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Tuesday, Sep. 8, 2009 at 9:12 am

Are Six Pixels of Separation All That Keeps Us Apart?

By Bryan Eisenberg
September 8th, 2009

coverart-1Today, marks the release of my great friend, Mitch Joel’s, book Six Pixels of Separation. You may have never heard of Mitch, I promise you that you will. In Canada, Mitch Joel is considered an Internet Marketing Rock Star. It is well deserved nick name, especially if you have ever seen him present on stage. Mitch has an extremely popular marketing blog, podcast and soon to be best selling book. Mitch is also President of Twist Image – an award-winning Digital Marketing and Communications agency.

I had the chance to ask Mitch a few questions about his new book, Six Pixels of Separation:

With so many Social Media books out there, how is Six Pixels of Separation different than the others?

I’m not sure that Six Pixels of Separation is a “Social Media book.” I think
it explains how some of those channels are very important to business today
and going forward, but I don’t think that’s the crux of Six Pixels of
Separation. Also, a lot of the Social Media books I have read tend to be
written by people giving their perspective of the new online channels either
through the lens of a Marketer, Consultant or Technologist. I wrote this
book as an Entrepreneur for businesspeople. Using real business language and
case stories that really illustrate how business can grow (and yes, that
includes making money). This book is the strategy, tools and tactics my
business partners and I used to grow our business (as Entrepreneurs) from no
employees in 2002 to nearly 85 full-time team members with multiple offices.
Basically, by taking part and engaging in the many online channels, my
company, Twist Image (with me as “the voice”), was able to build this
multi-million dollar business. We continue to grow by still using the same
channels. This book is much more about how to think strategically different
and engage in a much more human way in this new world. It’s also not a book
written by a pundit. It’s written from one businessperson to another. There
is also a lot of influence from the Future Now Inc. people too – especially
the work that both Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg have done. For me, and the
audience of Six Pixels of Separation, having great “scent” for your
marketing and driving to conversation is also a big part of the message in
the book.

If you think the Digital Marketing channels are so powerful and important for business, why not just publish this on your Blog? Why a book?

Yeah, I get that a lot! The reason I wrote a book in the first place – and
did not just tell people to read my Blog – is because when I go out and
speak in public (which I do about 70 events a year), it is amazing to me how
many businesses are simply not engaged online or thinking like the way
people online tend to think. So, I wrote this book using a medium they are
comfortable and used to.

That being said, I am hopeful that you (and anybody else reading this) will
pick it up. I think there is also a ton of value for those who have already
gotten a tipsy on the Kool-Aid. I have been told that there are some
different and unique perspectives even for someone who is highly engaged in
these digital channels. I’m also hopeful that you (and your community) will
see the value in passing a book like this on to clients or peers who keep
asking the questions we get asked on a daily basis.

What are some takeaways people will get from the book? What priorities do they need to focus on for the next quarter?

One of the main takeaways that I hope people get from this book is the
notion of “Digital Darwinism”. Companies quickly jump on to YouTube and post
videos, they add widgets and downloadable applications to their websites,
they start a Facebook Page and then sit around the boardroom slapping each
other on the backs and handing out lollipops for how well they have managed
to “evolve” their digital and online properties from where they were.

The general train of thoughts is that if you add Twitter or a Blog into the
mix you were able to evolve your Digital property by the simple act of
having these new channels as a part of your digital ecosystem.

Digital Darwinism favours the community, not the creator or enabler of the
content.

Digital Darwinism is what your users, community members and readers do with
your content. If you don’t have any of those, you don’t evolve (you become
extinct). If you have readers and users but they’re not active (taking part,
reading, adding their own comments, passing your information around), again,
you become extinct.

Charting a course to evolution is a process (not a campaign).

Can you continue to create content in hopes that people will connect with it
and help you evolve? Of course, but you have to do the heavy lifting at this
point. You have to be the one out there beating the drum and letting people
know that it’s not a self-promotional environment you have created, but
rather one to benefit the community. It’s easy to see why this can be
challenging. In one breath, we want people to connect to our content so they
become loyal customers. In another breath, we have to be sensitive to the
fact that the more self-promotional we are with our material the less likely
it will be that a community spawns and extends our evolution.

For me, the next quarter is about taken a very hard look at your website,
database, micro-sites, search engine marketing campaigns, web analytics and
social media platforms and make some tough decisions: which ones are
working? Which ones are duds? How are you going to open up and let your
community engage and help you “evolve”?

What other books should people be reading now?

I think you mean, besides Six Pixels of Separation? Seriously, I have broken
them down:

..    New business thinking:
o    The Cluetrain Manifesto – The End of Business as Usual, by Rick
Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger.
o    Here Comes Everybody – The Power of Organizing Without
Organizations, by Clay Shirky
o    Life After the 30-Second Spot – Energize Your Brand With a Bold Mix
of Alternatives to Traditional Advertising, by Joseph Jaffe
o    Made To Stick – Chip and Dan Heath.
o    Purple Cow – Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, by Seth
Godin
o    Re-Imagine! – Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age, by Tom Peters
o    Trust Agents, by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.
..    Tactics to get it done:
o    Call To Action, by Bryan Eisenberg and Jeffrey Eisenberg (no, I am
not sucking up!)
o    Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? – Persuading Customers When They
Ignore Marketing by Bryan Eisenberg, Jeffrey Eisenberg, and Lisa T. Davis.
o    Web Analytics – An Hour A Day, by Avinash Kaushik
o    Winning Results With Google AdWords, by Andrew Goodman.

Mitch has been one of my best supporters and he deserves our support as well. If you need more information about the book you can read a synopsis, see some videos and read testimonials from the Twist Image website. Take a couple of moments and order the book. I am sure you will enjoy it.

Add Your Comments

Comments (47)

  1. Reminds me a bit of link building, you can build a lot of links in a short time and then stop and nothing happens, or you build the same number of links slowly and evenly over a longer time. The second method works normally better, has better results for your SERP rankings as it appears more natural to Google. It pays out also in other fields of internet marketing to be a marathon runner, not a sprinter ;-) Just my 2 cents, SY

  2. Many thanks for the interview opportunity Bryan. You (and Jeffrey) aren’t just friends, you’re mentors. I’m humbled.

  3. Thanks Bryan for reminding me of Mitch. Always like supporting fellow Canadians, especially the socially brilliant ones.

  4. I found a new book to read..thanks for the heads up Bryan, I’m actually really surprised I haven’t heard of Mitch before being a Canadian internet marketer

  5. The second method works normally better, has better results for your SERP rankings as it appears more natural to Google.
    Thanks Bryan for reminding me of Mitch

  6. Hey, Bryan
    Thanks for recommending the book. ‘Six Pixels of Separation’ gotta be a nice book.

  7. I’m liking the Digital Darwinism thing the more I think about it. I’m sure there are a quite a number of things in this book which I still have no idea about. I think I’d give this book a try.

  8. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing.

  9. You are recommending,then it got to be a nice book.I will definitely buy it.

  10. Just read ‘Here Comes Everybody’. So nice to see it on the list. In my opinion his book gives a good insight of the current situation and future of online marketing

  11. If you think the Digital Marketing channels are so powerful and important for business, why not just publish this on your Blog? Why a book?
    Nice response, but the nowadays I think that blogs are more reading thats book.

  12. @Corcovado National Park Tours
    Because a book can be sold for money? SY

  13. Mitch Joel’s book Six Pixels of Separation looks very interesting. I’m reading some reviews now which seem very favorable for the book.

  14. with al these web 2.0 going on so fast it is hard to catch up. that seems an interesting book. Thank you

  15. Is it available as a (paid for) pdf download anywhere?

  16. Is this book available in an audio download? Either way seems like an interesting read.

  17. The age of digital marketing is full upon us – and it’s interesting to see the landscape changing. Thanks for sharing your review. I’ll need to get the book soon.

  18. Interesting book ! I want buy it. Thanks for sharing this valuable information with us.

  19. Thanks for this book.

  20. Thanks for the book. I’m going to buy it right now and take all the tips to heart.

  21. Very kind comments all. Thanks for being open to my brain dump into a book ;)

    The book is available in audio (both Audible and iTunes). Digital versions are available too (including Kindle).

  22. The book list is priceless- I am getting my library “shopping list” (“borrowing list”) ready- thanks so much for this!

  23. Smart move on releasing the books digitally. Get the material to where your readers are. It seems you have mastered Digital Darwinism as well…

  24. Hi Bryan

    Thanks for recommending the book. ‘Six Pixels of Separation’ good book. I will definitely buy it.

  25. Ordered the book.Saved the booklist. I love the term Digital Darwinism.
    As usual this blog is a fount of exceptionally usual information.

  26. Interesting interview/article… I especially liked the question about “why a book” versus publishing on a blog. I read books, and I read blogs. I can read my books in many ways and places where I cannot read a blog. I am not digitally illiterate and publish articles online and in printed venues. It is not about whether books are better than blogs, or vice versa, it is about consumers of these media having choices. The fact that I pay for my books means i buy fewer books than I read blogs, and the books I buy are chosen more carefully.

    Great article and keep up the good work you do!

  27. Sounds like a really interesting book! I’ll keep my heads up for it!

    Alex,
    Vom Bullenfeld Rottweilers

  28. interesting book .i will purchase it. nice post

  29. Six Pixels of Separation is the good book for the geting knowledge about internet marketing.thanks for sharning information.

  30. Thanks for elaborating on “Digital Darwinism.” It’s the first time I’ve heard of the term. Another contribution to my IT vocabulary.

  31. I will try to read it.

  32. I think the best thing about Mitch’s book is that it truly isn’t just a social media book – it’s a business book that happens to focus on social media. If you’ve read a lot of these books like me, this is a big distinction.

  33. What an interesting book!
    the book is informative
    i can get some knowledge about internet marketing from Six Pixels of Separation.
    thanks a lot

  34. Thanks for the book very useful

  35. Its been a while since I read something interesting..I think its a right time to start reading again.

  36. Thanks for the great interview. I plan on going and picking up some of those books such as Here Comes Everybody and Life After the 30-Second Spot and giving them a read, and you never know, I may even buy Six Pixels Of Separation.

  37. Very cool elaborating on “Digital Darwinism.” first time I’ve heard of the term. Another contribution to my vocabulary.

  38. Thanks so much for the insight, you really helped me out here. I’ll have to check out that book!

  39. Thanks for the book. I’m going to buy it right now and take all the tips to heart.

  40. I thank you for this informative article. And I thank you for this I follow your vendors. It’s verry good. I wish you continued success.

  41. This is not the first of your blogs I’ve read, and I see it will do me good to read more! Thank you for all the insight you provide, I look forward to reading more and more!

  42. I’ve got this page bookmarked now, you have served as a great present and future reference.

  43. Kind of embarrassing to admit I did not know any of this before.. but good to know now :) Thanks!

  44. I don’t have much to say about the subject as I am impartial myself, but as far the format of your website, very nicely done :)

  45. Thanks for the summary. I am especially interested in reading about how to be successful without being too self-promotional. Also, thanks for the book list. There are so many similar books out there and it’s hard to know which ones you should focus on.

  46. I haven’t read that book, but once I am done doing my work for the day I will go out and get a copy of it. thanks

  47. The issue is not just digital darwinism, but the tendency of companies to view social media as a one time project, rather than the primary channel customer use for research and opinions – crowd sourcing applied to reviews equals new advertising

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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