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Building A Library

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Martin Burns

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User since: 26 Apr 1999

Articles written: 143

Like most people, I spend far too long explaining the web medium to people who are climbing a steep learning curve.

To save my time, I've put together the following list of books and sites which communicate the bare essentials to those relatively new to all this:



Information Architecture


  • Permission Marketing, Seth Godin.
    Seth used to be VP Marketing at AOL, and really does know how marketing works online. It also contains a great explanation of why Spam is bad from a business perspective. If it's unavailable in the UK, try the US Amazon site.

  •, Fred Newell.
    Another primer on how CRM works online. Strong on case-studies, and full of gems such as "You can't buy my loyalty with a bribe".

Odds and Sods

  • How Buildings Learn, Stewart Brand.
    Yes, this is a book about Architecture, but its central manifesto, that buildings have to be adaptable to meet changing circumstances is very applicable to web sites.

  • Funky Business, Jonas Ridderstråle & Kjell Nordström.
    Could this be the way Web companies should work?

Do you have a book which should go in this list?

Add it as a comment below, preferably with a link to an online vendor. If you have sites of use, then add them too.

Martin Burns has been doing this stuff since Netscape 1.0 days. Starting with the communication ends that online media support, he moved back through design, HTML and server-side code. Then he got into running the whole show. These days he's working for these people as a Project Manager, and still thinks (nearly 6 years on) it's a hell of a lot better than working for a dot-com. In his Copious Free Time™, he helps out running a Cloth Nappies online store.

Amongst his favourite things is ZopeDrupal, which he uses to run his personal site. He's starting to (re)gain a sneaking regard for ECMAscript since the arrival of unobtrusive scripting.

He's been a member of since the very early days, a board member, a president, a writer and even contributed a modest amount of template code for the current site. Above all, he likes to do things because it knowingly chooses to do so, rather than randomly stumbling into them. He's also one of the boys and girls who beervolts in the UK, although the arrival of small children in his life have knocked the frequency for 6.

Most likely to ask: Why would a client pay you to do that?

Least likely to ask: Why isn't that navigation frame in Flash?

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