So I was over at my family’s house yesterday, and decided to pass along the book we wrote to my dad. He was thinking about building a site and wanted my advice, so I figured we’d start there and see how it went.
Over supper we started discussing a bunch of stuff and I started peppering the conversation with jargon (social capital, social proof, etc.) without realizing and I saw that, in some cases, some additional reading might be required to really get him on the same level.
That’s why I wrote this list.
You don’t need to read any of these to understand the book we wrote, of course. But if you like to read the way I do, you love getting those Aha! moments in which you really grasp a concept fully. Reading the books on this list will help you do that. Plus they’re all good are worthy of a read anyway, just on their own.
1. Influence by Robert Cialdini.
Let’s start simple: Understanding human behaviour is at the core of everything we do online. Cialdini is the social psychologist who will help you do this. From social proof to unconscious herd behaviour, this book will guide you through different ways in which persuasion works, and why. Also check out 50 Scientifically-Proven Ways to be Persuasive, a summary his most recent one of the same name. They’re both full of great info. (Thanks to Kottke for reminding me about this one.)
2. The Little Teal Book of Trust by Jeffrey Gitomer.
There are a lot of books on trust I don’t recommend. The Speed of Trust is one of those; I feel like it just went on and on. Gitomer’s book is the opposite. It’s different from ours because it talks primarily about trust in a sales environment, but I have to say that I was really surprised at how great it was. Gitomer is amazing at distilling complex principles into phrases that are catchy and memorable.
3. The Whuffie Factor by Tara Hunt.
You already know what I’m about to tell you, but I’ll say it anyway: Social capital is something to pay attention to. We talk about it in our book, and ways to gain it, but for a comprehensive, web-savvy assessment Tara’s book does the job. I had done a TON of research on social capital when we were writing the book, but Tara has done more and it shows. Read it.
4. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely.
I was introduced to Ariely by Mitch Joel, and spoke to him on the phone a bit as we were writing the book. Honestly, his book is so great I should have made it number one. I read it at the same time I was reading Influence, and I was starting to become overwhelmed with how much people don’t understand their own behaviour, and why they make the decisions they do, both individually and in groups. This one should not be missed.
5. Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod
You know what’s in this, and so do I. But Ignore Everybody, which comes out tomorrow, is as classic a book as Twyla Tharp‘s Creative Habit — it will teach you to step out of your usual habits and create what you need for your own life. In the end, that’s what we wrote is really about: trying something new that can make something great happen for you.
You know what, there are probably more of these– give me some suggestions, I’d love to know what you think. Hey, and once you’re done those, go grab ours! 🙂
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