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AJ Fisher (Melbourne, Australia)

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Confessions of a Public Speaker
Confessions of a Public Speaker
by Scott Berkun
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great if you're not a natural public speaker, 5 Jan 2011
The majority of people hate speaking in public and I'm certainly one of those. Unfortunately, particularly if you are a professional, at some point you are going to be asked to give a presentation to your co-workers, your board or at a conference. We are used to seeing highly polished performances from speakers like Scott Berkun, our politicians and other notable figures so the bar seems incredibly high for anyone just starting or who only speaks in public infrequently.

"Confessions of a Public Speaker" helps push away the anxiety. Using a lot of humour, many personal stories and a healthy dose of research, Scott educates the reader on how to construct a great talk or presentation, preparing properly, harnessing the "attack of the butterflies" in a positive way and many other tips and techniques for delivering a great performance.

The book is warmly written, giving many examples of how Scott has gone wrong over the years and is thus approachable for everyone - particularly those who lack confidence when speaking in front of a crowd. My copy is much dog-eared and underlined and every time I present I come back to it.


Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies
Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies
by Charlene Li
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Aimed at social media professionals more than anyone, 21 July 2010
I was a little worried by the opening chapter or two that this book has dated as it's been on my wishlist for some time but I hadn't got around to reading it until this week.

If you're part of Web Culture and in particular social media culture then the first parts of this book will be no surprise - in fact books like We Think, Crowdsourcing and Socialnomics are more vibrant and have fantastic, up to date examples.

Keep on going though because it's Parts 2 & 3 of Groundswell that truly shine. They are technology agnostic but talk about ways you can engage your customers further through the groundswell (Bernhoff & Li's term for Social Media) and also determine which activities will be best suited for your customer based on on their social technographics profiles.

From this you can then start to calculate ROI from your activities which will give you the ammunition you need to get a new project over the line with business colleagues who can't see how or what to do.

Packed full of large scale, detailed case studies - many from Forrester's client base, this book is perfect for someone who needs good solid examples and plans to be able to effect business change.


XMPP: The Definitive Guide: Building Real-Time Applications with Jabber Technologies
XMPP: The Definitive Guide: Building Real-Time Applications with Jabber Technologies
by Peter Saint-Andre
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A tour of XMPP with guides that truly know their way around, 21 July 2010
XMPP is an important technology to the future growth of Internet technologies. Increasingly systems are being built using it because it scales much better due to it's design than traditional multi-teir web applications.

This book is a great overview of the technology with high level architectural and design discussion around the protocol and how and where it can be used. It doesn't seek to answer every question or provide a how-to cookbook approach. Rather it talks about concepts and then points back to the very well documented official specifications for the nitty-gritty detail.

In my opinion this is the right approach as in a lot of cases the standards and specifications are still "live" and will have changed since the book was released. This allows the authors to discuss key ideas and concepts in a format that won't go out of date for some time.


Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker's Handbook (All-In-One)
Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker's Handbook (All-In-One)
by Shon Harris
Edition: Paperback

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bought in a deal but best of the lot, 15 July 2005
I got this book as part of a "Buy something and get this half price deal" - to be honest I wasn't expecting much but thought what the hell. After reading both over the last few weeks I can't actually tell you the name of the first book I bought that this came with, such was the depth this had to offer.
For anyone interested in a simple attack guide this isn't for you - Gray Hat Hacking explores much more complicated subject matter going into detail about the ethics of hacking and responsible disclosure along with the means of doing it properly. If you are working in or touching on IT security this book is a must have - the depth of knowledge is excellent as are the code examples.
If you are new to security or indeed have become a software engineer in only the last few years this book goes back to security fundamentals for good coding, how buffers and machine code actually work. For me as a professional programmer of over a decade, even though I was taught this stuff it has re-awakened me to it and has sharpened up my coding practices as well.
This book is full of stuff and will be the one on your shelf afterwards with loads of post-it notes hanging out the side and plenty of dog-eared pages.


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