1. You always ask such interesting questions Lee 🙂

      I don’t think many of the social media consultants offering workshops have workbooks for their attendees at the moment. This is maybe a bit more useful than a free or $$$ whitepaper? They can print them and give it to students.

      I’ve been sitting on this content, refining it for a few years now, updating it when new stuff comes out. Sooner or later, content has to be freed – and this will put my brand to work quicker and easier than anything else I could do in real world terms. My name after all is slapped one every page (like a normal author) and inserted in a paragraph here and there (kinda like advertising). I’m not naive 😛 Anyway the social media economy is an experiential one, not a product/service one. In English that means I charge for personal performances, not for my IP.

      The coursebooks are either something workshop trainers will love – or totally not find useful. Doubtful that the courseware will sell as a single book, more likely organisations will order 20 or so from Lulu, printed up.

      I think there are employees in PR and marketing and whatevs who get told to organise or run a session on this stuff. This helps them, the socialwebforum.org can help, and ultimately we all benefit as an industry.

      Plus, it will soon be time for me to move away from presentations/workshop, into some new projects – shoving out the courseware releases both me and the content.

      Finally, people have been asking nicely, individually for access to my workbooks and courseware to run their own courses. I’m a sucker for please and thankyous. And chocolate.

      As for what you can do – dunno, wanna help with socialwebforum? I hope to create somewhere less for Social Media ppl and more for newbies to find consultants, trainers and workshops. Plus, if you could tell ppl about the courseware, that might help anyone planning on running an internal enterprise course. Email me if you have anything else you are up for . Heh.

  1. Awww, you didn’t have to thank me. Isn’t that what Twitterville is for? I appreciate the gesture, though.

    Perusing through the doc and your response to Lee, it sounds like this is what someone last fall referred to as a “special report,” whereby if I’m speaking at an event, I can have a whitepaper-like document to provide to attendees either for free or cheaply to gain value and then follow-up.

    I’d like to either get involved or maybe I can rework this for my own use, crediting you of course?

    Ari Herzog’s last blog post..Guest Post by Ethan Yarbrough: Lessons Learned

    1. Hey Ari, I give this as a “take away” from my 1/2 day and 1 day workshops. Plus they can write notes and we do these exercises and more in class, reviewing diagrams etc. Reworking it as a marketing paper for conferences would be … interesting.
      Wouldn’t that look totally different?

  2. Hi Laurel,
    Was just checking out your course work you are very generous with sharing your work!!
    Are you thinking of including other Social media sites otehr than Twitter and Facebook? What about MySpace, Bebo, Friendster and all of the other number of share buttons that you have under your article?

    1. At the moment I’m focussing on moving across courseware I’ve already written or taught in depth. Easier to trim up and republish. So twitter, facebook and how to blog with blogspot and wordpress are pretty fast turnarounds. The others would take research first – plus, I prefer to teach a workshop a few times before finalizing the text and exercises…. I guess I’m saying, maybe 😛

  3. Hello Laurel,

    Came across this on Ari’s tweet – fantastic idea. I recently gave a talk in Dubai about the basics on web 2.0 and was stunned by the number of companies that just pick people from the marketing team to ‘educate’ the rest of the company about social media and how they can harness it – even though the marketing managers know very little themselves.

    These course books (especially the forum) could be very helpful to companies looking to have internal sessions and jump onto the marketing 2.0 bandwagon without too much fuss.

    Infact you could also get social media prof’s/specialists out there to contribute case studies etc. Look up: Michael Netzley – he’s a rockstar.

    – A

    1. There’s quite a lot of open source, shareware courseware in the Education and Not For Profit sectors. Incidentally Ive given courses on social networks for volunteers etc to NFPs for free. That must muck around with business models for consultants in that sector. Always an issue – I charge for consultancy that agencies do for free. I guess we just rely that sometimes people will pay even if other stuff is being thrown at them.
      Incidentally my first courseware that was shareware was in the late ’80s for Eudora. I gave a copy of it to Steve Dorner the dev to hand out – he was at one Uni, I was at Uni NSW. I never – like in the case above – offered it up for others to make money out of (commercial), though.

  4. Laurel,

    Thank you very much: for writing such an interesting account of your current approach, and for showing how to give stuff away for free, intelligently.

    I’ve a book in planning stage, to be called “How to do 99% of your work for free and live well on 1%”. I’d like to use you as a case study, if ever I focus sufficiently on this project.

    It strikes me that many artists have faced the situation you describe: they’ve painted the paintings, exhibited them commercially, and stacked up a load of unsold paintings in the garage.

    Thanks again

    1. hahahaha that’s funny. The only difference for me is that my (free) blog brought me work in Singapore and the Middle East and in June, Portugal.

      The courseware has been downloaded a lot already in the last day or two. I doubt I will be a starving artist 😉

      Sure go ahead, use me as a case study 🙂

  5. Just going through your Social Media Courseware doco – fantastic! Succinct docs like this are fantastic to find! Excellent resource thanks Laurel.

  6. Thanks, Laurel for generously sharing your wealth of experience and knowledge via Creative Commons licensed courseware, on Scribd and Lulu.
    I found this excellent resource via my Twitter network and have shared it with my community via RT, blog post & social bookmarking.
    And you now have one more @silkcharm follower in your extensive network – me.

    SouthOz’s last blog post..Highlighting Social Media courseware

  7. Interesting. I’ve published several branding books (Plug: “ProfitBrand: How to Increase the Profitability, Accountability & Sustainability of Brands”), which has done OK, but the bulk of income has come from speaking/seminar opportunities resulting from the book.

    I’m now working on the next book, which is about branding based on cultural, ethnic and religious segmentation, and have been thinking about several models. The first option is easy…a detailed outline will be going online in about a month, with a call for input, ideas, revisions and case studies.

    Then the options get interesting. My former publisher has expressed interest, and another publisher wants to talk when the book is further along. But I’m also looking at the scribd/lulu model like you.

    So I have two questions. Have you done any cost/benefit analysis concerning scribd/lulu vs. trad. publishing, and do you expect your returns via speaking/consultancy/etc. to justify the time and effort you’ve put into generating the content.

    (BTW: Somewhat agree with your comment about the inevitability of free content. As a writer friend put it: “I don’t care about privacy. I just want visibility.”)


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