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About the Author

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Nancy Shonka Padberg

Ms. Padberg is a former Fortune 500 Times Mirror executive, Integrated Marketing Communications Vice President and MBA graduate from the Graziadio School of Business & Management at Pepperdine University. Ms. Padberg has over 17 years of publishing and marketing expertise, served on several boards, is a guest speaker, published author, former Big 12 golfer and resides in Santa Monica.

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Best Boomer Towns Columns

Five Books to Help Baby Boomers Better Understand Social Media

When I began my career in 1968, we conducted business and interacted with customers, friends and family a lot differently than we do today.

For businesses, the big deal back then was to have an IBM Selectric Typewriter. Remember that extraordinarily expensive piece of office equipment? The black rotary dial telephone was the primary communications tool. Letters were typed in triplicate using carbon paper, and the little white out brush instead of the delete key was used to make corrections. Time certainly has changed. 
 
The emergence of the Internet in the late 90s and, now, social media, has forever altered the behavior of how we, as baby boomers, engage others as both buyers and sellers; how we visit with family and friends living in far-flung locations, and how we receive our news and search for information. Instead of one-way communication, social media means conversation, cooperation and collaboration.

I spend a good portion of my day trying to keep current with the rapid pace of change in social media. The social media landscape is fascinating space to travel. Instead of using a typewriter, as I did in 1968, I tool around the Internet in a fully-loaded desktop computer, outfitted with a 24 inch monitor, and surf websites and blogs with amazingly fast high speed cable access. An ardent believer in lifelong learning, part of the process to remain on the cutting edge of new social media trends is to read just about everything I can on the topic. I read, daily, A-list bloggers and social media professionals like Chris Brogan, Seth Godin and Brian Solis, and download ebooks to my computer for longer reads. I also subscribe to Pro Blogger and Web Pro News
 
I've reviewed numerous books before on social media. And, at times, have been critical of the so-called experts on all things Web 2.0, particularly on the topic of blogging. But here's a list of five books that, in my view, provide baby boomers with the requisite take-a-ways essential to be successful and enjoy the benefits social media provides. 
 
The five books are (in no particular order): 
 
Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies 
by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff 
 
The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing & Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly 
by David Meerman Scott 
 
Now is Gone: A Primer on New media for Executives and Entrepreneurs 
by Geoff Livingston with Brian Solis 
 
Marketing to the Social Web: How Digital Customer Communities Build Your Business 
by Larry Weber 
 
The New Influencers: A Marketer's Guide to the New Social Media 
by Paul Gillen

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