Blog Post

Top 10 Books for Web Workers 2007

The web change work in so many ways: where we can work, who we work with, how we work. Here are the books from 2007 that help define the ways the web changes work, from the practical to the theoretical. I’ve left out profession-specific book such as those on web design and development in favor of titles with more general appeal. Share your own favorite web-related books from 2007 in the comments.

Rule the Web coverRule the Web: How to Do Anything and Everything on the Internet–Better, Faster, Easier by Mark Frauenfelder. Try this guide from Boing Boing co-founder Frauenfelder as your handbook to the web. The most advanced web users may find it’s mostly stuff they already know, but others will be happy to own such a wealth of web savvy all in one place.

Lifehacker the bookLifehacker: 88 Tech Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day by Gina Trapani. This was published in late 2006, but wasn’t widely available until 2007. This gathers the best of Lifehacker tips and tricks with Lifehacker editor Trapani’s easy style. She makes it seem like anyone can manage their to do lists by command line, install an invisibility cloak in their web browser, and use text substitution to save time.

One Person Multiple CareersOne Person/Multiple Careers: A New Model for Work/Life Success by Marci Alboher. If one career or field is not enough, try slashing your work life. That means combines multiple jobs or businesses or income streams in ways that uniquely suit you. The web makes it a bunch easier to do that, because you can start up online businesses or market your offline work online. Alboher blogs at the New York Times on Shifting Careers.

Brazen CareeristBrazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success by Penelope Trunk. For career advice that’s brazen and brash and in your face, go with Penelope Trunk, either her book or her blog or both. You may not agree with everything she suggests, but her advice might shake you up — and that’s what web work is about, shaking up our work lives. Trunk also writes for Yahoo! Finance.

4 Hour WorkweekThe 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss. Few people working for a living can succeed on just four hours a week — Tim Ferriss included. Much of Ferriss’ advice comes down simply to “do less”: check your email less, read less, and spend less time at work to force yourself into efficiency, for example. But in amongst that you’ll find some helpful tips and ideas, like how to experiment with online entrepreneurship in a low-risk way.

Beyond BuzzBeyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word-of-Mouth Marketing by Lois Kelly. Gone are the days when marketing could be left to everyone else. As a web worker — whether cubicle-based employee or cafe-going freelancer — you need to know how to market yourself and any services and products you offer. Marketing consultant Kelly’s book is an easy read and a great starting point for the way marketing is changing in the web age. Kelly blogs at Bloghound, the blog that goes with her marketing company Foghound.

Made to StickMade to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. The web is a world of people and ideas. You need to know how to connect with people and you need to know how to make your ideas compelling. The brothers Heath help with the latter, telling you about the “curse of knowledge” and why you need to make your ideas concrete and credible. The book is based on Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Chip Heath’s research.

Myths of InnovationThe Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun. Berkun makes hash of the conventional wisdom about innovation in this engaging and crisply-edited book. Among the myths he topples: that your boss knows more than you about innovation, that there’s a step-by-step method you can follow to innovate, and that people love new ideas. Berkun’s blog is required reading if you’re interested in creativity and managing people. Check out some of his creativity hacks if your thinking is feeling stale.

Everything is MiscellaneousEverything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder by David Weinberger. In the digital age, our old ways of managing and classifying information don’t work. Sometimes rambling, often brilliant, this book will change the way you think about how you approach the ocean of information online and how it organizes itself. Weinberger blogs at Joho the blog and is well known as one of the authors of The Cluetrain Manifesto.

Smart WorldSmart World: Breakthrough Creativity and the New Science of Ideas by Richard Ogle. Ogle’s book brings together network theory with a wealth of examples of how the world of ideas thinks for itself. The web brings us into closer touch with this smart world. It’s a big book with some complex ideas, but totally worth reading if you like the theoretical side of things.

Connect! coverIf you like these books, you might also like Web Worker Daily’s book Connect! A Guide to a New Way of Working, now available for pre-order on Amazon. It’ll be coming out in January, right when you might be thinking about how to take your work life to a whole new place using the web. It covers the trends underpinning the web work shift and will help you figure out your place in the web working world.

19 Responses to “Top 10 Books for Web Workers 2007”

  1. We’re on blogs so much, we sometimes forget the power of the full-length book. I find that a book helps me develop my view of a particular topic much more clearly than the “here and there” style of the blogosphere. Thanks for the list.

  2. Bit Literacy by Mark Hurst should be considered a must read for all in the “web worker” community. Mark presents some novel and creative ways to address web work from a little different perspective. Thanks WWD for a great site that continues to stimulate daily.

  3. Brandon: You’ve got a great list there too!

    Connect is a guide for individuals who want to work more productively and effectively using the web. It includes coverage of web work tools but more important, web work practices like building an online persona and creating professional relationships across distances.

    It’s aimed at anyone who wants to use the web to work better, whether they’re employees in an office setting, a freelancer working from home, or an entrepreneur working out of cafes.