What the hell is “Whuffie”!? I know, it’s a silly sounding word, but bare with me! The word originates from the sci-fi novel by Boing Boing co-editor, Cory Doctorow, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. In the novel, whuffie is a form of reputation-based currency and in Tara Hunt’s The Whuffie Factor, she applies this fictitious concept to real life marketing and shows how you can use the power of social capital to build your business.
If you want to talk about whuffie without explaining the word, this term sums it up, Social Capital. Think of each authentic social interaction as a transaction (an exchange of social currency,) the more meaningful transactions you make the more capital you gain and the greater your social worth. If you’re building your personal brand, if you’re engaging with your community, YOU are a social capitalist!
I generally haven’t been drawn to many of the books that came out this year about social media, for the most part they all come off to me as gimicky and not very genuine… it’s the new generations version of “get rich quick” books. Not a fan.
The Whuffie Factor doesn’t offer any quick tips or tricks on navigating the community or growing your personal brand, but what it does offer is solid, real world examples of how people in an assortment of industries used social media platforms to reach a new audience and grow their brand reputation.
I suggest this book in companion with another book I wrote about this year, Crush It. Read The Whuffie Factor first to get a lot great information about real world use of social marketing techniques and to get the wheels in your head turning, thinking about your reputation as a form of capital, then pick up Crush It to get a pep talk and reality check on just what you’re getting yourself into by beginning this investment in your personal brand equity.
Have you read TWF? What did you think? What do you make of this whole concept of “social capital”? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!!! :)