The authors, both on the faculty at the University of Oulu, Finland, start with an informative history of the social web. We are part of the social web where end-users jointly create much of the content and companies work to engage in this process. “[T]he most essential change that has taken place is not about particular technology but it is rather a shift in thinking about how the web may be and is being used” (pp. 4-5).

Learn More About The Social Era

If you liked Nilofer Merchant’s 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era , you’ll appreciate this deep treatment of how the social era came to be. Beyond history and concepts, Harri Oinas-Kukkonen & Henry Oinas-Kukonen also offer concrete direction on the core business values that are needed to create social web innovations:

  1. Watchfulness for technological shifts
  2. Thinking outside the box
  3. Interpreneurial spirit
  4. Appetite to fail fast.

Look too for how they explicitly take on differences between Silicon Valley approaches and the “Nordic Way.”

Take your time with Humanizing the Web. The Paradox and Innovation chapters especially deserve careful attention. Though you may be familiar with the issues from the popular press, this is an opportunity to learn more of the research behind how we think about privacy and changing forms of innovation, for example.

Next, from my summer reading

I'll have reviews of Loyalty 3.0 and The Year Without Pants available soon. It's been a great summer for reading.

Two books to put on your holiday reading list

Scaling Up Excellence: Getting To More Without Settling For Less (Feb 2014) by Bob Sutton and Huggy Rao.

The Visual Organization: How Intelligent Companies Use Data Visualization To Make Better Decisions

(March 2014) by Phil Simon.