I have been taking it easy during the first half of January – catching up on some reading and doing very little writing.

I have, however, been working fairly consistently on the latest instalment of The Age of Conversation (more on that to come in coming weeks) – and I can promise you that this book is even better than the last!

But now I am getting back into the rhythm of the year – and that means sharing with you the five must-read posts from the last week.

  1. Sam Ismail has an excellent post showing that brands, agencies and the digital strategists who work for them often underestimate the power of social media.
  2. Kate Carruthers presents a bloggers eye-view regarding ANZ Bank’s latest social media programFebusave. It’s good to see alignment between a social good (women saving) and brands (ANZ) – and I hope to see more during 2010.
  3. Ross Dawson points out that Australians are #1 users of social media globally. Data from a recent Nielsen report indicates that Australia’s slow uptake of social media has been rectified, and that far from lagging, our USE is increasing. For brands who are experimenting with social media, this is great news – it puts them well out in front of those too timid to try.
  4. Mike Arauz looks at the question of company brands vs personal brands and raises some interesting questions. Who do you recognise first – David Armano, Steve Rubel or the company they work for – Edelman? Does this matter? What does it mean for social participation in the workplace?
  5. Sean Howard kicks off a great series of How-Tos with Social Media Unplugged: The Framework and Guidelines. Excellent, practical advice from one of the best minds in the business.