I'd have been remiss in not recommending three terrific books.
The first, Growing Your Business with Google, by Dave Taylor, I've just finished reading and it is excellent. Taylor, who writes a highly regarded technology blog, column and many other things has spent the last decade developing the experience and insight for this book. And it shows. The book, whose title doesn't do justice to the content, is really about how companies can -- and will -- use search engines to maximize their business in the future. It provides a great deal of insight into how Google operates, how search engines find you and "promoting and growing your business online."
Taylor says, it's about visibility or how easily a company can be found or what he calls "findability". "On the Internet," says Taylor, "visibility revolves around the question of when people search for your product or service, do they find you or your competitors? How you achieve and use that findability is the essence of his new book.
The second book, Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers is by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel is an excellent resource on how business uses blogs. The best part about the book is the 50 some case stories they use to illustrate how companies from an organic yogurt company to General Motors are using blogs to communicate with their customers, partners and marketplace.
And that, perhaps, better than any other method explains, not simply why or how to use blogs but provides a sense of two-way conversation that it allows. Blogs change the rules of the game for corporate communications and offer great advantage to small and large companies alike. I knew Shel from his days of PR Consulting. He was very good at it, but I think he has really found his voice in writing this book which he and Robert (Microsoft's chief blogger/evangelizer)openly wrote, chapter-by-chapter on their blog of the book. Best wishes, Shel, the book is best I have read on the subject of business blogging, and I highly recommend it.
The final book in my trilogy of recommended reads is The Virtual Handshake by David Teten and Scott Allen. I was asked to review it earlier this year by one of book's authors and was blown away by its insightful discussion of this hard to explain subject. Social networking goes hand-in-hand communicating over the Internet, and Teten and Allen do a terrific job in explaining what the phenomenon is and how one might use it to extend one's base of personal and business contacts -- all over the world.
This trio of must reads provides a good explanation of some of the Net's most important impacts, new technologies and how they are used.