the inspiration I needed to get me moving”).

One more point – there is NO WAY I would have tried to do something like this without the support I get from YOU! Just writing this blog daily, and getting into great discussions in the comments, has been a support for me and made me realize that maybe, just maybe, a book should be in the future. So you can take some credit for inspiring me to do it, and inspiring the topic.

I hope this book is well received. Of the 12 million people on LinkedIn I’m guessing that 11.99 million could use it. I’m really excited to get to this point and am anxious for the writing process to come to an end. Check out the official book page here (there is a separate website/blog coming to support the content of the book – I’m not ready to announce that yet :))!

So, Jason, are you going to ask me to buy it???

Ok, well, since you asked, you can go to the buy it now page to pre-order it… but really, no obligations! I’m such a soft-sell kind of guy, so I didn’t really want to put this in here, but I know that if I don’t I’ll get a bunch of e-mails telling me to. :)

22 Comments »

22 responses to “Book Review: Jason Alba’s Book on LinkedIn (!!!)”

  1. How cool is this – “I’m friends with a soon-to-be best selling author.” I’ve always wanted to write a book, and you have actually done it…. BRAVO!

    -Carl

  2. Chris says:

    Way to go, Jason. Congratulations!

  3. thom singer says:

    Jason- Congratulations on the book. That is very very cool. I know you will sell a lot of copies because you have the drive to succeed. I will pre-order a copy today!!! Next time I see you I expect you to sign it!

    For those who have gotten to know you over the last year or so, you have accomplished amazing things! I am glad to know you.

    thom

  4. Thom Allen says:

    Way to go Jason, I know you’ve been working real hard on this project.

    But why a bound book, or a book for that matter? wouldn’t a well written LinkeIn specific blog or site convey the same message, deliver content faster and promote community interaction? What will I get from the book that you couldn’t deliver in an online forum?

    I see that you tried to address the “Why A Book” question above, but honestly, you didn’t really answer the question. I understand you want to help your general audience, but why the book? What will the readers get different than what is already out there?

    I know the book isn’t released yet so I personally haven’t had a chance to look at it, so my question could be answered in the book. Sell me Jason, sell me. I’m not trying to be an ass, I’m genuinely interested.

  5. Jason, you rock! I absolutely can’t believe you got this out so fast! I really admire everything you’ve done and can’t wait to read the book!

  6. Jason! Dude, you are BLOWING UP!

    Keep it up!

  7. Jason – You have really hit on the question that so many people are struggling with right now…joining LinkedIn is easy, but making it useful requires some thoughtful effort and insight. Thanks for providing clarity in an information-overload world!

    Chris
    The Job Search Coach

  8. Jason Alba says:

    all – thank you for the continued support!! Thom, your book purchase came through and shocked my publisher :)

    Christine – you are so right… this is the big question… hopefully the book clears some air so people can use the tool and not sit around wondering what to do.

    Thom – excellent question. As excited as I was about writing a book, I realize that thousands of books come out so frequently. There wasn’t one single resource that wrapped this topic up, from beginning to end, afaik. There are some excellent blogs, but you kind of jump in where you can… the book format allowed me to map out what I considered issues A to Z. Are there holes? Sure – this won’t be volume one… so there will be a blog to complement it, list all the links that are in the book, and point to all the other great resources. I won’t even try to replace sites such as http://www.LinkedIntelligence.com, but I think the blog for this book will be an excellent complement.

    I would actually be interested in how Thom would answer the same question with regard to his books, as well as Alexandra.

  9. thom singer says:

    The advantage of spelling Thom with the “h” is I am never confused in an online conversation with others who have the god-given name of Thomas (aka: Tom). I think when you were addressing Thom, then asked to Thom’s opinion, you mean me…so here goes….

    Why an actual book? “The format of the printed book is still one of the best inventions of humans….a bound spine with pages you can flip through and book mark…what a great step up from a cave wall or a scroll!!” (Thanks to my friend Tom Meyer of Triple Dog Media for that line!).

    While blogs and e-books provide instant gratification and allow people immediate access to the information……they are still not as widely accepted outside of the early adopters and major tech heads. There is still something about holding a real book in your hands while lounging in a comfy chair that cannot be matched by e-books, blogs, podcasts, smoke signals, etc…. I do believe that this will change over time, but for those over 30, most will still like a paper book at least some of the time for the next 50 years.

    And while a “Linked In specific blog” is a good medium for conveying information, it still is not a book. Society holds a special place for those who write books. My blog is well read (please, come read it!), but I get more attention as an expert in my field because of my books. Plus, nobody pays to read a blog. I spent just over $20 for Jason’s book (the shipping and handling charges are STEEP on this product, FYI), which has not come out yet…but I am confident that there is more than $20 of information in between the covers of “I’m On LinkedIn, Now What?”. Plus, I have a policy that when I know someone who writes a book, I buy it and read it!

    I often hear from people who say books are “old-school”. But tell that to JK Rowling, and the countless other fiction and non-fiction writers who will make money this year. You can call me old school all you want, as long as people keep buying my books on Amazon.com. It is still one of the most accepted way to sell information. I know that some will attack me because they believe that everything should be free (except the product they earn a living from!)….but I am a capitalist who wants to see folks like Jason sell tons of books and make money for sharing his knowledge.

    Finally, I bet Jason’s mom will be more proud of his book than she is of his blog. She can bring it with her when she visits friends and goes to church. “ahhhh, my son the author”. Don’t discredit the power of mom being impressed!!

    So why a book….because books are here to stay for many years to come and are one of the most effective ways for people to learn. Is that the only way? NOPE. But new mediums and technologies do not by their existence make the old ways “bad”. Discrediting books is like saying “because LinkedIn exists, why would I ever want to go to a live networking event and meet people face-to-face?”.

    Have A Great Day.

    thom singer

  10. Darlene says:

    WOW!! The book is a GREAT STUFF! Congratulations Jason! I actually might work on my LinkedIn profile after reading the book. I know there is value in LinkedIn, but my time is very full. I am very excited for you Jason!!

  11. Jason,
    OK, now I look like a dufus because I just sent this without the message (see above). So, let me try this again.
    I feel I must warn you about a potential pitfall to being a book author. You may find yourself facing an addiction you are not familiar with, one that may affect your professional sanity as well as your personal home life.
    Before you sign the first copy of your book, please read my post called “A Recovering Amazoniac” on my blog at http://www.45things.com.
    Don’t let this be you, and make me have to do an intervention on your later, my friend. It’s best to go into this prepared….

    Anita

  12. Jason Alba says:

    Anita, this is great advice! I just looked for my ranking on Amazon and I’m not there :( I’ll check every few hours though :p

    Actually, what you are talking about totally transfers over to the blog world, also. Checking technorati ranking, Alexa charts, and even my own Google Analytic data. Oh, did I forget to mention page rank?

    I’ve gone down this path and really, really hope that I don’t find myself doing it on Amazon. In the end, I’m hoping to help someone out…

    (hold on while I go see if I’m ranking yet ;))

  13. Fred says:

    Jason,

    I am way excited to read your book. I don’t take the time to read much but this is one I really want to dive into.

    Thanks for all your work!

    Go for it!

    Fred

  14. IT’S ABOUT TIME :)
    I knew you’d do it, congratulations

  15. Joe Neitham says:

    Hi Jason,

    Congratulations! A great book on a great subject by a great guy! Way to go mate!

    Rgds,
    Joe Neitham
    A Recruiter Diary – http://www.letznetwork.blogspot.com

  16. […] Jason Alba sent me an advanced copy of his new ebook (sorry I’m just now blogging about it) all about Linkedin. Thanks, Jason. The book is great and helped me to better understand the value of Linkedin. I highly encourage you to check it out. […]

  17. Ten ways to build your personal brand…

    A brand is a promise – buy what the brand represents and you expect to get a certain experience. People have brands, too. Your personal brand is what people think of when they hear your name. For example, when folks…

  18. Dakotta Alex says:

    “I’m on LinkedIn – Now What???” is a great comprehensive text which breaks down Linked-IN to the rudmentary functions. This guide will definitely help you use Linked-IN productively and have it work for you.

  19. Phil Barrett says:

    I just came across your book today after writing about LinkedIn on my blog. I welcome any feedback on the 5 things i believe the site needs to become relevant again.

    http://www.burningthebacon.com/2007/09/23/time-to-link-out-of-linkedin/

  20. […] UPDATE 9/27/07 – Check out book on LinkedIn entitled “I’m on LinkedIn…now what?” by Jason Alba Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  21. Jason,

    I am way excited to read your book. I don’t take the time to read much but this is one I really want to dive into.

    Thanks for all your work!

    Go for it!