Social Media Bible Weighs More Than Real Bible

And, Lo, These 800 Pages Shall Guide Ye to Marketing Nirvana

By Published on .

Credit: Hoag Levins
When Adages first received a copy of The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, and Strategies for Business Success two weeks ago, we couldn't help but chuckle. A $30, 820-page book about social networks? Makes as much sense as buying an $11 book based on a free blog.

So to first voice our amusement at the tome's irony, we naturally went to Twitter, where we tweeted, "The Social Media Bible is 821 pages too long. 820 pages too many." Within minutes,'s co-founder Steven Groves tweeted back, "caught your tweet on the Social Media Bible... really happy you've seen it, but tell us... what's wrong?"

To start, the book is arguably heavier than the actual Bible (we heathens at Ad Age left our King James at home so we couldn't verify, but just take our word for it). Secondly, it seems awfully cumbersome for an aspiring social marketer in a post-Kutcher/CNN, post-Facebook Beacon universe to leaf through so many pages about social networks when they should probably be learning by doing. Thirdly, publishing a book about a space that changes so rapidly is like consulting a guide to the stock market written last year.

However, we were amused to find the book took its biblical status seriously, ending each chapter with a list of commandments about each sector. Sample commandment, for virtual worlds -- "Thou shalt try out a virtual world." (You know, because Second Life proved so relevant.)

It could have been worse, we suppose. They could have had one page for every so-called social-media guru on the planet. But there aren't enough trees on earth for that. And with so many "experts" yelling at marketers that they're not doing enough in social media -- or that they're doing too much or going about it all wrong and "OH MY GOD, HOW COULD YOU IGNORE MY TWITTER ADVICE!?!?" -- there are probably plenty of marketers who might want to turn to an old-fashioned hunk of dead trees that offers a coherent voice and one set of rules rather than put up with the Tower of Babel taking shape in the actual social-media realm.

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