Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A book review - Join the Conversation by Joseph Jaffe

I started reading Join the Conversation by Joseph Jaffe in December. It’s now March and I’ve completed it. I usually pour through a book within a week or two, but this book was different. And not in a good way. The book has good information, but it’s hidden in between sophomoric humor, euphemism crammed sentences and a self-congratulatory tone, making it hard to become engaged with the text. My advice - if you plan on reading this book start at chapter 18 (page 246). That’s where the real information begins.

I’d like to take a step back and explain why I’m writing this review. If it was any other book it would have been added to my pile of partially read books back at chapter 3. But Jaffe’s activities leading up to the book launch made me want to “join the conversation.” I happily blogged about bumrushing Amazon (the post was on an Emerson College class blog which has since been taken down. However, the text of the post is below) and I purchased the book from Amazon during the bumrush. I was excited about reading it and I recommended it to numerous people. But after reading it I felt let down.

The bottom line - Jaffe’s embracement of new media and his use of it is refreshing and awe inspiring. I still believe the marketing community has a lot to learn from him. That is where my real disappointment in Join the Conversation lies. The book wasn't able to live up to my impression of Jaffe.

Original Join the Conversation post

Posted: 18 Oct 2007 09:52 AM EST

I always find the best way of learning is by reinforcing the taught concept with a real world example, that’s why I’m so impressed with a piece of Joseph Jaffe’s Join the Conversation book promotion. In his new book Join the Conversation Jaffe writes about how to use social media to “bumrush the charts.” He uses examples, Black Lab’s climb in iTunes and Scott Sigler’s book Ancestor’s climb to #4 on’s top 10 listing. Taking inspiration from his writing, Jaffe, through his blog Jaffe Juice, has rallied his audience to purchase Join the Conversation through on October 21, 2007. The more people that purchase that day the higher Join the Conversation will climb. Join the Conversation looks like a great book, and the perfect catalyst for our Interactive & eCommerce class, with that in mind this post is your invitation from me to “join the conversation” on October 21st.

Valerie Conyngham


Anonymous said...


Thanks for the kind words about me and my work.

Obviously the book isn't going to engage everyone the same way. People have different levels of expertise, expectations and reactions to my style...which I know is not for everyone.

That said - and I heard this via Shel Holtz on Twitter - that if you can take one thing away from a conference, it has served it's purpose; I guess the same is true from a book.

Perhaps I crammed too much into this book, but it appears that you gained something from 246 onwards, which if so, makes me happy.

Thanks for keeping me honest.


Anonymous said...

...and I saw you posted to as well.

No rest for the wicked

Marketing Engagement said...


Thank you for commenting on my blog. It's another testament as to how in sync you are with the ideas you spread. It's greatly appreciated, especially when there are so many out there that don't find value in participating. And I assure you, it's not wickedness I'm trying to portray; just trying to get my opinion out there among the others who have reviewed your work. Most of which are glowing.