Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Web In 5 Years

Another gem from ReadWriteWeb - what the web will look like in five years according to Google.

Here are the highlights according to ReadWriteWeb article...

  • Five years from now the internet will be dominated by Chinese-language content.
  • Today's teenagers are the model of how the web will work in five years - they jump from app to app to app seamlessly
  • Five years is a factor of ten in Moore's Law, meaning that computers will be capable of far more by that time than they are today.
  • Within five years there will be broadband well above 100MB in performance - and distribution distinctions between TV, radio and the web will go away
  • Content will move towards more video.
  • t's because of this fundamental shift towards user-generated information that people will listen more to other people than to traditional sources. Learning how to rank that "is the great challenge of the age." Schmidt believes Google can solve that problem.
There is the full 45 minute talk on the post at ReadWriteWeb.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nowmium - the Value of Now

Most online businesses are built on the value of now.

Nowmium defined - the value derived from getting it now.

(Woohoo - I think I just coined a phrase)

The Incredible Power of Now

Given the choice of paying to get something now and getting the same thing later for free, which do you choose?

Here’s the Deal

There is something you want. It is something specific. It is on your mind. You need it for some reason.

  1. I will give it to you now for a fair price
  2. I will give it to you later for the same fair price
  3. I will give it to you now for free
  4. I will give you it to later for free

Which do you decide to take?

My Choices

Between choices #1 and #2, I believe everyone will choose #1, get it now.

Between choices #1 and #3 I believe it depends on how specific the thing I need is. If I need a copy of Charles Dickens Tale of Two Cities and the difference is hard cover or paper back – with paper back being free and now – I will take the free paper back now – you know, as long as it is new – I hate used books when I don’t know who the previous owner was. If I need the same book and the free offer is for any other book or maybe just a summary of this book, I will take the paid copy now.

Between choices #1 and #4, if I need it now I will pay to get it now instead of free later. Let’s say I need proof of insurance today to be able to get a job contract. The biding ends today. I need it now. Later is of no value to me. Now is the value.


Free gets all the press because all the press can be had for free online.

Now gets money if the thing is specific, not available for free and needed now.

Build you web presence around the value of now if at all possible.

Examples? I have plenty, please suggest your own.

How to Create a Facebook Ad

I have been talking to a lot of groups lately and always seem to get to Facebook advertising.

This link...

has a great slideshow walking you through creating a Facebook ad.

The primary difference between a Facebook ad and a sponsored ads in search is the source of your keywords.

In search ads you are guessing at what terms people will use for search.

In Facebook ads you are using the terms they actually have entered in describing their interests, etc. As you try out keywords in Facebook's ad creation program, Facebook actively suggests terms in actual use and then tells you exactly how many users fitting you criteria you are marketing to.

Facebook ads are best used to tightly target many small groups. Use a unique ad for each group you target that addresses their stated interest.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Google Wave

Here is an interesting and entertaining use for Google Wave. A scene from Pulp Fiction in the Wave. It contains the exact dialogue - which is somewhat foul depending on in which branch of the Navy you served.

WARNING - at least R rated.

Some people have very little to do - and I enjoy how they do it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Literal Videos

A literal video takes the original video, keeps the music, but writes new lyrics to describe what is actually happening in the video.

Here is a good one.

I love it. New things to do in the digital age.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Most Visited Web Sites From Mobile Phones

Read Write Web post interesting numbers on which web sites have the highest usage rates from mobile devices - cell phones? - during a five day period for one unnamed provider in the US in September 2009.

MySpace and Facebook were both in the top ten. See the chart below.

The source report can be found at OpenWave .

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Losing Control of the Device

One of the great things about blogging is that I can reference other blogs that are better than mine.

JP Rangaswami' Confused in Calcutta is one of many that fall into that category.

He has a great posting on losing control of the device - the computer desktop - and what that means to business as the next generation moves in and takes over the workforce.

You know I believe the currently recession/depression is masking to really big changes.

JP's post will give you some things to think about. Don't just think about them. Take some action to deal with them.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Losers and Winners

Have you or your kids or your school ever participated in a tournament or other competition where only one person or team wins?

My kids played tennis. A typical tournament would have between 10 and 20 players in the draw they were in. In a tournament with 16 players in a draw, 15 kids lose. But for some reason my kids kept signing up to do it again.

And no, we didn't just raise stupid kids. Stupid parents maybe, but not stupid kids.

So why does everyone else go?

It's because they all get something out of it positive - right?

In a track or swimming event they focus on personal bests. Or they like the social connections. Or who knows what.

But it is as plain as day there is something that keeps bringing us back or these types of events would have died out years and years ago.

You have to be honest, most people in any tournament or race don't think they have even the slightest chance of winning. But they still like whatever it is they are getting from participating. They don't think they lost. They know they got what they came for.

All this is to say that insurance companies who have basically killed the comparison rating business because they are afraid to compete and be compared don't really get it. There isn't a single winner and then a bunch of losers. You have to understand what you came to the event to get.

How do you define winning? Pick a niche? Better than last year?

In the process of being afraid of the opportunity, these companies are killing their independent agency sales channel.

Maybe we could set comparison raters up like a tournament. What is that missing piece again?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Death of Mass Marketing

Yesterday I mentioned Bob Garfield's book The Chaos Scenario. It is a good, informative, thought provoking and fast read.

It is one of a recent spate of books about the trials and tribulations of the mass media industry - you know, newspapers, TV networks, magazines, books - things you could do in the bathroom where Internet connections are still not the norm.

If you are not in the media business - say you are a local independent insurance agent - why should you care?

Because the large national businesses you compete against have used advertising in the mass media - which you could not afford - to beat you like a rented mule. With that platform in serious decline, those guys can't hit you with it as hard, or at all, anymore.

Now that the bully has lost his club, how can you hit him back? Won't it feel good? Plus, you can make some money in the process.

Bob has put two interesting videos on YouTube that may help you with some ideas. The first is about 3 minutes, the second about 33 minutes. Enjoy.

Here is a link to the longer video -

Friday, October 2, 2009

Are You A Stuntman?

I am going to make this post something I have never done. It will be basically cut and paste of an email I received from Bob Garfield and the Chaos Scenario. I think it is too well said to try to re-word. Do check out Bob's book.

Bob got it from Greg Stielstra of PyroMarketing

"Are You a Stuntman?

Most people will skin a knee or break a bone if they slip and fall on a sidewalk, but a stuntman would spring to his feet unharmed. Two factors make the difference and teach an important lesson for business and life.

Surprise vs. Expectation
People injured by falls were often surprised by their fall. They didn't see it coming and their surprise contributed to their inadequate response.

Stuntmen are rarely surprised by a fall. Not only do they expect to fall, they plan for it, rehearse it, and even initiate it when the time comes.

Stopping the fall vs. Starting to land

The first reaction of most people injured by a fall is often a futile attempt to prevent it. If they slip on the stairs they turn back trying to grab the railing. This prevents them from preparing to land which, in turn, causes awkward landings and injuries.

Stuntmen, by contrast, don't try to stop their fall. They know the truth of the old joke, "It's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop." That's why the instant their fall begins, they shift their focus to landing properly. Though their fall often appears more dangerous, the result is safer.

Please try this at home
Businesses that don't expect to fall--those that expect the circumstance that gave rise to their industry to endure forever--never prepare to land. But history teaches that every business falls eventually. None are immune.

So, expect to fall. Actively look for the things that might trip you up. Watch for shifting environmental circumstances. And when you spot trends that may impact your business don't try to prevent them--you can't stop cultural shifts as immense as the digital revolution. Instead, immediately begin deciding how to land by exploring ways you can adapt. The courageous among you might even initiate the fall. If you do, then you'll be the first in your industry to land on your feet and best prepared for your next scene. Spread the fire. GS"

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Winners and Losers

I recently read a wonderful rule of thumb about how to pick winners and losers in business strategies.

This rule of thumb was for purposes of investing in companies. The basis of the idea is that technology is fundamentally changing the way businesses and consumers behave.

If the strategy is defensive - protecting your current business model - you will definitely lose.

If the strategy is to aggressively extend your business model and go after new activities enabled by new technology, you have a much higher chance of winning.

So the choices presented are a certainty of failure versus and possibility of success. Not really much choice.

Does this mean I shouldn't try to protect my current customer base by providing great service and better products. I think it means I should try this but with newer tools and communication methods.

I believe the great change technology is making is the way we all communicate with each other.

How do you think your company would be seen by investors based on this criteria?

Think you might want to consider some changes?