Monthly Archives: February 2011

Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method by Gerald M. Weinberg

I’ve been enjoying Weinberg’s technical and fiction books for years. I say for years like it’s a long time, but really it’s short compared to the decades he has been writing for. He makes technical topics come across clearly with a good strong message. It has been a great pleasure then to read his book Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method which describes how he does it.

I have to admit that I’m not super drawn to pursuing writing too actively at the moment, so I read the book slightly faster than I could have, but I enjoyed the book a whole heap, and have it as a good reference to come back to. I’m sure I will enjoy working through the book again and doing all the exercises.

The fieldstone approach in the book seems to be a good way to work. I’ve heard of people in other contexts using similar ideas for speaking and teaching, and it definitely is an approach that makes it easy to communicate ideas, and a pleasure to listen/read them.

[I received a free copy of the eBook in return for this review].

Conversion Optimisation By Khalid Saleh, Ayat Shukairy

Conversion Optimisation is an interesting book for me to review. I found it a good read, helping me to think about and understand some of the the ideas and concepts around helping people to give you money for a product or service on your website.

I read Conversion Optimisation after having been influenced by Seth Godin. I understand Seth to say, “build really good stuff and do an excellent job, and build a community around this”. So when I was reading “Conversion Optimisation” I was consistently thinking that I had a great product, and that Conversion Optimisation is helping me to ensure that the right people get to use it.

With this type of thinking in mind, I found it a very interesting read. The thinking about communication was very helpful, and some of the decisions and analysis of data in the book also helped give some good ideas of how to analyse data when doing conversion optimisation. I’m not sure how the book would hit a marketing type, but for someone like me, it was a good read.

[this book was reviewed as a part of the O’Reilly Blogger Review Program]

jQuery Pocket Reference By David Flanagan

jQuery Pocket Reference provides a very useful coverage of jQuery and the functionality it provides. It presents the key concepts and how to work with jQuery. This makes it sound like a book for beginners to jQuery (which to some extent it is), but it is also excellent for people with much more experience, who want to review what they know, and also have a good reference.

I’ve been using JQuery in one form or another for a number of years now. I can remember clearly the days in which jQuery was coming up and overtaking prototype.js as the premier browser DOM abstraction platform. This almost makes it seem like this book would be useless for me to read. Instead it makes it all the more worthwhile, helping plug in some gaps and giving some additional grounding to what I know.

I would definitely recommend reading this book to anyone who wants to use jQuery well. There is a wealth of knowledge captured in the book, and it is presented in a way that makes for both easy reading and a good reference. My electronic version has been well highlighted and marked up for future reference.

[this book was reviewed as a part of the O’Reilly Blogger Review Program]