It's summer, and I understand everywhere else in the United States, it's hot. In San Francisco, we've endured day after day of thick fog (during my run through Golden Gate Park the other day, I swear it was snowing) so I can only imagine what it's like to lie in a backyard hammock reading great books (now, on my iPad) while sipping ice-cold lemonade.
Recently, I was at a meeting where the group I was addressing asked what blogs and sites I regularly read to stay on top of trends in search and social marketing. As I began laying out my reading list, and folks were furiously scribbling the many URLs I was sharing, it occurred to me that it might be fun to list them in this column, together with some great career-oriented reading.
It should be noted that I start every morning with a commute to San Mateo, where my start-up is located, and I always listen to "Morning Edition" on NPR (I skip the chardonnay and arugula, but that's just me.) And I would be remiss, of course, if I didn't put MediaPost at the top of my media reading list. I subscribe to OnlineMediaDaily, SearchMarketingDaily, Social Media & Marketing Daily, and Mobile Marketing Daily -- each of which is a delivered via email. I like these because MediaPost does a great job of leveraging our peers and the investigative reporting of its bloggers to keep me abreast of breaking and trending news in my industry. (Okay, enough self-serving endorsement!)
In the realm of general marketing and advertising, I'm a huge fan of 5BlogsBeforeLunch by David Ibsen. He does a great job rounding up the big news of the day and bringing his own insightful (and often wryly funny) point of view. I also love Marketing Pilgrim by Andy Beal, which is more generally focused on search and social marketing, but increasingly includes news from across the marketing industry. It's kind of a big deal now, featuring a number of bloggers in addition to Andy, and it's a great place to see opinion pieces and insights from our fellows and sisters in the business. I also regularly read The New York TimesMedia & Advertising section and the daily blog posts in AdAgeDigital. Finally, I regularly read the Forrester Marketing & Strategy Blog.
In the world of search marketing, I read what you might expect: Search Engine Land (Danny Sullivan is still the top dog in all things search, in my opinion); Search Engine Watch; Matt Cutts' Blog; the AdCenter Search Blog; the Y! Search Blog; and Google's Inside AdWords Blog.
If you're on the geeky side (or are finally ready to show some ROI on your marketing programs), read the blog Occam's Razor by Avinash Kaushik, which focuses on Web analytics. While you're at it, read his book "Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability & Science of Customer Centricity."
In terms of more general Web 2.0 stuff, I still love Seth Godin's missives. His newish book is a great read ("Linchpin" available here.) Amber Naslund, in addition to being the Director of Community at Radian6, is a terrific blogger and has one of the better Twitter handles in the biz: @ambercadabra. (If you're looking for another good Twitter handle to follow, check out Jeremiah Owyang.) Also, I still love reading John Battelle's blog. And 37 Signals' Signal vs. Noise Blog is educational (and very often entertaining.) Finally, I really like Brian Solis' informative and thought-provoking blog. He's also got a new book out called "Engage!" that I really encourage you to read.
Another book worth picking up for a summertime read (once you've burned through all those red-hot Stieg Larsson novels) is Charlene Li's new book "Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead." Also, you should pre-order the book by my MediaPost colleague Aaron Goldman ("Everything I Know About Marketing I Learned from Google"), which comes out in August.
What marketing-oriented blogs and websites do you regularly read? Any great books we should be reading as we approach the dog days of summer? The best book suggestion will be my inspiration to head for Sonoma, one of the lovelier places in the Bay Area where the sun regularly shines, and settle in with an icy cold beverage and a good read.