Tag Archives: book

Book Review: Net, Blogs and Rock’n’Roll

Net, Blogs and Rock'n'Roll Cover
One species that has flourished in the world of Web 2.0 is the pundit. Change happens quickly and hard evidence has trouble catching up, leaving a certainty vacuum that can readily be filled by anyone with an air of authority.

While Net, Blogs and Rock’n’Roll is aimed squarely at the Web 2.0-prognostication market it’s far from being the worst example of this: David Jennings draws on plenty of personal experience as well as interviews and systematic research to paint a picture of the way music will be changed as a result of social changes brought about by web technology. Even so, this is fundamentally an attempt to gaze into a very hazy future, and while I found in it some good inspiration, nothing in it felt especially certain.

A particular problem with this book is that it goes on too long, without enough structure to make the purpose of much of the text clear. The last third of the book didn’t seem to add much value and felt more like an overly-extended summary than anything else, and was very hard work to get through.

If you’re in the music industry or a part of the web industry that overlaps with music, then this book is certainly worth reading as part of gathering a wide variety of opinions. There are plenty of insights to be had, if you approach them critically. If your interest in the future of music is more casual then you’re probably better served by tracking events as they happen on blogs rather than spending effort trying to divine the future.

Book review: How to Become a Better Negotiator

41bhZSSBpnL._SL160_How to Become a Better Negotiator is a very light and straightforward read, at just 112 pages. I was able to read the entire book in an evening, although I skipped some of the exercises.

It’s a well-structured book and gets to the heart of the matter well, making good use of the space available. It’s not one of those business books where you suspect the author was paid by the word.

The authors rightly focus on a basis of good communication skills before getting into the details of negotiation techniques. There are a few simple self-assessment exercises of the “Mostly C’s” type, which aren’t especially original but do give good insight in a short space of time, particularly if you haven’t done much introspection about your communication style.

Once the book gets into the specifics of negotiation techniques, most of the focus is on negotiating large business deals rather than the smaller one-off situations (such as salary negotiations) that everyone comes across. Though this doesn’t make too much practical difference, I couldn’t help but think that the people who would benefit most from such a light read would be people who don’t negotiate for a living.

All in all this is a good solution if you want a quick blast to improve your skills without investing too much time. If you want to dig deeper this is probably a bit light and offers little that you won’t find again elsewhere.