So I’ve set myself the task of putting together a reading list‐and I need your help. What resources do you recommend to your colleagues, or better yet, your VP or CEO? Please add your own ideas to our list‐and tell us why you like them. We’ll review the submissions and compile a list of what we consider the best ones. Then we’ll share it with you.
Here’s the ground rule: These resources must help busy people with little time to understand the conceptual and strategic issues about the Net and how it’s used to communicate strategically to important audiences. You could say that the target audience for the resource list is a VP for development, an enrollment management vice chancellor who wants to understand things at a deeper level, or a CEO who wants to know why she should invest in yet more technology.
So here are some of my choices.
Don’t Make Me Think, Steve Krug: I often say that this is the one book on web development that everyone should read. And I mean it. It’s clear, simple, practical, this is Krug’s call for user‐centered web design. It’s a keystone of our own practice. Not for the CEO, but great reading for decisionmakers who are part of a web re‐development team.
Cashing in With Content, David Meerman Scott: This book underscores how important a sophisticated approach to content is for a successful website and helps to create a dialogue about what content is appropriate for your site. Here’s a more extended commentary I wrote when the book was first released.
The Corporate Blogging Book, Debbie Weil: This is the first book focused on helping executives and others understand the value of developing a corporate blogging strategy and launching a blog. Absorbing, complete, and easy to read. More extended commentary from our blog here, and a link to the blog that Debbie Weil launched to accompany the book here.
NonProfit Internet Strategies: Best Practices for Marketing, Communications, and Fundraising Success, Ted Hart, James M. Greenfield, Michael Johson: This book, written by individuals with strong experience in using the Net to raise money and communicate, includes a terrific chapter “The Internet‐A Powerful Relationship Management Tool for Fundraisers,” by Vinay Bhagat of Convio. Convio offers a download of a terrific white paper, “Using the Internet to Raise Funds and Build Donor Relationships.”
Marketing in the Age of the User: In the age of the user, it’s all about your visitors, not about your company. This article from Direct Marketing News summarizes how the Internet has empowered users (at mStoner, we call them “visitors”) and what that means for marketers. A valuable adjunct, our article “Just call them visitors” explores some of the implications for our college and university clients.
Navigating Toward E‐Recruitment: A report from the enrollment management consulting firm Noel‐Levitz about what prospective students want from websites and how good students want great content. More of our comments about this report and its implications here.
Remember, please share your own must‐reads for decisionmakers right here.
Michael Stoner Co-Founder and Co-Owner Was I born a skeptic or did I become one as I watched the hypestorm gather during the dotcom years, recede, and congeal once more as we come to terms with our online, social, mobile world? Whatever. I'm not much interested in cutting edge but what actually works for real people in the real world. Does that make me a bad person?