Our friend Mark Schaefer has agreed to look out for Top 5 Stories of the Week duties while Gini Dietrich is on vacation. Thank you very much, Mark!

I have taken control of this blog. Resistance is futile.

You see, Gini beat out my blog {grow} earlier this year for PR Blog of the Year. It’s payback time Dietrich. Spin Sucks is mine, all mine. Well, until she gets back from vacation.

OK. Let’s get down to business here. Time to review the top five reads for the week … Schaefer-style!

5. One of the hot discussion items this week was Facebook Groups. Check out these two great articles with diverging perspectives on this innovation. Neicole Crepeau is one of the social web’s brightest minds, combining a geeky-edgy intellect with mommy sensibilities. This week she threw the gauntlet down toward the Facebook Groups innovation and declares it a FAIL. On the other hand, David Armano delivered an excellent post about five creative business uses for Facebook Groups.

Does that count as two “top stories” or one? I say one. Why? I’m in control … remember? It’s my math now.

4. John Bottom is one of the wisest B2B marketers on the planet and I get tingly every time I see one of his posts pop into my blog reader. In his post this week, he asks, and answers, an extremely interesting and timely question, “when automated marketing systems are getting so sophisticated, is there a danger of expecting them to do too much?”

3. If you haven’t discovered the genius and humor of Ike Pigott yet, you owe it to yourself to check him out. There is no better place to start than with “Friending Strangers on Fakebook.” This is a wild ride of investigative reporting and social media intrigue. Part Two, “The Cindy in Your Town” is simply hilarious – and instructive. Do you really know who your friends are?

You might be thinking, there he goes again. Two posts in one. What are you going to do? Complain to Gini? No, I don’t think so.

2. What happens when an employee goes rogue on social media? H&R Block experienced this first-hand and it’s chronicled in this article by David Meerman Scott. This is a fantastic lesson in the power of social media monitoring and the importance of having a social media policy that can effectively provide guidance when you have a “situation.” Great case study.

1. My top read for the week is a simple little story that kicked me in the pants. In this piece from Harvard Business Review, Bill Taylor asks the question, “Why is it so hard to be kind?” This story of customer service and loyalty reminds us how marketing movements are created by putting the customer at the heart of your sales process.

Hope you enjoy these insightful articles. Have a great week. Do NOT tell Gini about this, OK?

Mark W. Schaefer is executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions and is a college educator and blogger. Follow him (if you dare) on Twitter at @markwschaefer.