Friday, October 24, 2008

Where is social media going?

Where is social media going?

Looked up predictions on this and found a few. Some make sense, some don't.

Innovation will continue to take risks and find new solutions to recurring problems.

Here's a comment I just left on another Chris Brogan channel:
All this makes sense. Especially in this worrisome economic climate we've inherited.

Figure the online activities that can't monetize themselves will fold, but those which have greater communities will become "sponsored" by various entities.

There will be no "one" universal media, but rather - as Brogan points out - there will be one (or a few) accumulators for all these feeds. Right now, Friendfeed has the top spot in this, particularly as they just came out with an auto-updating live feed.

And so MSM has been given notice. Steve Rubel pointed this out recently. Newspapers either have to embrace social media or drop out entirely.

I want RSS feeds for papers so I don't have to wade through emails. RSS I can scan, emails have to be opened one by one (although there are some gmail features...) I want media archives to be open and able to be searched for earlier articles. I don't care if there are a lot of ads on those pages, as long as they are relevant products to what is being discussed. (Note, with templated ads, you can serve up current ads for old stories...)

There is no problem "making money" with any sort of content. The problem is carrying on the conversations that are already existing.

Conversations like, "How do I solve this?" "How to I keep my family fed and food on the table, a roof over their head, and clothes on our backs?" "How's my favorite sports team doing and why?" "How can I get some cheap distraction from all this bad news?" "How can I increase my disposable income - or have any at all?"

That's what marketing has to address - real concerns. It has to revisit their reasons for flashy cars and beautiful clothes and what Hollywood celebrities think (or if they do).

For the individual entrepreneur, this is the way to go. Find what solutions you are using and get them out in front of people who might care. Contribute to solving the world's problems. And have fun at it.
What's your take on this? Make sense? No? Tell me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

3 classes of social media marketing

(image link: Fine Art America)

There are 3 apparent classes of Social Media Marketing

More of a note for future research, it still needs publishing. These are the ones which seem socially acceptable - not the obnoxious ones:
  1. Direct marketing - bookmark tagging (OnlyWire, etc.)
  2. Proxy blogging - mini blogs on free hosts which point back to your linkbait. (Gray Hat)
  3. Comment posting on other's blogs and forums with a link back to your a) website, b) about me page, c) specific permalink that's appropriate.
This is following the traditional marketing rules, more or less - but within social media guidelines.

Outside of those guidelines (and obnoxious):
  • only posting your own blog posts to twitter, friendfeed, facebook, et al.
  • only linking to JV partners or commenting exclusively on their sites
  • only commenting about what you just did recently
  • friending everyone you can and then only posting your own stuff like above - so all your "friends" get from you is how great YOU are.
  • stupidly obvious spammy "SEO" tricks like asking for people to link to you or digg your stuff.
What seems to work best is what used to be called "Good Manners":
  • Helping others first - as Chris Brogan puts it: 12-to-1 ratio of theirs to yours.
  • Really being interested in other people and how they are getting along.
  • Proposing your product as a solution to their problem only in an offhand way, not assertive.
  • Or, better yet, never bringing up what you do at all - but only providing excellent content and great comments on others' sites which forwards the conversation in a sequitur manner and contributes valuable service to that niche community.
- - - -

But I imagine you have a better look at this than I do -- what's your take on this?

Monday, October 20, 2008

3 ways to not turn your viewers away - give options and get conversions

3 ways to not turn your viewers away - give options and get conversions

There are three ways to turn viewers away:
  1. Poor quality content.
  2. Unusable content.
  3. Unaccessible content.
Let's say that you have the first well in hand. You routinely turn out great stuff.

How do you make sure that your content is usable and accessible?

The chief culprit is bandwidth. While this has been improving, it's still possible for people to have glitches and slows which make your content unaccessible and so - unusable. No matter how great your content is, if people can't view it - you might as well have an oil painting hung in the Metropolitan Museum - only a few people can ever see it at a time. Not useful for Internet Marketing.

Same thing if you only give out a video. Just ran into this for the umpteenth time. No other options to get the data - other than put it into a download queue where is can chew away and not block all my bandwidth. Otherwise, the video is chopped up as it starts and pauses. This degrades an otherwise fine presentation.

The other fault that video shares with podcasts is that it's linear. You have to follow it from beginning to end. A choppy video or podcast interrupts the flow of ideas - and so they can't/don't get your pitch. And won't convert.

Always, always give options. offers a nice service for hosting your powerpoint presentation. It's flash based, but is able to be controlled by the viewer, so they forward one slide at a time. Interestingly, you can add notes to each slide as a comment - and so give the audio portion of the presentation as text. You can also marry up the podcast with the slideshow and create a slidecast - higher-quality images without the bandwidth problems of a video.

As well, powerpoints can be converted to PDF, so the same data is available.

That's the point - give high- and low-bandwidth solutions. Offer a free whitepaper which contains the text of your presentation (just format the graphics into the document and output as PDF). Or a PDF of the powerpoint, as above.

My scene today was this: I went to a site to check out their training and found that I could only study them as video's. And their video's took forever to load (remember that 10-second rule when visitors leave???)

Rule is: always give options to make sure your excellent content actually comes across.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

How to lose money on eBay - shopping has evolved to warfare...

How to lose money on eBay - shoppers have evolved, and sellers beware!

This data isn't for Power Sellers on eBay, who have already established themselves years ago. This is a simple 2-step guide about how to get started on eBay and use the current scene (until Xmas this year) to get some real returns.

The days of being able to make a killing on eBay are just about over. It's incredibly hard to get started at making a viable living on this platform, particularly when they killed all the digital downloads.

Here's some simple data, based on my last few months of hands-on research:

eBay has been oversaturated with sellers for years. The more recent (last couple years') advice for buyers has been to wait until the last day. So sniping was created.

Shopping tools have evolved to perfect the concept of sniping. Not only do they limit what a buyer wants to spend on any particular item, but they can search out items which no one is watching - no competition=better deals.

With eBay's recent move to protect buyers from being rated by sellers, buyers have been moved to a "protected species" category and so have considerable leverage over sellers. Sellers almost can't keep buyers away from their sales by rating and have to result to blocking them based on a shared list of problem buyers.

Used to be a nice community where you could move second-hand stuff. Now it's got a considerable amount of corporate interests like who can take nearly unlimited amounts of auctions out on a nearly unlimited amount of goods.

So the bottom has fallen out of several areas such as books, DVDs, CD's. Which is why eBay is running a special on these right now, such that you can list them for 5 cents each - for 30 days at a fixed price.

The result: buyers and sellers are at war. Sellers have to fend off big-box stores and greedy buyers. It's no longer offering an heirloom and being able to find buyers who will pay anything to get it.

2 simple strategies for getting leads from eBay and making money

Overall, realize that you don't make the real money on eBay, you make the real money by getting customers from eBay and onto your own site. So whatever you do on eBay, you need to get their email address and get them to opt-in to your mailing list, plus becoming regular customers at your own online store. (And it's far cheaper to host your own online store and maintain it than it is to host it at eBay. Period. Same goes for Amazon.)

1. Realize that you can't directly compete on price for bulk goods against the big-box stores. Use eBay as a lead generator. Find an object that you can create (like ebooks on CD), and under-price everyone else out there - .99 list and enough shipping to cover your actual expenses. Then send them a CD with an autorun HTML sales page that includes a free offer if they join your newsletter mailing list. Do this for your fixed-price 30-day listings.

2. Run only one-day regular auctions on the stuff you have that runs routinely well. Use (free or low-priced) analysis software to find the best days and times - not the most popular, but seek out the less-traveled path. You'll still expect to be only 40-50% successful, but figure this into your S/H costs to cover your expenses. Set your starting prices up at what the market will bear - because shoppers generally won't pay more than they have to - eBay is supposed to be a bargain. This strategy is supposed to make you money and get you leads.

This is all limited data. eBay has tried to perfect its silo for years so that people can't move to other platforms. Factually, this has screwed over the community and driven people away - both buyers and sellers. So they are trying to limit your access to the buyer's email address - both for their stated "security" reasons and also to limit anyone's ability to move buyers to other platforms.

A point above is to keep your fees low. This is the hole in eBay's system. They charge low fees on anything below a buck (mostly). This is supposed to encourage bidding. But since the buyers watch and snipe, a lot of sales go cheap - and the seller loses. Another way of avoiding high fees is at the end. eBay takes out a final-value fee based on your final auction price. I've said to keep your S/H enough to cover your costs. Practically, you want to stay under $4 to keep off eBay's radar, as well as be reasonable to your buyers. Don't fall for the "free shipping" ploy eBay's currently offering. They've increased their final value fees to make up for the special low listing fees.

This is why the simple list-generation ebook item is the winner. You're looking for savvy buyers who can scope out the real great deals. Those are your smart buyers who you can turn into paying leads. Set out one-day .97 auctions with $.3.95 S/H. They buy, they opt-in, you both win. Give them great service and they'll stay.

Now, these defenses are against the random, average buyer who is using advanced sniper (and other software) tools to keep your prices low. Once you have that buyer, she's gold to you. So treat her as such. If they won't opt-in, or quickly opt-out - figure you at least made your costs on getting them as a lead. No loss. The one's that stay are your real platinum ones. So treat them like the regal royalty they are - and they'll keep buying from you nearly forever.

This is all limited-time data. eBay is changing constantly as they see their profits drop and Amazon's continue to rise. Until they figure out how to re-build their community (trust), they'll continue to sink. So this strategy above will change in a few months. I predict it will become more cut-throat as they continue to pit buyers against each other and all sellers against the buyers. Essentially - eBay is heading to being only big-box stores and established Power Sellers (who are essentially big-box stores for their niche). It will take you years to establish yourself and make a regular living off eBay under the current scene.

So go the easy route and snipe back - pull out leads and keep them happy at your own ecommerce store.

- - - -

Subscribe to this feed to stay updated as eBay changes and the warfare continues.

Your views on this? Am I full of it or do I speak sooth?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Buyers, Marketing, Social Media - and the Real World

There's buyers, marketing, social media - and then there's the real world...

If you've been following my learning curve over the past months/years, you'd have seen a constant attempt to narrow down to successful promotion/sales/marketing actions. This lead me to find out about buyers - through eBay, arguably still the biggest marketplace online.

eBay works if you are a discount retailer or a collectible sales outlet. I got in just as they lowered the boom on digital delivery and so for better or worse, dropped into a low-end scene for ebook profits. I've made some sales - and that's kept me going. But not enough to date to make a living at it, which was my goal.

The training I paid for was pretty sad - even though it was a four-digit sum. (Before the decimal point.) And now, my credit cards are licking their lips as they know they have me... they think.

I've since gone through three or four more trainings - and am working on a fifth (actually an earlier version of two of these). What I've found confirms what I started out with.

You want to attract buyers and keep them happy.

(Traditional) marketing to social media sucks.

And studying Charles Heflin, among others, confirms this. Pitifully poor ROI.

But realistically, marketing is still marketing. You have to promote like a banshee mountain wind in winter to get people to know you exist. At least that's what they tell us. Because this is based on the broadcast version, with only 2-3% of viewers taking the bait after 5-7 repetitions.

Because it's "broadcast" based and not a personal conversation.

Bloggers who really connect with their clientele will have as much as 17-25% conversion on any offer. I just listened tonight to a blogger podcast, who is now making $4500 a month from her ebook and affiliate sales through her blog. Cute.

What did she do? Got into real conversations with her readers and asked their opinions - and then commented back on their comments - a real discussion.

That's what Madison Avenue and the "great Jack Humphrey" are missing overall. It isn't getting a lot of traffic to your site - but having real and consistent live conversations with your visitors (at least, until the traffic gets so bad you can't keep up with individuals - other than the truly outstanding ones that even make you pause...)

And that's the route to take.

Sure, I'll keep selling on eBay, but this isn't really good for ebooks, since the demand is not there, and eBay itself is based on cut-rate prices - so hardback books don't sell for as much as it takes to print them on demand. To make a living, you'd have to sell some 200 CD's a week at about $5 profit. You have to sell big retail items on a weekly basis to get that real sweet spot of large profits.

The new target is now back to ecommerce and online sales.

I'll ramp up eBay with what I can scrounge up of suppliers and their drop-ship products.

And that will probably start paying its way pretty well. It's not where my heart is at, though.

The keystrategic and tactical point is to build up some following on my blog - which will be monetized with links that pay - ebooks and affiliate sales, like the girl above. Simple.

And, yes, to begin with, I'll be using Jack Humphrey's (and Howie Schwartz') methods to get some name recognition. But I'm not doing it to become "an authority" - but to really find out what people are trying to solve in their lives and help them with that.

All that work I did years ago with "Go Thunk Yourself" really points to a universal solvent which can sort out and resolve any human problem. Any human problem.

The trick is to "go Archimedes" and find a place to stand, then get a long enough lever - and move the world.

Feel that? It just shifted slightly.

Think it's possible?

Let me know...

Friday, October 10, 2008

10 Fascinating Twitter How-To's

10 Fascinating Twitter How-To's - as delivered by the head Tweets themselves

Here's a short list of interesting how-to's I've had delivered to my RSS reader care of Twitter:

1. You know it's getting bad when Forbes (Forbes!) starts running stories on how to live well in leans times -

2. - CNN Commentator David Smick: "Why there's a crisis -- and how to stop it:

3. - How to Create Your Own Wine Bottle Label: I hope this guide clarifies the basic steps to creating per..

4. - Reading Technology, How to Host a Successful Webinar

5. - New Products, The Complete Guide To Genius: How To Increase Yo..

6. - sharing this with everyone! ask me how to go raw deliciously for natural beauty inside-out.

7. - 8 Strategies For Successful Relations With Clients | How-To | Smashing Magazine

8. - How to disable spell check in Google chrome browser: How to disable spell check in Google chrome br..

9. - - How To Make A Lot Of Money – Surprising Upshot In No Time

10. - Music, How To Be A Ticket Broker, Resell Concert, Sports, ..

Did you learn something? I know I did...

Your ideas?

Buzz your own site - with Cutts' blessing

"Buzz" your own site - with Matt Cutt's blessing...

One thing I learned from Jack Humphrey is to get a lot of microblogs pointing to your site. He calls this "buzzing". I thought this was a bit objectionable until I read the below. In short, it's fine with Matt.
Google's Cutts: Good directions drive traffic to your website -
"4. Create a blog and post often.

Cutts says blogging is a great way to add links and start a conversation with customers and friends. It will cost you only time: Google's Blogger, WordPress and others offer free blogging tools. With a blog, you can link back to your site and offer links to others. It's also a great way to start building content, Cutts says."

Linkbait scraping shows new revelations

I've learned to love linkbait scraping - which shows new revelations of hows and whys:

My studies have recently turned to linkbait - as a subject, not as a method.

I've learned to use a sequence of Adobe Acrobat Pro, NoteTab, and OpenOffice as my training regimen.

Adobe's Pro version allows you to scrape a page (or several, with their links) and then save to HTML.

NoteTab then will take that file and strip off all the HTML and save the URL's.

Open Office then allows you to format that page back into usable format, with headers and bullets and so on - making it easy to find stuff as a reference.

What this sequence does is to give you the URL in plain text - so you can see what people are actually linking to. And all the affiliate links show up.

What I learned from Jack Humphrey

Essentially, you can take Jack at his word. He applies what he says.

However, this is both good and bad.

True, high-quality linkbait is almost accidental. Low-quality linkbait is a short piece which is just a set of links to other pieces.

This I learned from Jack.

If you take apart his Blackbook using the method above, you'll find that nearly all (I haven't digested his entire magnum opus yet) the links which were a paid service were affliate links. Jack gets paid if you click there. And 3/4's of his links to linkbait were just linkbait themselves - and led right to Jack's blog. But all you got were other links to linkbait articles. Low quality.

But that's how Jack says to do it in his Blackbook.

So I went back to Google to find real articles on linkbait.

If you take Matt Cutt's explanation of quality linkbait:
So, what are the links that will stand the test of time? Those links are typically given voluntarily. It is an editorial link by someone, and it’s someone that’s informed. They are not misinformed, they are not tricked; there is no bait and switch involved. It’s because somebody thinks that something is so cool, so useful, or so helpful that they want to make little sign posts so that other people on the web can find that out.

Now, there is also the notion of link bait or things that are just cool; maybe not helpful, but really interesting. And those can stand the test of time as well. Those links are links generated because of the sheer quality of your business or the value add proposition that you have that’s unique about your business. Those are the things that no one else can get, because no one else has them or offers the exact same thing that your business offers. (Stone Temple Consulting)

That is why Matt Cutt's own article (which has been taken down, for some reason) on Linkbait has been referred to by Jack and so many other people. True linkbait (and so I suppose I have to go to Wayback to find it...)

And what I object to Jack's methods overall. They are simply self-serving marketing.

Jack does a lot of good work. And giving away the Blackbook is quite something. However, when you analyze Jack by Jack's own work - you see exactly what he's doing. Bringing the most possible traffic to his own site - so it can be converted into cash flow. Pure capitalism.

Effectiveness is the measure of Truth.

So say the ancient Polynesians.

Is Jack right to do what he does? He certainly is effective in what he does - he gets a lot of traffic to his subscription site. Is it of real value? If you follow what Jack says, you will get a lot of traffic to your site.

Is traffic the end product of SEO? According to some.

What is marketing?
  • Marketing is the action of creating an area where you can offer your product for exchange.

  • The highest value product commands the greatest exchange.

  • Value is determined by how it improves the life of the people who use it.

  • Great value creates word of mouth and evangelism.

Jack has his evangelists. For me the jury is still out. (And you can see why I haven't linked to Jack or his Blackbook here...)

Summary: His blackbook is linkbait.

(photo credit -

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Stratgic Internet Marketing Scheduling - Key to Sanity and Profits?

Setting your strategic Internet marketing scheduling may be the key to your sanity and profits...

Now I've recently completed a third course this summer in marketing and web building. To say the least, my head was full to bursting - until I sat down and scratched it all out on a yellow pad.

The simple priorities are these:
  1. You have to make profitable sales to stay in business.
  2. You have to market to get leads and convert these to buyers.
  3. You have to research and review your progress against plans you made.
Now, these three programs agreed on these three, but differed in how to get them done - and in the sequence you should work on them.

There were simply a few points they also agreed on as to how to do this - but they didn't agree on an order:
  • Build your web presence with a web host and a domain name.
  • Use a WordPress blog to add content.
  • Add monetized links that are relevant and contribute to the content.
  • Promote actively - often three times more than you would spend on anything else.
Since these courses were all built on search engine discovery, they all had basic SEO tactics in that training. Two of the three were hinged on social media marketing (which is a bit of an oxymoron, since social media shun marketers...)

But our point is how to organize this. I've read the stories where a person spent months on building up an ecommerce site only to make nothing on it (and thank Gawd for his day job...) My first training was devoted utterly to learning how to use their proprietary web-building software.

And the other extreme was a course where they spend hours telling you how to do social marketing - 15/16's of the course, in fact - and then gave the final hour was on how to monetize. Meaning that the bulk of their students would simply opt for more training - since what they taught in that sequence would keep the person broke.

However, the breakthrough was in the third one. Here, they said to do your research and find your market first - but that you were also finding how to monetize it as part of that research. Then you built your blog and started promoting.

Let me break with all three - they are all right and also wrong.
  • You don't build anything overnight.
  • You do continuously build and refine what you already had going.
  • Promotion is a big part of marketing, but you also have to monetize constantly to convert viewers to buyers.
  • And you have to have a plan, plus review the metrics of that plan to make any success.
Part of this was learning and breaking down a 60-day plan. Which was great - but it really was a finite recipe and couldn't be used without a great deal of other data. (Which is why they only gave it to you behind a hefty paid subscription.)

When gridded out, that plan really boiled down to a repeating set of actions, plus adding one or two new promotional outlets each week. 8 weeks of basic content addition, plus tons of promotion.

But it was even simpler than that.

Weekly schedule:
  1. Research and Review:
    Review your previous week, all metrics, and create your to-do list.
  2. Monetize:
    Find new income sources (affiliates or new products) that you can add - and sign up for them or create them for your sales funnel.
  3. Promote:
    Content - add more linkbait (truly memorable blog posts) to your site.
  4. Promote:
    Comment - find where people are linking to your site and comment on theirs. Or Stumbleupon, Digg, or Twitter about them, if no direct comment possible.
  5. Promote:
    Converse - join in the conversation on various forums which have to do with your niche.
So: Research/Review - Monetize - Promote - Promote - Promote.

This also follows a longer cycle of what you are going to be doing. In the beginning, you need to spend a sizable amount of time defining your niche and the long-tail keywords you want to optimize for (and write content about). Part of this will be finding if that niche is actually one where people spend money - and you'll be finding affiliates or products that can be sold within that niche. Once you have these two established, you can spend the rest of the time promoting and getting yourself - and your products - known.

Those are the bare bones - and you can see that this has lots more below it to make it work.

But I hope you can use this to streamline what you're doing and so become more profitable...

Your views?

PS. Note that this is only five days worth of work. Take the weekend off with your family - or go read a book - or go hiking -- or do some more of whatever you still need to get done withyour jobs.. Your choice.

(photo credit: )

Monday, October 6, 2008

"Conversation Domination" and SEO - Flaws and Failures

Why would you ever want to use "Conversation Domination" for SEO if you knew its flaws and failures?

Here's the first one:

1. Marketing is based on conversation. Conversation is - by definition - a turn-about process. "Dominating" a conversation means you control it completely.

Now - what does a person do with a conversation that is completely controlled by one person?

Leave - find somewhere else to converse.


2. Search engines evolve according to human needs and wants. Spammers find themselves isolated eventually, kicked off all search engines. Why? Spam is unwanted communication. A one-way flow. Old-style marketing tactics.


3. When someone "dominates" search engines by taking several or all of the top spots for a given keyword, it means no one else can participate in that conversation. So, ultimately, this means that such techniques will eventually be labeled spam and search engines will move elsewhere.


4. Original, great content is king - always has been. That's what the Internet was created for. So people could find information (content) they were looking for. Spamming your way to the consistent top of the search engines doesn't mean you have the best content - you've just figured out how to make the search engines think you do. And search engines ultimately penalize all spammers - drastically.


5. Marketing (ClueTrain Manifesto) means conversations - real conversations. I give, you take. You give, I take. No shortcuts. No "Igiveyoutake. Igiveyoutake. Igiveyoutake..." Doesn't work - except in extraordinary circumstances (jails, prisons, visiting in-laws). Usually temporary until situations are resolved.


6. "Conversation Domination" (or anything touted as "domination") is a dead-end street - and it has "SPAM" graffitied on that back wall when you reach it.

7. But setting up a bunch of remote blogs under aliases to comment on your own stuff in order to raise its search engine ranking - just more spam. You've already got tons of backlinks coming in from all these tools above. Squidoo pages are fine - but if they are only about you, then they are just more old-style marketing, aren't they? Converse, don't pontificate or posture.

Why is OnlyWire fallen by the wayside, less important than it was originally - because people were spamming with it. Simple. Spamming isn't a conversation - it's old-style marketing. Social Media handles it by shunning and voting you off the island.

8. The real purpose of Marketing and Commerce is to provide something of value so people can improve their lives with it. That's how you earn word of mouth and client loyalty. No other way.

When you block other people's content by artificially and constantly grabbing the spotlight... Those actions just can't last.

- - - -
Real, timeless, practical approaches:

A. This doesn't mean you don't optimize your pages so search engines can read them easily. Doesn't mean you don't theme your pages so they make sense to the readers and the search engines at the same time. (Most people still don't do this - and there is no way to educate them to do this, so this is a completely valid solution.)

B. This doesn't mean you don't tell directories about your site. Still works.

C. Doesn't mean you don't submit (or auto-submit) your content changes to RSS directories.

D. It does mean you interact with people leaving comments on your site. It does mean that you track people commenting on your content and leave comments on their site - as well as linking to them.

E. It does mean to re-purpose your content in many ways, so lots of people can find it in a format they like. Articles, press releases, podcasts, slideshares, videos - and whatever else comes down this pike.

- - - -

If you do the first 1-7 above - I hope you sleep really well at night for all the "long-tail niche keywords" you've just "dominated". And while you're at it, don't forget to tape up that corner of the bigger-than-life poster of you on your bedroom door. And don't forget - you're sleeping alone most nights...

If you do A-E, welcome to the real world.

Keep your search engine optimization work honest and always a real contribution - and then you'll succeed way beyond your wildest hopes.

Because you are helping everyone win, helping them find the content they need to improve their lives.

Your views?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

VC's exterminate bootstrap makers

Why do startups have to depend on VC money? Doesn't anyone make bootstraps anymore?

Good News, Startups: You're Not Screwed:
"Will there be less money available for startups? I have met with 5 firms in the past 2 weeks, and I am not sensing any change in attitude from experienced Series A investors. If you have a 10 person internet company looking for VC money and an investor says he is nervous about the markets, than he is either blowing you off or doesn't know what he is doing. Your company won't hit its stride or profits until 2010 at the earliest - NO-ONE has any idea what 2010 will look like but the odds are we will emerge from any 2008-09 problems by then.

VC as an asset class has not gotten any less attractive to pension funds and other huge investors in the past month - in many ways it has gotten better since many other classes of assets simply relied on leverage to get outsized returns. So your VC should not be starved for cash."
Sure, this is awfully tongue-in-cheek - but there's this strange attitude being taught at business schools which is contrary to most Main Street start-up strategies...

Why videos suck - they aren't scannable

Why Videos Suck - They aren't scannable.

Just found what was irritating me about this one guru's site - he's moved over to video and I can't follow him in my reader.

1. Google Reader doesn't transmit his embedded file readily.
2. Bandwidth problems with between his server and my computer.

Goes back to Jacob Nielsen - people don't read, they scan. And the 10 second rule about moving on - a video which doesn't load won't keep me on that page.

Rules to follow:
1. Keep videos as an option, not the only data source.
2. Give an additional option, like a downloadable PDF script, or transcript below.

As well, test your page in Google Reader and other top RSS readers so that you know your stuff is actually going to get read.

This also explains why podcasts haven't taken off - for entertainment value itself, they're great - but for fast data, they suck - due to their (and video's) inherent linear delivery problems.

Text you can scan, other media - not so much.

1. Always review your page from your subscribers' viewpoint (preferably before you post).
2. Always give several options to get the data.

Writing Recession-Proof Blogs - 2 Easy Steps

Writing Recession-Proof Blogs - 2 easy steps

The nut of this linked post is way down toward the bottom:

Recession-proof Search Engine Optimization | SEO Theory - SEO Theory and Analysis Blog:
"This economy will probably lose more value in the next few weeks, value that won’t be available to drive new business loans, new consumer purchases, new sales of durable goods, new jobs, new advertising campaigns. If you’re not helping your clients save money, make money, and stay in business, then why do they need you?

Just repackaging your services with a new title and marketing slogan, “Fight the recession with SEO!” isn’t sufficient. You need to offer real value, not so much in the way of price discounts as in the way of innovation, measured success, and return on investment. That calls for doing new research to identify query trends that help your clients’ customers save money while doing business with your clients. That calls for streamlining your own practices, improving your efficiencies, reducing your costs, and reducing your time for deliverables."
And it's overall a great piece, but I'd offer this critique:
  1. It's not scannable. (This text is written like an English College Paper.)
  2. You can't comment easily. (I'd have to register just for this blog to comment - and no way to link this post to social media or tag it in any way.)

Those are the two points of social media -
  1. keep it pithy and
  2. allow/encourage conversation.

So the advice is:
  1. Learn to write for the web.
  2. Set your page with lots of social link options, as well as easy commenting.