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Uncensored – Review

Review originally published at Google Plus.

Club 52 – Paul's (Short) Review Of Uncensored (by +Hunter Walk and +Eric Ries )

NOTE: Uncensored is not a “traditional” book. It is a “A Charitable Project to Support The Open Internet” made of “blog posts – some old, some new – from many names familiar to you and hopefully some new voices.” Profits from the project will be donated to the EFF. There is a link to the project at the bottom of this posting. It was made available in all the formats, so I did read it on my Kindle.

So, word of the “Uncensored” project crossed my path a few weeks ago. I wanted to make it part of Club 52 for a number of a reasons. Whereas, yes, all the content has been made available elsewhere, not only did I benefit from it, but the EFF got a few bucks as well.

I was familiar with many of the writers – but learned of a few great minds out there that I am now following / have circled / etc.

Here are my big take homes:

+Alexia Tsotsis' piece on “Keeping Up With The Normals” is the best thing I've ever read on the way the digerati often loses sense of the reality they're trying to change. Best line – “… can't ignore Normals just because you're really smart.”

+Caterina Fake's “FOMO and Social Media” will haunt me next time I'm at an event with a lot of social media types.

+Danah Boyd's “Social Steganography” should be required reading for any parent who lets their kids use an Internet connected device (i.e., all parents).

+Dave McClure's “Subscriptions are the New BLACK” reminded me, again, of why I love that man so much. Not for the kiddies – but true true true true true. Got a “big idea” for the Internet? Run it through this thing first.

+Hunter Walk's “Sorry Mike” is dead on. Hunter's Rule is right. Read it.

+Joel Spolsky's “Two thing about SOPA/PIPA & then I'll shut up :-)” was also a great read but the fact that it was originally published on his Google+ feed (and not a Blog) gave me an added boost of confidence that my recent publishing strategies are at least pointed in the right direction. +Tim O'Reilly's SOPA/PIPA piece (also good) had the same origination.

A good read. Worth the money. Mind is still spinning from a few of these. I'm pretty sure it will have the same effect on you.

Link to the Uncensored project –

One of my new years declarations was that I'd read a book every week. Join me on this journey?

Pitch Anything Review

This review first appeared in the Club 52 Page at Google Plus.

Club 52 – Paul's (Short) Review Of Pitch Anything (by Oren Klaff)

Full disclosure – I've met Oren on two difference occasions and he has participated in a profitable venture I am involved with. Part of the reason for that venture was because of how much I loved the book.

The idea of “pitching” – and yes, pitching “anything” scares me. I'm not good at sales – yet do it in my business as what I probably would have called a “necessary evil” until having read this book.

Actually, back in full disclosure, this has been my second time through the book in a few months.

This book is not only worth all the hype – but actually worth, in my opinion, more.

Unlike other books I've read this year with the theme of “nothing really changes, here's how technology plays into what's been happening for a long time” – this book is about how this new age and new time has, simply, changed the nature of the pitch.

You pitch old school, and it doesn't work anymore. You probably knew that already – but what is the answer to this new age?

Enter “Pitch Anything.”

A word of encouragement from Oren:

“We are hardwired to be bad at pitching. It is caused by the way our brains evolved.”

The hard reality the books deals with:

“We assume that our audience will do what we want them to do if our idea is good, if we didn't stumble through the pitch, and if we showed a winning personality. Turns out, it doesn't work that way.”

We all kinda knew that, didn't we 😉

The big idea of the book is FRAMES. You frame the pitch, the environment of the pitch, the psychology of the pitch, etc. inside of proven techniques that give you every advantage.

The cool thing is, isn't is a book of funky mind tricks with elements of psychological warfare, it's a text about having the right story, having something worth “pitching,” not wasting anyone's time during the pitching process and more. These are the things I can get behind. It's about understanding that very “attention” the social media types love to talk on and on about.

In the top level, a great read, with some great stories (turns out he once worked with one of my old bosses). On a deeper level, this is my text book for the next pitch I make.

When I make that next pitch – I'm gonna bet 2 things

1 – I'll do much better than I have in the past.

2 – I will have read this thing a few more times between now and then.

Non affiliate link to the book at Amazon –

One of my new years declarations was that I'd read a book every week. Join me on this journey?