Wrapped up a couple of books on using the internet to monetize your passion. I thought that the two were very similar which is why I'm posting both simultaneously.
The first was Mitch Joel's Six Pixels of Separation. Joel runs a marketing firm called Twist Image and is considered a digital marketing expert. Much of his book talks about how the internet and social media have brought us closer together. He then discusses how you can use these tools to leverage your business or personal brand. It's a good primer on the topic and is interesting because of the look at the growth in this media.
The other book, Crush It, is by Gary Vaynerchuk, who operates winelibrary.com. Vaynerchuk took a local liquor store and grew it into a much expanded business, again using social media. This book is much thinner and has more of a "self-help", you can do it!, type of feel. Vaynerchuk posts his e-mail address in the book at least a half dozen times but at the end talks about how he can hardly keep up with his e-mail and that it can take months to reply. As for usefulness, I probably like this one better than Six Pixels because Vaynerchuk does outline a plan, discusses a multitude of tools including several of which I was not familiar, and he is less repetitive. Joel could have cut down his book by a bit and not lost any of the message. Vaynerchuk's book is a lithe 142 pages.
I thought it was funny, though, when I came across these books, that my first experience with Vaynerchuk was when he had a guest spot on Jake and Amir. How he is in that video seems to be how he is in the book. And there's a little of the content as well.
I thought both books were pretty interesting, even though they were similar and I'm sure there are dozens more like it. I also thought the differences between the praise blurbs on the back were insightful. Vaynerchuk has Tim Ferriss, Tony Hsieh, and Tony Robbins (plus two guys I don't know). Joel has Chris Anderson, Daniel Pink, Seth Godin, Craig Newmark and Dan Ariely. That sums it up. Vaynerchuk has the Hoorah guys and Joel has more of the scholarly (or at least writer) types.
Update:Since I've written this, I've become obsessed with Vaynerchuk. I checked out his websites and he isn't all hype. He knows his stuff, works hard, is tremendously entertaining and there is nothing in his book that he has not implemented himself. He has definitely inspired me and I re-acquired his book for reference and upgraded it to one star. I think timing has played a part in his success but I think following his lead is doable for anybody willing to put forth the effort.