Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
"ARE you making things happen - or just making a noise?"
The sub-heading of this book, by the authors of the New York Times bestseller, Trust Agents, challenges the reader to consider just how effective they are at getting across their message to a target audience.
In the previous volume, they argued that being interesting on the web was enough to build an audience for what you wanted to say.
Three years down the line, they suggest that while everyone now has a platform, "most of them are just making noise".
Anyone who has even dipped a tentative tow into the worlds of Facebook or Twitter - two of the most popular of those platforms - will immediately know exactly what they mean.
It's NOT a book about social networks, they declare loud and clear upfront. Although that's not strictly true. The point is that social networks alone won't magically convey your message to anyone of any significance if it fails to address a certain magic equation.
So what is this impact equation - and what can it do for you?
Impact = C x (R + E + A + T + E).
If algebra's not your thing, don't freak out. It's pretty simple.
'C' is for Contrast: Does your idea stand out?
'R' is Reach: How often do people connect to you?
'E' is Exposure: How often does your audience hear from you?
'A' stands for Articulation: Is your idea clear enough?
'T' is Trust: Do people believe you?
'E' is Echo: Does your idea connect to your audience?
Brogan and Smith address each in turn, asking some fundamental and thought-provoking questions which will likely prompt many to realise that what they do now doesn't cut the mustard.
So to make people truly care about what you have to say, you need more than just a good idea, trust amongst your audience or even a certain number of followers. They argue you need a potent mix of all of these, and a few more besides.
Countering the deafening 'noise' of what is found on the internet, they stress it's impact and not platform that truly matters. Lance Armstrong insisted: "It's not about the bike." Hemingway was probably never asked what type of typewriter he used to write his stories. The typewriter doesn't matter: the stories do.
And so they say: "We're not writing about Twitter and Facebook and Google+ and Pinterest and Path, because who cares? Those things are temporary, and they aren't the things that matter. The people are what matters."
There are great mini-sections with headings such as "What Pokemon can reach you about personal growth" and "What Adele can reach you about success". (The singer is a natural with the 'Echo' part of the equation, it turns out, relating effortlessly to her audience with between-song banter with which the vast majority can identify. The response of her audience to this is, they say, "pure magic").
When stripped back to its basics, much of what they have to say is difficult to argue with. It's commonsense. Their success is in coming up with plenty of examples from a variety of fields - popular culture, entertainment, science and computer gaming - to illustrate their points.
Along the way they tip a hat to some of their personal heroes and cross-reference some websites, books and movies from which they draw inspiration.
Rather than an overblown banquet of a book, The Impact Equation is more of an easily digestible buffet that leaves you wanting more.
Quick review: Got a good idea? Great. Now here's how to make sure it gets heard...