Banned Books Week: 10 Social Media Books That Should Be “Banned” Forever

Today marks the end of Banned Books Week (September 24th – October 1st).  For those unfamiliar with Banned Books Week, it is an annual event that celebrates our freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  During the week, the harms of censorship are highlighted by spotlighting classic literary works of art that individuals or organizations have attempted to ban throughout the years.   Below is a look at the top 10 books that have been banned or attempted to be banned throughout history.

Top 10 Banned Books of All-Time

  1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
  3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
  7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
  8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
  9. 1984, by George Orwell
  10. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

Interestingly enough, this list could easily also represent the 10 greatest books of all-time.  If being banned helped gain exposure for these  amazing books, maybe the same could happen if we “banned” the following books on social media.  The following 10 books represent some of the  most engaging and thought provoking books on social media and are a must read for anyone interested in the subject matter.

10 Social Media Books That Should Be “Banned” Forever

1. Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition – Michael A. Stelzner

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Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition reveals a new way to grow a business that involves focusing on the needs of others, giving gifts, working with outsiders, and restraining marketing messages. These principles are precisely the opposite of traditional marketing. Yet they work. Stelzner teaches how to market great content, capture names to grow a following, build partnerships, relationships, and sell better – to help launch any business. Michael Stelzner is the founder of Social Media Examiner a popular website dedicated to social media. You can find Michael on Twitter @smexaminer.

2. The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More SocialJay Baer and Amber Naslund

This book isn’t about how to “do” social media but rather helps to outline how you must retool your organization to make real-time business work for you rather than against you. Jay and Amber discuss the seven shifts that will help you make your company faster, smarter, and more social. Together they provide guidance on making the changes you need, and how to harness the potential of this new communication era.

3. Groundswell: Winning In A World Transformed By Social Technologies – Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff

Groundswell: Winning In A World Transformed By Social Technologies will teach you to evaluate new social technologies as they emerge, determine how different groups of consumers are participating in social technology arenas, apply a four-step process for formulating your future strategy and build social technologies into your business. This book should be required reading for any executive seeking to protect and  strengthen their company’s public image. Charlene Li is the founder of Altimeter Group and one of the foremost experts on social media and
technologies. Josh Bernoff is senior vice president, idea development at Forrester Research, and is responsible for identifying, developing, and promoting some of the company’s most influential and forward-looking ideas.

4. Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do BusinessErik Qualman

This book explores how the concept of Socialnomics is changing the way companies produce, market and sell. The book provides examples of have businesses are connecting/engaging with consumers through social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. It is an essential book for any individual who wants to understand the power of social media.

5. Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web – Brian Solis

Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web is the ultimate guide to branding and building your business in the era of the Social Web. The book thoroughly examines the social media landscape and how to effectively use social media to succeed in business – one network and one tool at a time. It leads you through the detailed and specific steps required for conceptualizing, implementing, managing, and measuring a social media program. The result is the ability to increase visibility, build communities of loyal brand enthusiasts, and increase profits. Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group a research-based advisory firm. In addition, he is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media.

6. The Whuffle Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your BusinessTara Hunt

This book details the importance of earning social capital (“whuffie”) in the Web 2.0 landscape. Tara does an excellent job of validating her social media strategies and concept through the use of specific case studies such as the Obama Presidential Campaign, and many more. Be sure to read Tara Hunt’s blog for more insights.

7. Poke the Box – Seth Godin

Poke the Box is a manifesto by bestselling author Seth Godin that just might make you uncomfortable. It’s a call to action about the initiative you’re taking-– in your job or in your life. Godin knows that one of our scarcest resources is the spark of initiative in most organizations (and most careers)-– the person with the guts to say, “I want to start stuff.” Poke the Box just may be the kick in the pants you need to shake up your life.

8. Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions – Guy Kawasaki

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions is the 10th book from Guy Kawasaki and in it, he explains how to influence what people will do while maintaining the highest standards of ethics. The book explains when and why enchantment is necessary and then the pillars of enchantment: likability, trustworthiness, and a great cause. Guy Kawasaki is the co-founder of, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web, and a founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures.

9. The Tao of Twitter: Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a TimeMark W. Schaefer

The Tao of Twitter is written by one of the most approachable social media thought leaders on Twitter. In this book, Mark demonstrates how Twitter can change your business and life forever. The book is perfect for marketers who do not have the time to spend hours in experimentation and research trying to find success. By the end of the book, you will know enough strategies, tactics, and time-savers to create an effective presence on Twitter that will result in meaningful and measurable benefits.

10. Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust – Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

This book focus on showing individuals have to build networks of influence through social media tools. It explores the concept of using trust as a means for creating positive online reputations. The book also includes actionable steps and case studies that showcase the positive impact social media can have on your business. For more great information from the authors be sure to check out Chris Brogan’s and Julien Smiths’ blog.

Happy reading!

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