"The Social Factor" was a fascinating book that kept my interest easily. It is like a 200 page, easy to read whitepaper. The diagrams were clear. I particularly liked the reasons 3% of energy mined goes to useful IT work and the early adopters/hype cycle graphs. Many of the chapters give tips on how to start/promote Web 2.0 tools. There were useful tips on how to monitor your brand.
Chapter one presents the thesis that we are in the "Social Age" - a new era tantamount to the Industrial Age. The rest of the book covers different Web 2.0/social media facets and how they have affected life/business. These facets include usual suspects - blogs/wikis/tagging/cloud computing/twitter/linked in/etc. The later part of the book covers open source, ideation (idea generation), innovation and mobile effects.
While the book is an IBM Press book, that is because the author and contributors are all from IBM (and it was presumably written on IBM's dime.) It is not a sales pitch for IBM. Some case studies are from IBM and consulting they have done. The few IBM product references are subtle. It is a really good book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the social aspects of everything we do.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of JavaRanch.
subject: The Social Factor: Innovate, Ignite, and Win through Mass Collaboration and Social Networking