May 212012

Launching this week, the new book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World is hands down the best book I’ve ever seen about blogging and social media! I’ve been swimming in this world of blogging for over 12 years, before it was called that, and have seen a good number of books about the amazing potential of social media, the (few) exceptional examples of blogging/ social media that’d made big impact (mostly short-term), some books that warns cautiously about its dangers, and some that give basic tutorials for how to get started by giving the readers a printed guided tour of the internet.

What Hyatt does exceptionally in Platform is reveal all the things he did over the course of 5+ years to raise his profile and build a platform so that his voice has become a most popular and influential in the online world. This book pulls together all the ingredients for the what and why and how to’s for using online media, developing valuable content, his personal workflow, how he measures results, and more nuts & bolts. It’s practically a recipe book for you to add water and stir. In this case, it’s add valuable content and work it consistently from now to eternity, retirement, anyways.

One aside about this book’s trajectory. The book mostly assumes that you’d want to build a platform to establish something to extend your influence so you can sell your products and services, even though the subtitle does say it’s for anyone with something to say or to sell. And the assumption behind that is you’d have to provide content that is valuable to a large enough of a number of people. Not every topic has that, like many things I believe to be important and worth having a voice, even if big groups of people don’t value it. Nevertheless, Platform is still a very handy reference book that can be adapted for when size doesn’t matter — hint: skip the parts about measuring.

What I love about the author Michael Hyatt is that he’s a CEO type (most recently of Thomas Nelson publisher) and yet willing to put himself personally out there online. They make too few of them like that. I sure hope, as his platform continues to grow, he’ll be an example and prototype of leaders in the 21st century, someone who is accessible, personal, and generously shares with others the valuable skills and lessons he’s learning along the way.

By the way, buy the book this week, send Michael Hyatt the receipt, and he’ll give you a gob of valuable bonus material!

[disclaimer: I received an advance readers review copy of this book]

Jun 152011

There are times when you want to get a message to someone and typing a text message takes too long or won’t fit in 140 characters. Or, you don’t have the time to talk on the phone so you don’t call because you’re not sure they won’t answer and you don’t want to wait for voicemail. And you don’t want to be “that guy” who calls someone in the middle of a meeting.

Talking is faster than texting. What if you can send a voice message?

There’s an emerging genre of mobile apps that let’s you send voice messages! These apps go by a different names, like: voice messenger, push-to-talk, touch-to-talk, walkie-talkie, voice notes, multimedia messaging. Here’s what’s out there:

KakaoTalk app on Android and iPhone. Send/receive text, photo, voice, video. 16 million users.

WhatsApp app on Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia. Costs $1.99USD per year. 15 million users.

TiKL – app on Android and iPhone. 10 million users.

HeyTell – app on Android and iPhone. 4 million users.

TalkBox – app on Android and iPhone. [ed.note: I like the name, its simplicity, and easy-find of my Facebook friends] app on Android and iPhone. [ed.note: best looking design]

PingChat app on iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. Send/receive text, photo, video, voice notes.

Palringo app on iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Symbian, Windows mobile, and PC or Mac desktop. Send/receive text, voice, and photo. $$ for extra features. [ed.note: seems like a multi-network IM that can send audio]

CloudTalk app on iPhone and Android, has multi-media messaging (voice, text, photo, video) and public forum to meet new people.

Voxer app on iPhone only. Send/receive text, voice, photo, location. Android app on the development road map.

Jawbone Thoughts – sender must have the iPhone app, receiver can listen via app or web

Voice/multi-media messaging could be the next big thing, and will be mainstream if more people get smartphones and install these apps. Down-side: it requires a smartphone with a internet data plan; instead of using minutes on your calling plan. These apps have been around for months, but, unfortunately, most people in my contacts aren’t “in network.” Yet. I’d love to connect. My username = djchuang.

My hunch is that many of these voice/multi-media messenger will be around, like how we still have multiple instant messenging networks, a la AOL, Yahoo, Google Talk, QQ, etc. Will Facebook or Google or Twitter get into the game or buy out one of these? We will see.

Jan 222011

You’ve got a voice. You can publish. Anyone can publish.

Having said that, this doesn’t mean everyone should publish. What I am saying is that more of us should publish.

Posting something online no longer has to be only for business purposes. Set the plaguing questions aside and don’t worry about what to write or what to say. Don’t have to worry about how many readers or subscribers you have. It’s not a performance; not a competition. Just speak. Just write. Being knownable is better than being unknownable.

(This doesn’t mean you say anything and everying that crosses your mind. Posting online does mean writing or saying something that could be read or heard around the world. It is public. It is permanent.)

You’ve got a unique contribution to the world. Your story. Your voice. Your opinions. Just as your vote counts, your voice counts.

Making your voice and thoughts and feelings known, expressing it online, is a part of being human. It’s you being you.

What’s holding you back?