Cage Match: Tapscott vs. Weinberg (I’ll take them both, and the margarita…)

Grown Up Digital and The New Community Rules

I just finished two books that have received a lot of press of late – Dan Tapscott’s “Grown Up Digital” and “The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web” by Tamar Weinberg.  “Grown Up Digital” is an exploration of the Net Generation (31 years old and younger) who grew up in the digital age while “The New Community Rules” explores the social media tools those NetGeners use and how they can be applied to marketing your business.

Tamar WeinbergLet me say off the top that I enjoyed both books but for different reasons.  “New Community” gives detailed descriptions of social media tools including blogging, microblogging, social networking sites, social bookmarking, social news, new media (videos and photography) and informational social media such as wikis – and check the end of each chapter for the chapter summaries and a snapshot of key messages.  Each chapter explores a different aspect of social media with leading product offerings and case studies of how businesses have used each tool for marketing purposes.  “Grown Up” explores how NetGeners different from previous generations in education, work, consumerism, family, democracy and civic engagement.  Of note are the eight NetGen norms: freedom, customization, scrutiny, integrity, collaboration, entertainment, speed and innovation.

TapscottIf you want to learn how to maximize your use of (and maybe return on investment in) social media you should read “New Community” but if you want to learn how to work or live with someone under 31 (and a lot of people over 31 as well) then you should read “Grown Up”.  Face it, you should read them both.

ResearchImpact has been blogging for over 1 year and on twitter since May 2009.  We have launched some knowledge mobilization videos and have more in production but I found the advice from Tamar Weinberg particularly useful, especially the chapter on blogging which has some great tips for new and experienced bloggers.  But working with ResearchImpact and the rest of the Office of Research Services at York University ( I work with a lovely and diverse group of staff from 20 to 62 years old.  The description of the Net Generation in “Grown Up” helps me manage the different work and life experiences that all staff bring to their jobs.

However, the comparisons need not stop at these books.  Both Tamar Weinberg (@tamar) and Don Tapscott (@dtapscott) are on Twitter and have 8672 and 8167 followers respectively (as of August 16, 2009) although Tamar has posted 3100 tweets to Don’s 858.  Both also have social media sites connected to their work.  Tamar can be found at and Don Tapscott’s site for his book is  Both of these sites dig into their subject matter in different ways allowing the consumer to contribute and in Tapscott’s words become the Margaritaprosumer.

If I were to be stranded on a desert island which book would I want?  If I had access to the internet I would want the “how to” information provided in “New Community Rules” but if I were trapped on a desert island with internet access and people under 31 I would want “Grown Up Digital”….of course if I were trapped on a desert island with internet access I’d just swim up to the pool bar of the resort and order another margarita because why else would I be on a desert island in the first place?

One Response to “Cage Match: Tapscott vs. Weinberg (I’ll take them both, and the margarita…)”

[…] 6) Support digital literacy as an emerging skill-set • See York’s initiatives like the Institute for Research on Learning Technologies, our work on O3, ABEL and other resources such as we wrote in this blog post […]

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