6 Unexpectedly Brilliant Books About Building Online Communities

April 9, 2009Comments Off on 6 Unexpectedly Brilliant Books About Building Online Communities

If you’re disappointed with most books about communities, I recommend you try these. By far, I’ve learnt more from these than any book dedicated solely to communities.

1.  Robert Cialdini: Influence: Psychology of Persuasion

Robert’s book explains how influence works. He explains 6 tactics, the importance of social proof and the means by which the actions of one person affect another. For communities, this book is essential reading. If you want to build a community

2. US Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual

I recommended this before. It’s a military read but the application is you approach most community projects as an outsider. To win you need the insiders (often distinct groups) to like and trust you. That’s not easy, this book explains how to approach from an outsider and create a new inside.

3. Jeff Jarvis: What Would Google Do?

You need to know how to build a community for the future. Jeff’s book explains what you need to do today, for your community to thrive tomorrow.

4. Dan H. Pink: A Whole New Mind

The workplace is changing. You need to use the right side of your brain. Specifically, the future needs people who know design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning. If you want to design and grow a community, these abilities are vital.

5. Chip and Dan Heath: Made To Stick

In an online world rampant with clutter, Made to Stick is the best book about making your message to people stand out. Follow their SUCCES formula. Simple, Unexpected, Concrete (true), Credible, Emotional and tells a Story. It will explain how to make your communications and the purpose of your community stick amongst all members.

6. Seth Godin: Permission Marketing

Seth explains the tactics from turning a stranger into a member of your community. The secret is to offer a self-interest benefit at each level, it's still Seth's best book.

Bonus eBook: Bas De Baar: Project Shrink 

Bas De Baar’s book about project shrink notes, at the end of the day, projects are all about humans. His book is filled with brilliant advice about working with people online and offline. Bas goes deep into the human psyche and extracts some excellent insights.

Which alternative books have helped you grow online communities?

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