I wasn’t planning on rushing to read the book Content Rules. The truth is, I wasn’t even planning on buying it right away. My copy came as part of my registration fees for the Social Media Breakfast Ottawa Event featuring one of the book’s co-authors and my friend, C.C. Chapman.

I only had it in the back of my mind I’d get around to reading the book, mostly because I’ve known C.C. since 2006. After all, I’ve been producing content for many years and have been counselling others on how to use content as part of their communications strategies for the last three. What could I possibly get from a book on the subject?

A lot, it turns out.

For starters, it validated my work, hobbies, ideas and produced content.

More significantly, Content Rules inspired and motivated me to renew my content creation efforts and try different ideas. Last week I pulled together an ambitious eBook about CreatorCamp. It was the first time I’d approached an eBook in this manner (my second eBook project) and I’m very pleased with the result. It was a great learning experience I that wouldn’t have happened if not for Ann and C.C. I have plans to do and try more in the next few months for both personal and work-related projects.

Another great feature of the book is the introduction of new and interesting case studies – goodbye Dell, well done Old Spice; make way for Indium, Boeing (with its hard learned lessons) and the US Army.

I like that Ann and C.C. reinforced the time it takes for content to make an impact and grow an active community, that human voice and language are central to success, and to drop the word viral from your thoughts, hopes and planning. It’s about investing yourself in creativity, engagement and fun! It’s about creating campfires — something I’ll blog about more in the next few weeks from the standpoint of a campfire as a great metaphor for creating great content and engaged communities, and also being some of the most mesmerizing content-free content.

There are some rough edges to the book. In particular, I found they oversold the case for video as a storytelling medium with more potential than text and audio. Video can fail much more easily, in more ways and at greater cost than other media. It’s a powerful channel though not always the most appropriate or well executed.

So, congratulations C.C. and Ann. I’m inspired and excited – the perfect way to wrap up 2010 and head into a new decade. Content Rules was my favourite read of the year.