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Organizations Don’t Tweet, People Do: A Manager’s Guide to the Social Web by Euan Semple

It took me a while to digest the content of “Organizations Don’t Tweet, People Do: A Manager’s Guide to the Social Web” written by Euan Semple. I started reading the book the first day it was published on Kindle but I had to stop few times digesting few chapters and moving on to the next part. I am not sure how about you but for me it’s very intense. I honestly did not know, still do not know how to post about it!:) But let me explain.

First of all there is the process. You are faced at first with a pretty shocking for some statement that each and every member of an organisation (and any web user for that matter) needs to take responsibility for their words and online actions. I think it’s not an obvious, yet extremely important statement to make. On a daily basis we see – and trust me, I catch myself on doing so as well – we see people blaming Facebook, Google, broadband suppliers for the quality of our online experience when really – the web IS what we make of it and we can make it work for us and for a better world (Euan’s final thought).

We could probably stop here, but it’s worth reading all other suggestions and points in between the opening and the ending of this book. It takes you on a journey through systems and platforms, through organisational challenges, lack or need to manage social media competence, personal barriers and very common assumptions we tend to make about the web, our personal need to express ourselves now finally available to all, the noise and its value, power of relationships and valuable conversations, great and over-complicated by social media “gurus” concepts like creativity, innovation, collaboration and strategic thinking…up to the final points on realistic risks and way to handle those. If you pick up this book, this is the journey you are facing and trust me – it feels good!:)

I think this book is universal. It can be a real eye-opener to web sceptics or employees faced with the sudden internal challenge of “embracing the social revolution”. It is a great medicine for those who might think they know the social web really well – no one really does and once you read the book you start to accept that…hey! it’s ok!:)  It’s a school book, mandatory reading for any social media professional – like myself, you will end up taking notes, going back to particular sections, write them down and quote at work. It makes us all think.

If I put my blogger/social web user hat on I think this book will always be alive – I read it twice, I read few section again and again. It has changed me in two different ways. First of all, it has made me more confident that some of the social web concepts I am familiar with are right and put this knowledge (or maybe just the feel for the way things work) in the right boxes, order or balance – balance is probably the most suitable word here. On the other hand, once my basics have settled down I had to discover yet so many questions to answer – but it became clear to me that the only person to answer them is going to be…me. And the only way to find the answers to my new question is to try to do it all better!

While writing this post it somewhat became apparent to me how I feel about this book and Euan’s words – it feels like I am walking a path (maybe crowded pilgrimage or maybe just my own ascetic solitary road, maybe it’s not even relevant). It feels like I have met an undercover wise man who has joined me for a while on my path and with whom I have chatted my time away. It feels like I understood this co-passenger quite a lot and yet I feel even more confused. But the confusion after saying good bye and wishing each other a good continuation of our own paths actually feels good. I am left with very intense, heavy silence. The full of air part of half-empty glass – the one which – if we care to look at it this way – is actually always full.

Read it, let me know how it makes you feel!

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