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The HotLink Bookshelf

A Complete Waste of Time: Tales and Tips About Getting More Done

Mark Ellwood

Pace Productivity Inc., 1997. 251 pages. $19.95 *****

What a great book! In a really novel approach, Mark Ellwood has bracketed his practical tips on time management with hilarious modern fairy tales illustrating the issues at hand. I laughed out loud at the adventures of Willard Thistlewaite in "Chronicle of a Chronically Ill Meeting" and Nicholas Wigglesworth in "Tribal Quest on the Fifth Floor." The jargon free, easy to implement solutions Ellwood outlines are as memorable as the he characters has created. Since finishing A Complete Waste of Time, I have been inspired by its hero, time management guru Crispin Quirty, to slay some dragons in my own worklife, including runaway paperwork and run-on meetings. A truly rare find in an "industry" book, A Complete Waste of Time is educational and entertaining.

Relationship Marketing: New Strategies, Techniques and Technologies to Win the Customers You Want and Keep Them Forever.
Ian Gordon
John Wiley & Sons, 1998. 314 pages, $34.95. ***
With Relationship Marketing, Ian Gordon attempts to lay down a blueprint for a way of doing business tailored to the new millennium. Emphasizing the development of reciprocal lifetime relationships with customers rather than short-term gains, Relationship Marketing responds to the increased inter-activity between supplier and purchaser brought about by the digital age. Although packed with industry jargon, Gordon's judicious use of examples, many of them Canadian, and his obvious passion for his subject make Relationship Marketing a worthwhile read.

Harness the Future: The 9 Keys to Emerging Consumer Behaviour,
Shirley Roberts
John Wiley & Sons, 1998. 290 pages. $34.95 **
I can't recommend Harness the Future as bedtime reading. It is definitely geared to the specialist rather than layperson, and 300 pages of economic theory is certainly dry, even if it discusses a topic as exciting as the shape of the future. If you are a marketing or public relations person working for a sales-oriented business, you may find Harness the Future worth the effort - Shirley Roberts' "econographics" method of tracking trends is impressive, and her Canadian view-point is refreshing. However, those who look at a future globalized economy and massive wage gap with less than unabashed glee may want to steer clear.

The Benton Foundation - ****
This informative and inspirational website contains a full record of the activities of The Benton foundation, a U.S. organization that aims to use emerging communications tools to work for a better, more democratic world. Of particular interest to many HotLink readers is the Best Practices Toolkit ( Geared specifically to non-profit organizations. The Toolkit contains a thorough selection of links and resources enabling non- profit and policy alternative groups to compete in a digital world. Definitely worth a browse.

* don't bother
** not totally uninteresting
*** some information of value
**** a good resource
***** Great!

Index of Book Reviews