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So You Want to Have a Platform: Are You Sure?,
This review is from: Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Hardcover)
"Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. So Ezra the scribe stood on a platform of wood which they had made for the purpose; and beside him, at his right hand, stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Urijah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah; and at his left hand Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam." -- Nehemiah 8:1-4 (NKJV)
If you've ever tried to attract a book agent or a commercial publisher, you were probably encouraged to work on developing your platform. As the chairman and former CEO of a major Christian publisher, Michael Hyatt should definitely know what an author's platform looks like. In this book, he describes the highlights of his own experience in creating one around a blog and lots of Twitter messages.
Although he was inexperienced on the Internet, Mr. Hyatt had plenty of resources to help attract an audience through his position in the Christian publishing world. In fact, if you go the publishing Web site, you'll probably end up on his blog. So his experience won't be your experience. Realize that. And he doesn't make any claims in that direction.
If you are a complete newcomer, some of the advice will be so general that you may not know what to do with it (such as using certain software). Unless you are a huge star on Twitter, much of what's in here won't help.
I only found a few parts that might apply to me personally, and I dutifully tried them out (especially increasing the frequency of putting a major piece of content on a blog) and then using social media to let others know. Yup, it worked. In a one week period of time, I increased a new blog's traffic by 30 times.
I could see that if I started spending a lot of time doing this, I could definitely have a bigger platform. But is it worth it? I don't think so.
Be sure you know what you want a platform for and what benefits you want people to receive. A lot of so-called platform-building is nothing more than making a lot of noise so that people pay attention. I'm reminded of how acting wannabes often wear revealing clothes to get attention. Yes, it gets attention ... but can you act any better when you are done?
Why do publishers like platforms? Well, they sell more books at less expense to themselves. So they make money. That's perfectly okay, but realize that your service to God may suffer in the process because you are spending less time serving Him.
Also realize that a lot of the advice in this book will be out-of-date quite quickly, because it's very tool oriented. If you decide you must have a bigger platform, definitely read the blog in the future so you can keep up with Mr. Hyatt's latest advice.