First of all, a very happy New Year to everyone. The Christmas/New Year weeks have been filled with lots of eating and resting and it's been great to be able to recharge the old batteries. Over the past couple of weeks I've continued to keep in touch with search and social developments through Twitter, and have read many predictions of what different people think will happen in 2010, as well as some interesting reviews looking back at whose 2009 predictions came true.
I'm not going to jump on the Mystic Meg bandwagon. Rather, I wanted to share with you my top three reads that I will be book worming through in the new year. My reading list resolution, I guess.
1. Web Analytics 2.0 (Avinash Kaushik)
Now usually when I see anything with the words "2.0" in it, I will run a mile with my fingers down my throat gagging. But for Avinash I make an exception, since the man is brilliant.
I've already read about a quarter of the way through this one. I love Avinash's unique approach that makes smart analytics understandable and fun. My favourite part from the book so far:
"At my first analytics job... I asked a lot of questions about the use of data and the 200 Webtrends reports that were being produced. At the end of two weeks, I turned off Webtrends. For three weeks, not a single human being called about their missing 200 reports. 200! In a multi-billion-dollar company!".
My key take-away so far is that people investment in "Analysis Ninjas", rather than simply tool investment, is what is needed to yield results that make a difference to the bottom line. Although Avinash is Mr. Google, he presents different software options along the way, often playing down Google solutions (maybe even too much).
2. The Art of SEO (Erik Enge, Stephan Spencer, Rand Fishkin, Jessie Stricchiola)
SEO is going to be a much bigger focus for me in 2010. Although this is still on my "to get" list, I've seen some great reviews for this book, and with the impressive list of author names on this one, you can't really go wrong; for example, Rand is the co-founder of the excellent SEOmoz.
3. Rich Dad, Poor Dad (Robert Kiyosaki, Sharon Lechter)
I've really been enjoying reading Paul Harrison's Urban Survival Blog. Paul recommended this book in his latest post, "Getting off my Hamster Wheel...". Although this book is not about search or social media per se, it serves as a good sanity check, I believe, for anyone who spends half their life in an office. This book is about two conflicting ways of thinking about working and business.
I'll let you know how I get on. If anyone has already read any of these, please feel free to post your thoughts on them.