"Anyone can write a blog post, but not everyone can get it liked thirty-five thousand times, and not everyone can get seventy-five thousand subscribers. But the reason we've done these things isn’t because we're special. It's because we tried and failed, the same way you learn to ride a bike. We tried again and again, and now we have an idea how to get from point A to point B faster because of it."
Three short years ago, when Chris Brogan and Julien Smith wrote their best seller, Trust Agents, being interesting and human on the Web was enough to build a significant audience. But now, everybody has a platform. The problem is that most of them are just making noise. In The Impact Equation, Brogan and Smith show that to make people truly care about what you have to say - you need more than just a good idea, trust among your audience, or a certain number of followers. You need a potent mix of all of the above and more. Use the Impact Equation to figure out what you’re doing right and wrong. Apply it to a blog, a tweet, a video, or a mainstream-media advertising campaign. Use it to explain why a feature in a national newspaper that reaches millions might have less impact than a blog post that reaches a thousand passionate subscribers.
Consider the phenomenally successful British singer Adele. For most musicians, onstage banter basically consists of yelling “Hello, Cleveland!” But Adele connects with her audience, pausing between songs to discuss a falling-out with her friends, or the drama of a break up. Each of these moments comes off as if she were talking directly with you, and you can easily relate. Adele has Impact. As the traditional channels for marketing, selling, and influencing disappear and more people interact mainly online, the very nature of attention is changing. The Impact Equation will give you the tools and metrics that guarantee your message will be heard.
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Almost as good as Contagious
I liked that this book was read by the authors and it was very conversational. They aren't the greatest narrators, but they certainly weren't bad. It's very focused on what to pay attention to when you create content. Content for what? Any content. Listen to Contagious first, then this one.
Everything Online; Simplified to Theory
The book was about the theory of publishing; print, podcast, video, twitter, facebook, reddit, and everything related to those things -- how modern ideas are changing, and how to shape them for yourself (and for others). I got a lot out of how to frame them for a modern audience; the analogy to crafting ideas really struck home.
Hard to say, this is it's own animal. It's not a "How to do business on the internet book." It's not a book on "The Art" of marketing. It IS a book about writing and producing great content, and how to create ideas with meaning; maybe a treatise on "The Way of Creating Content."
Three things: the first was the analogy of SXSW to what the typical internet user goes through; second, the comparison of ideas to baseballs, meaning it's not necessary to change a very popular game to make an impact -- that you can craft originally within the context of accepted formulas; and thirdly, the note that the quality of information on the internet is actually going up due to the competition among ideas -- a hope for the future kind of thing.
This book goes way beyond Trust Agents (the authors' last book) and even though I mentioned that it is *more* theoretical it has proven itself already to also be more actionable. It is broken down into detail where important, but never bogs down -- a very enjoyable listen!