A couple of weeks ago I attended a conference in Colorado where Paul Gillin was one of the featured speakers. I'd never heard of him before, but I was really impressed. I attended both his speech and his breakout session. Each was great. He is interesting, insightful and funny.
Mr. Gillin talks about the new social media -- blogs, Facebook pages and things of that nature. However, where he differentiates himself is how he focuses on the influence these sites and the people behind them now have on business, politics, entertainment, etc. Hence the title of his book, The New Influencers. I'm reading it now and I like it. Keep in mind that I recently also read a book about the history of online search. I did this voluntarily and for fun. Still, Mr. Gillin's books is pretty accessible. I don't think you have to be a geek to find it interesting.
He also writes a blog called Newspaper Death Watch. This is especially interesting to me since my wife used to be a newspaper editor and we still have a number of friends in the industry, friends who tell us of the numerous ways that their papers and the industry in general continues to crumble. I often say that the last paper she worked for has become a kind of human Jenga game. The management keeps thinning the staff, almost like they want to see how many people they can get rid of before the whole thing crumbles.