Building Buzz

Today I had a quick call with Laurel from O’Reilly about the promotional work going into the book. It was a useful call, and O’Reilly are excited about the response to the book announcement and the community building around it. We talked through a range of different ideas for ways in which we can push and promote the book and this site in different ways. I then figured: lets ask our community! What ideas do you folks have for pushing and promoting the book inside and outside of the community while it is being written?

14 Responses to “Building Buzz”

  1. amaneiro January 21, 2009 at 9:49 am #

    I’d like to read extracts or audio from interviews :) And I’m sure it’d help to spread the word of the book (and rise the sales too).

    The digital content not compete with the “analog” content (yet), because the experience of reading a book is still better than read it online.

  2. Milo Casagrande January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm #

    Hmm, apart from the usual web-things (banners, small-banners, antipixel) so that people can use them in their blogs/websites, why not making some “video” of your writings? So, besides writing in the blog, you make this small videos of yourself explaining what you’ve been working on, and why not, maybe you can read some passage from the book too. :) Sometimes, when you read a book, it’s not easy to “feel” what the author wanted to say, but if you hear the author reading his book…

  3. JoshPanter January 21, 2009 at 7:43 pm #

    Controversy creates buzz like nothing else in the world. But I assume you are not wanting a stink around your project, eh?

    I have been trying to think up a good answer to this post, what sort of positive buzz? Buzz-words are the only things that come to mind: high-profile (case), controversy, spirit-of-giving, spokesperson, flashy, social networking, event.

    That’s all I got. Sad, I know…must be the caffeine. I’ll keep churning that about and see what I can come up with?

  4. Jono Bacon January 22, 2009 at 4:37 am #

    Milo: interesting idea about reading some content. Could be an interesting approach.

    JoshPanter: controversy is an interesting subject and I touch on it in the Buzz chapter. I must look into adding more about it.

  5. JoshPanter January 22, 2009 at 5:16 am #

    When you were doing the Severed Fifth project, i thought the street teams were a brilliant idea for creating Buzz and getting the word out. Enlisting the aid of excited people and giving them an avenue to express that excitement, via promotion of the project. People talking, engaging…exposure..good stuff.

  6. Milo Casagrande January 22, 2009 at 9:58 pm #

    Another idea came to my mind… it’s always something “visual”… kinetic-typography. It’s a visual representation of words and letters moving in a video… it’s a little complex, but could be of great impact for a small “promo” for a book: a good score, some small passage from the book… A good example is here:

    They even used it in a video for Ubiquity from Mozilla Labs: the video was representing the what the speaker was saying…

  7. Lee January 24, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    Jono writes another book :)

  8. Barbie January 26, 2009 at 12:41 pm #

    What noticeably helps ranking in search engines are the use of banners and similar to link back the site. Try a selection of banners from the ribbon effect “I <3 Art of Community” to simple ones that just advertise the site/book.

    I’d be happy to add a suitable image to my blog site, and I’m sure others would be happy to do so too. Things like Facebook are great for those within that social network, but there are many others who aren’t, so getting link backs are useful at reaching further.

    I’d also encourage you to ensure that various user groups/communities are aware of the book. And not just Linux User Groups, or Open Source Communities, as although you’ll likely have a FLOSS perspective for most of the book, as you’ve noted in the introduction, the community spirit exists outside of the FLOSS communities and may have something to offer too.

    Now I’m off to figure out a personal blog post to advertise the book and this site :)

  9. JoshPanter January 26, 2009 at 4:08 pm #

    Another thought is to find existing communities that share values, or exist because they have core values, that are either presented by, or propped up by your content. If you can show your content has some insight that they can benefit off of: then find someone to go into this group, and talk about it, try to get it promoted in their media, etc.

    For instance, I subscribe, quite heavily, to Tibetan Buddhist thought: and your book seems to be about the creation of sangha, or community in Buddhist terms. This is wonderful, and an aspect of the book that tech-heads may not have considered.

    Specialist groups, like online groups of “e-Buddhists”, , might really get excited about something like this. I’m sure other communities that would benefit from something like this that I cannot think of, are out there.

    Diversify the buzz…

  10. Jono Bacon January 28, 2009 at 1:14 am #

    Thanks for more of your comments. I am certainly going to check into them! :)

  11. Malcolm Bastien January 28, 2009 at 3:21 am #

    You have you plan a big speaking tour Jono! That’s how Malcolm Gladwell does it. At least a dozen or so events (Toronto pls!) at all the universities and charge $30 or $40 for the event which includes a book.

  12. Malcolm Bastien January 28, 2009 at 3:23 am #

    Sorry to double post, but you can also run some community contests around the book as well, like to design a cover, contribute a case….

    Any sort of crowdsourcing will achieve that.

  13. Jono Bacon January 28, 2009 at 3:36 am #

    Malcolm: welcome to our community!

    In terms of speaking engagements, I am indeed planning to head out and do some slots, but I am not sure if I could exactly charge the huge bucks! I am certainly keen to get the book out as far and wide as possible. :)

    As for contests, I think this is a great idea. Do you have any suggestions of what could be interesting topics?


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