In “Reading List,” we ask ecommerce professionals to name some of their favorite books and blogs and tell us why they read them. For this installment, we corresponded with Roxanne Abercrombie, content manager with Whoson, a live chat provider, and ThinkAutomation, a platform to automate inbound messaging.
5 Favorite Books
The Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen
The Great Stagnation is a provocative insight into our technological landscape. It argues that — surface changes aside — we have been stuck in a tech plateau in which neither our business productivity nor prosperity is advancing.
The book was published in 2011. I read it for the first time in 2018, as we all stand on the precipice of a potential artificial intelligence revolution. From this side of the decade, The Great Stagnation made for a candid look at the past and a reflective view of the future. It certainly gives food for thought.
The Conversation Engine by Stephen Parker
The Conversation Engine explores the future of customer service in the smart age. As technology drives new ways to communicate, the book investigates what comes next for companies and customers.
I enjoyed it for its scope and heavyweight contributions from tech thought leaders. If you’re interested in the advent of AI, chatbots, and automation, and how they blend with human customer service roles, The Conversation Engine is well worth a read.
Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
There’s a reason David Ogilvy is considered the master of advertising. This book is a classic. It offers timeless principles on advertising that are applicable even today.
Engaging, example-rich, and often amusing, Ogilvy on Advertising is one of the first influences that led me to a copywriting career. I will always have a soft spot for this book.
Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore
I read Crossing the Chasm upon starting my first role with a software company. I found it highly useful in understanding the technology adoption lifecycle.
Crossing the Chasm helped guide me on marketing a product launch. It gives a sharper understanding of the challenges in taking products to mass market. I recommend it to anyone working with SaaS platforms.
Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
Don’t Make Me Think is genius. It’s a deliciously smart but simple insight into web usability. It made me look at (and write for) websites in a whole new way.
Don’t Make Me Think offers practical tips on web design and development for every business. If you have a website, and you want it to convert visitors, read this book.
5 Favorite Blogs
Usability Geek provides consistent, original advice on user experience. Where many blogs rehash the same content month after month, Usability Geek is regularly updated with fresh user experience ideas from great writers. In fact, I write for it!
The Econsultancy blog comes packed with digital marketing data, thought leadership, and best practices. I check it often for industry news and marketing inspiration. And I love the high-quality writing.
Wired is a blog I could lose hours on. It offers brain food on futuristic topics, spanning science, technology, and business. I frequently find myself falling down a Wired rabbit-hole that takes me from wacky articles to valuable tips to intelligent business insights.
The Verge covers the intersection of technology, science, art, and culture. It’s beautifully designed and extensive in scope. I particularly enjoy its opinion pieces that never fail to pack a punch.
Campaign is one of the few publications I visit each week. It’s a vibrant collection of marketing, advertising, and media articles that cover all the hottest news and views. A visit to Campaign always fuels my creative firepower.