I haven't posted here about my book in a while, so here goes. CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World comes out on November 10th and you can pre-order it on Amazon now at a significant discount.
We have a bunch of review copies out there and some of the reviews have started to come in, including a few prominent endorsers who looked at galleys over the summer and were very generous with their comments. I blog a lot about the book and online social activism over at CauseWired.com, but I thought readers here might enjoy a few review excerpts - and perhaps lead some of you to pre-order it on Amazon now at a significant discount! In any case, here's what folks are saying about CauseWired:
Charles Best, Founder, DonorsChoose.org:
Mario Morino, Chairman, Venture Philanthropy Partners
"Whether you're a net-native college student or a geezer like me, CauseWired is required reading if want to understand the future of activism and engagement. Tom Watson gives deep, insider perspectives on the transformative potential of social networking and other innovations for linking communication and compassion."
Peter Daou, Internet Advisor to Senator Hillary Clinton:
"With eloquence and enthusiasm borne of deep experience in the world of social change and philanthropy, Tom Watson describes the intersection of causes and technology and shares a compelling vision of a philanthropic future powered by the social web. This is an essential book about one of the Internet's most important functions: bringing people together to help make our world a better place."
Jed Emerson, Managing Director for Integrated Performance, Uhuru Capital:
"CauseWired is a fascinating look into the rapidly evolving world of the Internet, social networking, and social change. Watson demonstrates how individuals are using new digital outlets and tools—most importantly, blogging, social networking, and online giving platforms—to explore how we may each act to impact the critical events of our day, from the 2008 election to Hurricane Katrina and Darfur. His engaging writing style and breadth of perspective help us see not only what is happening today, but what will happen in the years to come as we each act upon our potential to change our world and communities."
Judy Miller, Director, Hilton Humanitarian Prize:
"If you don't want to be left behind in our new wired society—or if you're already behind—this book is a must-read! Tom Watson has produced what could be a marketing bible for the field of philanthropy, and a primer for individuals who want to help change the world."
And some reviews from bloggers are starting to roll in - a few excerpts:
Max Gladwell, Social Media and Green Living [full review]
One way to express the measure of a book for us can be the ratio of total pages to those we’ve flagged with the venerable dog ear. These are the pages that have a memorable line or a profound thought that we’d like to reference or revisit at a later time. These are the essence. Which is to say, one could read only the dog-eared pages and get a pretty good feel for that given book. Of CauseWired’s modest 200-some pages, we marked 22 as having these exceptional qualities. At about one in five, it’s quite possibly a record... The title of the book is not only intended to describe the movement toward networked social and political action, but like The Long Tail, Groundswell, and Tipping Point, it’s predisposed for buzzword status. Which is to say it’s potentially a term that transcends the book itself and becomes a part of the language we use, where the entire meaning of the book can be conveyed in a single word: CauseWired... In sum, this is a must-read for anyone in this burgeoning social-media-for-social-change space. It is recommended reading for anyone who wants to better understand what’s taking place on the social web in general. We’re officially adding it to our sidebar of recommended reading.
Steve MacLaughlin, Blackbaud [full review]:
Tom Watson explores the societal impact of online social networks in his new book CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World (Wiley, November 2008) CauseWired is the first book focused on making sense of social media in the nonprofit world. Watson not only gets it — but he also explains why social media matters in understandable terms. ...Watson believes that there are two major trends on a collision course: "On one hand, people are ever more conscious of philanthropy and its role in commerce and society; on the other, these people are talking to each other more than ever before." The traditional fundraising practices of acquisition, cultivation, and stewardship are forever changed by wired causes. Are you prepared? ...Tom Watson's CauseWired is must reading for anyone in the nonprofit world.
Matt Kelland, The Mongoose [full review]
It's easy to dismiss mass grass-roots activism as just a rent-a-mob, but that would be a mistake. True, some causes may be just a flash in the pan, but our leaders need to be aware that there are other issues that people - voters - really do give a shit about. I may not be personally affected by starvation in Darfur, by court-sanctioned rape in Pakistan, or be displaced to make room for a huge hydro power station, but I, and literally millions of others, don't want to live in a world where those things happen, and I want those in power to damn well do something about it. When a million, or ten million people all stand up and say, "hey, buddy, this ain't right," they can't help but take notice. CauseWired isn't a manual.. It won't tell you how to change the world. However, it's an important chronicle of a social upheaval in which the silent majority are being replaced with a vocal majority.
David Bailey [full review]
...I am in business, but I guess I have reached the age when ranting at my long suffering wife over the breakfast table about articles in the Sunday papers is just not enough. I want to change things, and some things really need changing. If you have ever felt like that, then this is a book for you. Singing along to Nickelback's "If Everyone Cared" is just not enough for you. Really, you need to get a few thousand people to change the world with you. And Tom's book can help you. It is not a "how to" book in the way of thousands of other pointless pages of lists. This is a down in the dirt, first hand reportage on some of the largest social movements on the Internet and what made it work for them. He documents how social change really happens, what kind of people it takes, and the tools of the trade. More importantly, he explains that if you set out to change society, then you might very well succeed. That, to me, is one scary message: are we ready for the power that we now have in our CauseWired Internet Age hands? Are we educating our children and our friends about the responsibility that comes with such power?
Did I mention you can pre-order the book on Amazon now at a significant discount? Tell your friends. (And now back to our regular programming).
UPDATE: If you want to understand the business of selling books in the wired world - and how limited the bricks and mortar side has become - delve into Andy Wheeler's latest post. Andy's the erudite marketing director at Wiley who has my book, and he's done a fabulous job.