I'm still a little leery, whenever I hear about the next big social media visionary or their idea(s), to expect that they will impart anything truly revolutionary. If you have even a passing interest in the social web and how it might impact society and doing business as a whole, you've accepted, to some degree, that we are embarking on a paradigm-shifting experience in the way customer and consumers communicate. We all understand and appreciate this, to whatever degree we do.
I find - as you probably do - that there are a few basic steps to wading into the social media fray, if you are dong so from a business standpoint: 1. Know the architecture (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.), 2. Adopt it, 3. Integrate it with your current web presence, 4. Create good content and distribute it effectively, and 5. Enjoy and participate in the 'best practices' debate with other field professionals about how best to deploy good content, measure results, and make recommendations accordingly. "Tribes" addresses none of these.
If someone claims a book is a 'must read,' as Senator Bill Bradley does about "Tribes," I expect there to be something remarkable in it, something that will make me consider not only marketing in the 2.0 environment, but social interaction as a whole. Despite the endorsements of the majority of readers, my leeriness carries the day.
Look: essentially, if you want to get a better feel for how to best harness the social media phenomenon for business purposes, read Dan Schawbel's "Me 2.0" and Gary Vaynerchuk's "Crush It!", in that order. They are both about equally as brief (in terms of pages), yet contain much more relevant and practical insight into what you can achieve with regards to positioning your personal brand and your company's, respectively, or perhaps most important, both, simultaneously. They've both done it, tell you how, and tell you what you could do.
I'm sure Seth Godin is a good guy but I can't help feel he's pontificating here (and I never thought I'd be able to use that word and mean it). He essentially writes: 1. The old way of doing business is...old. 2. People can - and should - rise up to take the lead and utilize the free and omnipresent social media tools to promote what matters most to them, and if they do, people and ultimately - their employers - will or should follow. 3. If they don't, they should. And that's basically it. I don't mean to be trite or reductive, but I'm serious. Dan Scahwbel and Gary Vaynerchuk speak to these points, but provide the "how to" guides that Godin so blithely dismisses.
Seth - I'm sorry - but you didn't write the manifesto you thought you wrote, you wrote a 160 page-long diary entry. To yourself, to boot. I want to know what you think I can do, but also, how you think I should do it.