Chat Republic – Galley Proofs today!

The metaphors for describing what one goes through when writing a book are inadequate.

Suffice to say it’s been a breathtaking learning process.

Chat Republic (Cover)_APR252013

But it’s finally coming down to the moment of truth. Here’s what the cover looks like. I wanted it to be minimalistic, but communicate in an instant what it’s about.

Chat Republic, though a crowded place, is also about a call for more space – space between the noise, space between the rapid, vapid statements we send out and are inundated by.

Some see this is as a ‘country’ –a map– populated by loud mouths. I see it as this giant speech bubble, we could all be sucked into (if we don’t make some sensible choices).

Let me know what you think of the cover!

Citizens’ voices matter

A few years ago I conducted a series of webinar-style workshops for the U.S. State Department, for content creators, educators, marketers and those in traditional and new media. The workshops were called  “Passport to Digital Citizenship.”

I was convinced that citizen’s voices would be valuable, and –despite technological barriers and people who would try to keep them quiet– they could be heard.

So today, as my book is about to launch, I am thrilled to see this report by CNN on the importance of citizen-driven media.

Journalism has been forever changed — I’d argue for the better — thanks to the fact that people can interact with media organizations and share their opinions, personal stories, and photos and videos of news as it happens. This year’s nominated iReports are prime examples of how participatory storytelling can positively affect the way we cover and understand the news. 

(“36 stories that prove citizen journalism matters.” By Katie Hawkins-Gaar, CNN | Wed April 3, 2013 )

When we talk of  ‘participatory journalism’ we mean that ‘CitJos’ work alongside traditional media. They are not here as a replacement model, but to complement the changing media industry. Of the 100,000 citizen stories submitted to in 2012, they used 10,789 –having vetted them first.

I just interviewed the creator of a leading citizen journalist outfit in South Asia, and he stressed the importance of community guidelines, and careful design.

Citizen journalism, and the power of citizen voices is a big section in my book, Chat Republic.

Update on my book: “Chat Republic”

It’s official, and I’m now ready to announce the title of my book, which is in its final stages.

It’s called Chat Republic.

Angelo Fernando, Chat RepublicI’ve been covering the intersection of technology and business; technology and culture for more than 18 years. More recently, I’ve focused on digital media and our social media-centric lives, and I wanted to put my ideas into perspective.

Chat Republic is more than a fictional country. It’s about the spaces you inhabit.  Those online and offline communities you move in and out of: conference rooms, Google Circles, IM lists, Facebook, online forums. I think of it as a ‘country’ whose fluid borders take the shape of a giant, invisible speech bubble.

The conversations and opinions pouring in and out of our republic, in real-time, are what make our communities more civil, more vibrant. Our chats are certainly not friction-free! But absent these conversations we would be one dimensional citizens, won’t we?

As of today, I am planning to launch the book in two time zones, in June.

Some specs:

  • 25 Chapters – Divided into 3 sections
  • Case Studies from the U.S. and Asia
  • Interviews with non-profits, tech companies, activists, chief execs, editors, citizen journalists, PR consultants, podcasters, government officials

More information here at

My upcoming book – about our ‘Republic of Chatter’

It’s time to break some news. I am at the final stages of a book about the power of conversations.

While it does analyze why audiences are more engaged (the stuff I’ve covered as a technology columnist for six years),  this is an attempt to peel back the layers of hype about social this and social that, and look at the operating system that lies at its core –human chatter.

As so many other ‘republics’ –Facebook and Pinterest, for instance– are being overrun by the masses, I have felt the need to look at why we can’t stop blabbing. The Republic of Chatter (a working title) also addresses another passion of mine, about the power of ordinary people to speak out, to rise above the chatter.

Stay tuned!