I often enjoy reading Michael Hyatt’s writing (though I don’t read every post or even subscribe to his blog), and had also seen a number of recommendations for his recent book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World: A Step-by-Step Guide for Anyone with Something to Say or Sell.
Although the title of the book isn’t explicitly clear, I assumed the book was primarily centered around building platform through the Internet. And indeed, my assumptions were correct; this book is about building a personal platform through blogging. The Internet can be used to build platform around a previously existent product, company, or a soon-to-release book, new goal, or company. The core of the book focuses on doing that through blogging, with smaller sections dealing with the use of social media and other Internet mediums.
Michael Hyatt is a driven, hard-working, one-track-mind kind of guy, and his personality definitely comes through in his writing. For people who want to take alternative routes, Hyatt’s no-nonsense approach has the potential to leave such readers in the dust (though they’ll probably pick up a few tips along the way. :)) At the same time, those who work and live similarly to Hyatt are sure to establish platform. And those in between will certainly pick up some useful tools and advice, while perhaps leaving behind some of the more flamboyant.
The book offers a blogging framework for anyone wanting to create platform through blogging, and Hyatt also offers the nuts and bolts and instruction manual. One caveat with this approach is not everyone blogs for the same reasons as Hyatt, and really, not everyone blogs to build platform. Many people blog for reasons other than getting noticed or establishing a large readership I think of many blogs that I read (from theological to personal) that would lose their own particular flavor should they adopt Hyatt’s methods and goals. Yet, I see other blogs who have used these method and are rising to the top in their fields.
Hyatt insists that trying to build platform in order to get noticed is not narcissistic, as it may often sound. Perhaps I’m not caught up with the age we’re living in, but I know that I still feel uncomfortable with some of what simply seems like self-promotion. However, I see some bloggers doing this, and it doesn’t come across that way at all; while others come across as odious and in-your-face. I have always struggled with seeing confidence as prideful, and I think this is an area in which my discernment tends to blur.
Overall, it’s a helpful book, with a good bit of the content duplicating what is available on Michael Hyatt’s blog. Sections are handbook-like, telling users which blog themes to use, how to use Twitter wisely, and what SEO tools to use to enhance traffic. (Incidentally, Hyatt seems to downplay the power Facebook for bringing in traffic, instead focusing primarily on Twitter.) As it relates to these specifics, the content will likely be out of date within a couple of years. But perhaps that will allow for another updated version of the book, from which Hyatt will extend even further platform.
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