I really like Julien Smith, but as you can see from this Facebook Comment Stream the dude is missing something important. And it’s really simple: Not Everyone Uses a Kindle.
I first came across Julien exactly two years ago. The Robin to Chris Brogan‘s Batman, Julien co-authored Trust Agents, a book that’s made Brogan very famous and thrust him into the upper strata of marketing consultants. Now, Julien’s released a book he’s authored himself. The Flinch is an easily read, insightful tome on human reactions to stimuli, and fits nicely into the questions that more and more people are trying to answer in the social media era.
And The Flinch is free.
Seriously. a full length book by one of the smartest young business authors around is yours for the asking. No strings attached.
OK, there’s one string: you can only read The Flinch on a Kindle, or using Kindle software. (aside: Julien Smith has just made a PDF version of The Flinch available in response to my questioning him on this point) aside #2: and now, two days later, Julien has deleted it.
Since only the people who visit here are likely to ever find that link, Julien still has a problem: it appears as though Julien Smith is endorsing the Kindle platform and telling his fans and potential readers that unless they drink the Kindle Kool-Aid they aren’t welcome to read The Flinch.
This of course isn’t true. But remember, perception is reality.
A very long time ago, I did TV and radio as The Computer Answer Guy, and make the radio program available on the Internet. I needed to decide what audio format to use. Was it WindowsMedia? RealMedia? QuickTime?
I chose “all of the above”. We encoded the program three times for each feed, so that as few people as possible would have to install software at the moment they were trying to listen to the program. We did the same thing at TechTalk, a radio program I co-hosted with Ken Rutkowski, and at the other media properties that Ken and I once co-owned, including Chris Pirillo’s Lockergnome.
But the days of what platform you use to publish your work are supposed to be over. Click a link, and your browser does the heavy lifting. If that work leads down a path where you need to jump through hoops to get at the content you’re looking for, the chance of you ever getting it are reduced tremendously. And remember: this problem only gets worse as computers get easier to use.
I’m happy to report that Julien Smith gets all of this. He and I are debating the issue even as I write this piece:
But I can’t help wonder how Julien could miss this point the first time around. And while that might sound like a criticism of Julien Smith, it’s much more a commentary on how much nuance there is in marketing in the social media age.
Or if that’s one click too many 😉 , just fill out this form, and I’ll get right back to you: