The Age of Conversation Lives

It’s been a long time coming, but the Age of Conversation #4 is underway again.

We have over 120 authors contributing to the next edition and will be receiving their chapters in early August. From there we face the task of editing and organizing the chapters into a cohesive narrative.

The plan is to have the book available well in time to make it into your stocking-filler list.

What will be in the Age of Conversation #4?

The first edition took at overview of the emerging world of social media. The second edition addressed the awkward stage of business adoption, asking “why don’t they get it”? The third edition focused on putting social media and marketing knowledge to work … and this edition? Well, it’s about how YOU. Or more precisely, it’s about how social has transformed our lives from a personal point of view.

There will be sections that cover:

  • Secrets – what is a secret, what is your secret and what are the limits of privacy in the Age of Conversation?
  • Transparency – what does it mean for a business to be transparent? How do you go about making your brand or business transparent? And what happens if transparency fails?
  • Authenticity – what does it mean to humanize a brand? What happens when business gets personal and how does so-called “authenticity” impact you on a personal and professional level?
  • Unexpected Consequences – anything from a painful lesson learned to an unexpected cross the globe friendship. Share your journey in this Age of Conversation
  • How Do I … – share your tips and tricks on social media. What do you do well and how do you achieve the outcomes you want?

There will also be Case Studies. These are case studies written by the people involved in the project. Not second or third hand views, but intimate, focused case studies that you can get your teeth into.

Keep in contact!

If you are one of the authors, you’ll be seeing plenty of email from us.

If you are interested in the book, be sure to subscribe to our mailing list (you’ll find it in the sidebar). And if you have any queries, be sure to contact us.

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Give the Gift of Water this Blog Action Day #BAD10

Today is Blog Action Day, a day where bloggers from around the world come together to support a single cause. This year’s cause is water.

Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us.

Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight diarrhoea, dysentery and other illnesses. The UN predicts that one tenth of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply and sanitation.

And you can make a change in this situation.

For the Age of Conversation 3, we have partnered with charity: water – one of the non-profit partners associated with Blog Action Day. This means that the profit from every book purchase will support the UN’s effort to bring clean, safe water to millions of people.

So what can you do?

  1. Buy a copy of Age of Conversation 3 for each of your customers – they’ll love it and they’ll love you:
  2. Make an additional donation at our charity: water page
  3. Insert the Blog Action Day widget on your blog

Don’t forget to become a Fan of the Age of Conversation on Facebook.

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What You Can Do on Blog Action Day – Join the Age of Conversation Bum Rush

I know some of you will have already purchased a copy of Age of Conversation 3: It’s Time to Get Busy – and I do thank you for that. But I have new news for you, and an idea I’d like you to action. And for those of you who work for agencies or who clients you need year-end gifts for, listen up!

The Age of Conversation Official Charity – charity: water

The first piece of news is to confirm that the charity that benefits from each and every sale of each and every book, is charity: water. charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of public donations directly fund water projects.

Amazingly, just $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years. An average water project costs $5,000 and can serve 250 people with clean, safe water – so purchasing a copy of the Age of Conversation 3 really can make a difference to someone’s life!

An AoC3 Bum Rush for Blog Action Day, October 15

As you probably know, the upcoming Blog Action Day is October 15 – and this year’s focus for Blog Action Day is water. To participate in Blog Action Day, you simply register your blog and then write a post. BUT what can you write about? Here’s where Age of Conversation comes in!

Charity Water is one of the participating partners for Blog Action Day. So what I’d like you to do is to help us with a Bum Rush on the Amazon charts – generate sales for AoC3 and raise money for charity: water.

The step-by-step is as follows:

  1. Buy the Book and send others to buy the book. If you work in an agency, get your agency to purchase multiple copies and give them out as year end gifts. This is the #1 call to action, because this is where we want to see the most impact. NOTE: Please buy 1 copy at a time because Amazon counts bulk orders once, and please use these affiliate links, which will help us in tracking sales. Remember, all the proceeds from the book sales and referrals will go to charity water:
  2. Register with Blog Action Day – Help raise the profile and participate in a huge global effort around water by registering for Blog Action Day.
  3. Blog About Blog Action Day, focusing on AoC3 - Make sure you have a prominent link to the Amazon listing so that readers can easily purchase the book. (Remember to use the affiliate link above. All of these earnings will go to charity as well.)
  4. Twitter Commentary - Join the other authors as we give a Bum Rush play-by-play on Twitter. We also ask that everyone saying anything about the Bum Rush to use the code #aoc3 so that it can be picked up by What The Hashtag.
  5. Trackback or Comment on the post that I will leave here on October 15, so that everyone can follow the conversation and help promote exposure on social sites (Digg, StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us, etc.)
  6. Digg the posts listed here and send emails and shouts to friends requesting Diggs.
  7. Stumble the posts listed and tell friends to do the same.
  8. Bookmark your posts on Del.icio.us
  9. Don’t forget Facebook – Make sure to become a Fan of AoC3 and to contribute to our wall
  10. Send an Old Fashioned email to your friends about the Bum Rush for AoC.

Oh, and if you have any others ideas, I’d love to hear them. Feel free to leave a comment below or over on the Age of Conversation fan page.

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171 Authors Take the Online Marketing Conversation to Print

New York, NY (May 07, 2010)—Almost three years ago, an online conversation between two marketing pros—an American and an Australian—evolved into a collaborative writing effort by more than 100 bloggers from nine countries, and was aptly titled The Age of Conversation. Fast forward to today and the abstract experiment is now a concrete treatise on the state of social media and marketing best practices as a whole. With Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton still firmly at the helm, the third book in the Age of Conversation series has become a veritable “who’s who” of the world’s leading marketing bloggers. Age of Conversation 3 (202 pages; hardcover; paperback; Kindle; ePub) was published by new digital publishing company Channel V Books (www.ChannelVBooks.com), and is now available through all major online retailers, as a Kindle e-book, and will soon be available as an ePub for other digital readers.

Age of Conversation 3 captures the distinct shift from social media as a hypothetical consumer loyalty tool, as it was considered only a little more than a year ago, to its current state as a staple in the modern marketing toolbox. Although the book covers more than just social media, the topic is ubiquitous among the book’s 10 sections: At the Coalface; Identities, Friends and Trusted Strangers; Conversational Branding; Measurement; Corporate Conversations; In the Boardroom; Innovation and Execution; Influence; Getting to Work; and Pitching Social Media.

“We have seen an incredible shift in the role of social media over the past three years. It has moved from an outlier in the marketing mix to one of the strategic pillars of any corporate marketing or branding exercise,” said Drew McLellan. “And it doesn’t end there,” adds Gavin Heaton. “As the many authors of this new book explain, the focus may be on conversation, but you can’t participate in a conversation from the sidelines. It’s all about participation. And this book provides you with 171 lessons in this new art”.

The genesis for the series itself has all the makings of a thrilling read: regular correspondence between people around the world; a proactive collaboration between 15 countries; and two marketing professionals who have never met each other face to face, scrambling to learn how to publish a book from the ground up.

It all started when McLellan blogged about a similar collaborative book effort and Heaton wrote to him to suggest they get a few fellow bloggers to produce a marketing book in the same vain. Three emails later, and they had named the book and set what they thought would be an impossible goal: 100 bloggers. Within seven days they had commitments from 103. Back then, the marketing industry was abuzz about how citizen marketers were changing the landscape, whereas the second two editions have revolved primarily around the growing field of social media and how its methodologies have affected marketing as a whole. What all three books have in common is that they each capture a uniquely global vantage point.

The first Age of Conversation raised nearly $15,000 for Variety, the international children’s charity, and the Age of Conversation 2 raised a further $10,000 for Variety. This year’s proceeds will be donated to an international children’s charity of our authors’ choosing.

McLellan, who heads McLellan Marketing Group, a Des Moines, Iowa advertising agency, has been writing DrewsMarketingMinute.com for several years. Heaton, who works for global software giant, SAP, writes ServantofChaos.com from Sydney, Australia. McLellan and Heaton have used their blogs to promote each book’s crop of contributors.

Needless to say, an ambitious online marketing book will be paired with an ambitious online marketing campaign. All 171 bloggers will use their respective online platforms—their blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social media profiles, and websites—to promote their co-authors and book sales.

To request a review copy of Age of Conversation 3, please contact Gretel Going at gretel@channelvmedia.com or 212.680.0179.

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Hot off the Presses


Originally uploaded by servantofchaos

The proofs of the new Age of Conversation 3 arrived in Drew McLellan’s offices in Des Moines, Iowa … and it just so happened that we were both able to be there!

As you can see from our Flickr set, the unboxing was very exciting ;)

The quality of the printing and production is smashing! The smaller format gives the book a real sense of impact and the white cover really catches your eye. When you have the chance to hold your own copies in your hands, I am sure you will be impressed.

Once again, great work from Gretel and the folks over at Channel V Books! Now we are just waiting on the book information to make its way through the Amazon system and we’ll be ready to go. Look out for an update really soon!

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Meet Our Publisher – Channel V Books

Finally, we get to tell you the good news about our publishing partners.

But first, some brief background.  As you may know, we are not book publishers.   When we got the idea for the first Age of Conversation — it was our original intention just to do an e-book.  But the authors really, really wanted a “real” book they could hold, give away to clients and put on their coffee table.

So naturally — we punted our way through the first Age of Conversation and Age of Conversation 2.  We won’t go into detail about all the challenges but they were many.  Some involved blood loss — but we got it done.

When we announced Age of Conversation 3 — we got an e-mail from two of the authors from the second book — Gretel Going & Kate Fleming.  Unbeknownst to us, they had started a publishing company called Channel V Books and they wanted to help us.  Please be clear … help us = do it all for free in the total spirit of the books!!

As contributing authors, Gretel/Kate and her team were familiar with our past struggles getting this book out through various self-publishing avenues. They were in a position to provide us with a fast turnaround time and broad distribution for the book without the hassles we’ve faced in the past. So, rather than deal with all the publishing nuances and details as we had in the past, we took them up on their offer and have benefited from an all-inclusive model that provides the flexibility and freedom of self-publishing but the comprehensive, turnkey services of a traditional publishing house.

Although we didn’t take them up on all of their services due to the nature of this project, I can share the key differentiators between CVB and a service like Lulu.com for those of you who have some interest or may be thinking of publishing your own book.

In particular, their in-house management of the entire publishing and marketing processes from start to finish (often working with the author from the beginning to shape the manuscript for his/her audience and create their platforms), and their seamless connection to major online retail distribution channels such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Finally, they handle all royalty and online distribution/fulfillment, which allows authors to focus on personal goals and business objectives, rather than on the business of their book.

Here’s my shameless plug for these really talented and smart folks:

They work with business thought leaders who need to publish books in order to promote themselves and their businesses, solidify their credibility and attract new opportunities—but don’t have the time (or desire) to learn and manage the intricacies of the publishing business in the process. Channel V Books bridges the gap between self-publishing and traditional publishing by offering the best of both worlds: the highest production quality, distribution channels, visibility, creative flexibility, ease and, most importantly, profitability.  To learn more about Channel V Books, visit  their website.

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Introducing the Age of Conversation 3 Authors

It has taken some time to come together, but the new book, Age of Conversation 3: It’s time to get busy!, is in its final stages. Very soon you will be able to purchase it directly from Amazon or a number of other online book stores. The new cover, as you can see below, was designed by Chris Wilson. And this, our new site, was designed and built by Craig Wilson and the hard working team at Sticky Advertising.

Cover of The Age of Conversation 3

We’re excited to be at this stage of the process. The quality of thinking throughout the book is of the highest calibre – as would be expected from such an illustrious group. The authors who have contributed to this year’s edition are:

Adam Joseph Priyanka Sachar Mark Earls
Cory Coley-Christakos Stefan Erschwendner Paul Hebert
Jeff De Cagna Thomas Clifford Phil Gerbyshak
Jon Burg Toby Bloomberg Shambhu Neil Vineberg
Joseph Jaffe Uwe Hook Steve Roesler
Michael E. Rubin anibal casso Steve Woodruff
Steve Sponder Becky Carroll Tim Tyler
Chris Wilson Beth Harte Tinu Abayomi-Paul
Dan Schawbel Carol Bodensteiner Trey Pennington
David Weinfeld Dan Sitter Vanessa DiMauro
Ed Brenegar David Zinger Brett T. T. Macfarlane
Efrain Mendicuti Deb Brown Brian Reich
Gaurav Mishra Dennis Deery C.B. Whittemore
Gordon Whitehead Heather Rast Cam Beck
Hajj E. Flemings Joan Endicott Cathryn Hrudicka
Jeroen Verkroost Karen D. Swim Christopher Morris
Joe Pulizzi Leah Otto Corentin Monot
Karalee Evans Leigh Durst David Berkowitz
Kevin Jessop Lesley Lambert Duane Brown
Peter Korchnak Mark Price Dustin Jacobsen
Piet Wulleman Mike Maddaloni Ernie Mosteller
Scott Townsend Nick Burcher Frank Stiefler
Steve Olenski Rich Nadworny John Rosen
Tim Jackson Suzanne Hull Len Kendall
Amber Naslund Wayne Buckhanan Mark McGuinness
Caroline Melberg Andy Drish Oleksandr Skorokhod
Claire Grinton Angela Maiers Paul Williams
Gary Cohen Armando Alves Sam Ismail
Gautam Ramdurai B.J. Smith Tamera Kremer
Eaon Pritchard Brendan Tripp Adelino de Almeida
Jacob Morgan Casey Hibbard Andy Hunter
Julian Cole Debra Helwig Anjali Ramachandran
Jye Smith Drew McLellan Craig Wilson
Karin Hermans Emily Reed David Petherick
Katie Harris Gavin Heaton Dennis Price
Mark Levy George Jenkins Doug Mitchell
Mark W. Schaefer Helge Tenno Douglas Hanna
Marshall Sponder James Stevens Ian Lurie
Ryan Hanser Jenny Meade Jeff Larche
Sacha Tueni and Katherine Maher David Svet Jessica Hagy
Simon Payn Joanne Austin-Olsen Mark Avnet
Stanley Johnson Marilyn Pratt Mark Hancock
Steve Kellogg Michelle Beckham-Corbin Michelle Chmielewski
Amy Mengel Veronique Rabuteau Peter Komendowski
Andrea Vascellari Timothy L Johnson Phil Osborne
Beth Wampler Amy Jussel Rick Liebling
Eric Brody Arun Rajagopal Dr Letitia Wright
Hugh de Winton David Koopmans Aki Spicer
Jeff Wallace Don Frederiksen Charles Sipe
Katie McIntyre James G Lindberg & Sandra Renshaw David Reich
Lynae Johnson Jasmin Tragas Deborah Chaddock Brown
Mike O’Toole Jeanne Dininni Iqbal Mohammed
Morriss M. Partee Katie Chatfield Jeff Cutler
Pete Jones Riku Vassinen Jeff Garrison
Kevin Dugan Tiphereth Gloria Mike Sansone
Lori Magno Valerie Simon Nettie Hartsock
Mark Goren Peter Salvitti

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Getting a Few Things in Order for Age of Conversation III

We are busily preparing, collating and sorting a raft of information from the 300 or so authors who have committed to the NEW edition of the Age of Conversation.

And while many of you may now struggle to remember which sections of the book you have volunteered for, please know that we will soon be sending you some information that will put you at ease.

We look forward to sharing this fabulous journey with you all!

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Age of Conversation Podcast – Episode 7: Manifestos Part 2

Why don't they get it in the Age of Conversation? In episode 7 we look at the big picture of online conversations and what they mean on a personal level. Here are a few choice quotes to get your warmed up.

You realize that even if you have only been following
someone’s Twitterstream for the past several months, that actually does add up
to something significant.

Mike Arauz – Undercurrent
Twitter: @mikearauz

It’s not about sending everybody to a point,
it’s about people and the interactions between people

Jon Swanson – Graybill Missionary Church

Maybe in our next stage of the age of
conversation we will work toward the art of conversation.

Jay Ehret – The Marketing Spot
Twitter: @themarketingguy

Click the play button on the player below or download the episode here: Episode 7 – Manifestos Part 2
Be sure to buy your copy of Age of Conversation 2: Why don't they get it?

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Age of Conversation Podcast – Episode 6: Manifestos Part 1

Why don't they get it in the Age of Conversation? In episode 6 four contributors to the Manifestos section of the book weigh in. Take a listen below for brilliant content such as this:

“We had to get over this 'shiny object syndrome,' this reliance on, or  immediate
gravitation toward, the small stuff and really say something big and bold.

Brian Reich – EchoDitto
Twitter: @BrianReich

“We have to concede that the number and power of conversations we are having with
each other are the things that are building brands right now. Not the
communications and the controllable collateral organizations create for

Richard Huntington – Satchi & Satchi, London
Twitter: @adliterate

“It's not that I think we are losing the art of conversation, it's that the art
of conversation is changing into some new forms. It's not going to help to whine
about that or to yearn for the old days. We just have to embrace it, and find
the good in it, and learn the new disciplines that are part of it.

Steve Woodruff – Impactiviti
Twitter: @swoodruff

“We've used the terms frequency, speed, volume in this age of conversation. I'm
wondering if sometimes we lose the art of conversation along the way. And we're
just worried about getting out there as much as we can to as many people as we

Jay Ehret – The Marketing Spot
Twitter: @themarketingguy

Click the play button on the player below or download the episode here: Episode 6 – Manifestos Part 1
Be sure to buy your copy of Age of Conversation 2: Why don't they get it?

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