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For those who do not use Twitter, you might not know about Friday Follows. The idea is that on Fridays, Twitter users recommend other Twitter users to follow.

It has fallen out of favor of late a little, the Twitterverse can be fickle, and I’ve never been a big believer anyway – preferring to retweet (repost others messages) on a regular basis. But it has always been nice to get one.

Yesterday, however, I got the best Friday Follow ever from Jim Dougherty who goes by the name @leaderswest on Twitter.

Jim’s Friday Follow took the form of a short – talking to camera – video, explaining to users why they should follow me, and others, on Twitter. The genius of the idea is that each subject gets their own short video making it very easy to view and share by the subject.

This is great content marketing.

Easy to consume, relevant, and selfless – which of course reflects very well on the content creator like all great content marketing. It would be interesting to see if all recommendations will eventually be like this: personal, short, and on video. It has certainly got my wheels turning considering just how effective I find the video below. Interestingly, Jim used Keek for this project. Keek is hoping to be video Twitter.

Please follow @leaderswest on Twitter, after you follow me!

Video Friday Follow about @mike_falconer from @leaderswest

(Keek's embedding does not work very well in WordPress yet - just click on the image to take you to Jim's Keek page and his video post about me!)

Well, what did you think?

Let me know in the comments and take a look at Jim’s other Friday Follows in the same page.

(Click on the image above to view the book on Amazon!)

With possibly the longest subtitle ever: “Move your business forward through the convergence of search, social & content marketing,” Accelerate! cannot be accused of false advertising.

Quiet simply, Accelerate is a blueprint for successfully using 21st century tools for small business online marketing. Written by Arnie Kuenn, the president of Vertical Measures in Phoenix, and a co-founder of the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association; Mr. Kuenn certainly knows his stuff. In fact, it is one of the few criticism of the book that I have, is that it gets a little dense at times, particularly early on. The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) section while being very detailed gets to be a little much and will require a couple of readings for all but the most experienced of readers. However, the style does settle down, and it would be a mistake to give up on the book as and what you are left with in the end is, a user friendly handbook for search, social media, and content marketing.

The book covers all the major players as you might expect; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google; but is also covers a lot of the less mainstream sites. Accelerate! plucks a number online tools out from the magic geek SEO toolbox to help with almost every aspect of the radical overhaul of your marketing strategy that will undoubtedly unfold once you have finished the book. I myself, am already looking carefully at how I put posts together for my site and have joined a number of social bookmarking sites directly because of this book.

A self published book, also available in a Kindle edition, I was initially concerned about the physical binding on Accelerate! I’ve had problems in the past with the spines of self published books cracking and then loosing pages after a single reading. I’m happy to report that this is not the case with Accelerate! I did take care not to be too absusive to the spine, but i needn’t have worried, the book is in great shape and looks the same as when it arrived.

I mention the self publishing issue, not just because of quality, but also because the text of the book directly references it as well. With a subject such as search and social media marketing, it is easy to get very out of date very quickly – Google+, for example, is not mentioned once. As the text explains, being a self published book, in addition to being an E-book, allows for easier updates than traditional publishing. I, for one, hope we do get new editions on a fairly regular basis, because this a great resource and one I know I will be referring to for quite some time. In fact, I found it quite odd to see URLs in the footnotes and be unable to click on them – should have got the Kindle version!

Mr. Kuenn’s book will not tell you how to brand and create a marketing strategy for your business – hopefully that is why you read my blog! What Accelerate! will do, however, is tell you how to navigate the waters of the increasingly complex world of search, social media, and content marketing. This still might not mean that you still don’t need to hire someone of Mr. Kuenn’s caliber, or the man himself, to work with you on these magic things. But if you do you’ll at least know what they are talking about and why.

If you want to get serious about search, social media and content marketing, you need to buy this book – it does what is says on the cover!

(Clicking on the cover above will take you to the book’s Amazon page and contribute to my book buying habit / problem.)

So why, when there are thousands of other things to be doing, have I (and you should too) have a blog?

Well, there are a number of reasons – but for the most part it is because I believe in content marketing and I need to practice what I preach.

Content marketing, the generation of content (articles, tweets, etc.) that create a following amongst potential clients, is currently considered the future of marketing. It is also, quite probably, the most honest form of marketing as it is an exchange of information. A blog is hopefully a dialog between writer and reader, meaning that the writer’s position can be challenged or supported.

So in addition to my Twitter feed, my rants on LinkedIn groups, and my book reviews on LinkedIn, I’ll be posting here about every week – thousands of other things permitting…

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