Oman Bound

In a few days, I’m heading to the country of Oman on behalf of the U.S. Embassy and the State Department as part of their public diplomacy program. I’ll be doing a few workshops for audiences ranging from tech incubators to university students with topics as broad-reaching as “From Passion To Payday” to “Using Social Media To Build Relationships.” I also have a number of consulting sessions scheduled and hope to have some time to see the country. Should be an incredible trip.

From the research I’ve done, Oman looks like an amazing country. Their history is deep and rich and the people look to be as progressive thinking as anyone else I might have had the privilege to present in front of, or consult with. As excited as I am to explore this new region of the world (for me), I’m perhaps even more excited of what might come from this trip. Somehow, I don’t see this ending when I head home on the plane.

The Internet has made it possible for the entire world to be linked in ways that seem almost science fiction just a few years past. This planet of ours is now connected in ways we couldn’t have dreamed possible when we first started our businesses.

It would be crazy not to take advantage of this new reality.

If you have a few minutes, check your web, YouTube, or Podcast stats. Is there a country, or a batch of them, that you couldn’t locate on a world map today? Maybe you want to change that.

Wondering where your future customers or partners will be coming from?

Think globally. It’s kind of how this Internet thing works.

Oman, I can't wait to meet you. See you soon!

A photo posted by Paul Colligan (@paulcolligan) on

Cross Channel Social Media Marketing Book And Video Training For Less Than A Dollar


For a very limited time, my first Kindle Book, “Cross Channel Social Media Marketing,” is available on Amazon for 99 cents.

When you follow the directions in the book and send in your receipt, you get immediate access to the original presentation that inspired the book.

The book and the video – for less than a buck.

The funny thing is, the book is probably more important today than it was when it first came out. Pay special attention to the part about working in certain walled gardens.

Grab The Book Here.

Marketing To The Web Of Things – Time For A New Strategy

I’m going to guess about 30% of my audience is familiar with the concept of the “Web Of Things.” I link to the Wikipedia (also a thing) article here for those who need confirmation that I’m not making this up.

In short, the Internet is no longer about Web or Email, it is about a series of things – all Internet connected – that tell the complete story. It’s as much my iPad running email via Gmail IMAP as it is the ancient Nokia Cell Phone my Mom texts my 10 year old daughter on (who herself doesn’t have an account with ANY PHONE company – we’re doing this all through Google Voice). It’s as much apps as it is Twitter feeds on blogs. It’s as much YouTube on the TV Set as it is YouTube on my friend’s Android phone.

It’s Facebook via Web, via text, via email, via app, via Xbox, and via RSS feed that pours into my copy of Flipboard.

The Internet is everywhere and on everyTHING. Hence, … the Web Of Things.

What does all this mean to the marketer?

We have people who stopped reading email (for texts and Facebook updates). We have customers who would rather stick a fork on their eye than surf the Internet on their spyware infested Windows Vista Netbook. We have audiences who think content should be free – but have no problems paying a premium for their Apple Air Laptop. We have people who haven’t ordered checks in years with online bill pay and we have teenagers honestly surprised when a local store doesn’t take PayPal.

Did I mention gift cards for Farmville Money that you can buy at a 7-11?

Was going through the stats on my Father’s blog (he’s 72 and makes over a thousand dollars a month in adsense) and we found, in one month, 5 different Playstation 3s that were surfing his site. The favorite coffee table book at home is the print edition of Cake Wrecks, a popular Blog.

I could go on and on, but I won’t.

Today I want to share a few thoughts, and then ask for yours, on how we market to the Web Of Things. If the word marketing offends you, you probably aren’t reading this Blog anyway, but I’d say skip the rest of this just in case.

5 thoughts re marketing to the Web Of Things.

If your content only exists in one place, you won’t survive. You audience wants you content on their terms. If you don’t provide, they will leave you.

If your content relies on a single tech, you won’t survive. Just a YouTube strategy or a Web strategy or an any tech strategy is quickly making as much sense as a writing strategy where you don’t use certain letters of the alphabet.

If your content has ads that aren’t part of the content, most people won’t see them. It’s the natural evolution of things whether you like it or not.

If your revenue comes from advertising, people are going to stop paying you for ads nobody is looking at. It’s the next logical step.

If your revenue comes from your audience not having options, you need to get ready to say goodbye your audience. Because, friends, they’re quickly figuring out they have options – lots of options.

It’s the Web Of Things and you need to change your marketing accordingly.

Are you ready?

Strategy Or Jealousy? A Rant …

Fun fact #1. I used to tell people Apple was all about the art. Now I’m telling people she’s all about business. Leave your Apple Fan Boy comments below but read this first please …

Fun fact #2. Yeah, this is a big rant. If you aren’t into big rants, ignore.

First a quick history lesson. Apple creates this thing called an iPad that the pundits ALL say won’t work. I mean come on, no keyboard, no Flash, no chance.

Am I right?

How did that work out for you? P.s., yes, you haven’t even had yours for a year yet.

First thing people notice about the little tablet that was never gonna make it (it’s just a big iPhone without the phone people) – this might be kinda cool to run magazines on.

Wired, always up to the task, launches the Wired iPad App. Yeah, …, that’s right, … 12 months of the nobody had to kill any trees and nobody had to mail anything to anybody version of Wired is 12 times the price per year as is the dead tree version.

Brilliant.

How’s that working for you?

So then Murdock launches The Daily. Never before in the history of a media app has anything been launched so terribly lame. Sure, the content is as compelling as wet socks but it makes up for it by being slower than Congress for producing anything.

But, for some reason, we all are still deep into this idea that we want to subscribe to stuff on the iPad (remember, this is the same iPad that isn’t ever going to amount to anything).

Apple offers a model that is simple, fair, and, in true Apple form, different.

Simple: One click subscribe, right in the app.

Everyone in this space, whether they want to admit it or not, loses painful amounts of money in the transaction process. From shopping cart abandonment to “how many things to I have to click to get my product?” to merchant accounts and AVS and everything else they throw at us – sometimes I’m surprised there is anything left for me at the end of the game.

One click & Apple sends me a check for 70%. Sign me up.

Guys, this is why the App Economy is what it is.

This is the chance for content creators to get a piece of this.

Fair: This is perhaps one of the fairest arrangements I’ve ever read.

Right now, with the 26 cogs in my wheel, affiliates get 50%, merchant account gets about 5% when all is said and done. Overhead of merchant accounts and shopping carts and admin and chargebacks and fulfillment – another 11%.

Don’t get me wrong. I got a business where I get to keep 34%. I have friends who get 3% in their worlds.

Apple is gonna more than DOUBLE that and give me access to their audience.

70% – and I don’t have to deal with the credit card companies.

Paul likes, Paul takes.

Different: This is a plan that lets me do what I do best.

See, I’m a content creator. I’m a maker. The shopping carts, the merchant accounts, the affiliate programs, all these things are part of how I pay my bills – and I’m grateful for them – but if you tell me I don’t need ’em – no sweat off my brow.

Bubye!

Now, let’s get to the topic of this post. So, what’s the problem? Why did you call this “Strategy or Jealousy?”

Everybody and their mother seems to be complaining about this plan. The big issues they’re all hot over include the take, Apple insistence that they too are able to sell your stuff and the inability to grab your audiences contact info by default.

Take: Get over that part. So fair.

Apple’s ability to sell your stuff in their app: That’s kinda why you put your stuff in the App Store.

Apple won’t hand over your customer’s private info: Good for Apple. Two points here: 1) most of you want their info so you can SELL THEM STUFF. You’re already selling them stuff if they’ve paid to subscribe to your content. 2) If you can’t get an audience of people who are paying for your stuff to drop by your site and trade some information for content, … yeah, Apple is not your problem.

Nuff said.

So, the deal is fine, makes sense, is good for everyone – and is going to make me more money than anything I’ve ever done before.

There are only two reasons why someone would think this way.

Option #1. They haven’t thought it all the way through. If that’s the case, I hardly believe this Blog Post will change any minds but, …

Option #2. They’re jealous. Apple did what they couldn’t. They did it on their own terms and they didn’t listen to the experts. How could something like that possibly work? I mean, come on, all the great business successes followed the pattern of doing things the way they’ve always been done – and they listened to the bloggers, the Podcasters, the Twitterers, the digerati.

What am I missing here? Either way, it has nothing to do with strategy. Apple already did that for us.

It’s now about implementation.

What are you going to do?

Dead In 2010

I tweeted last week that “Acer Chairman says iPad impact not serious … then offers Easter Bunny job as Chief Strategy Director.” Apologies to the Easter Bunny in suggesting he’d take such a demotion but, … let’s face it, with the iPad, the Netbook is dead in 2010.

Today I sit in front of my new MacBook Air typing this in – and I realized something. She’s got no CD/DVD drive, no drives at all. The spinning disk is dead in 2010.

With announcements of “App Store” for Windows, Mac, Windows Phone 7 and more, I felt a bit sad as I put my iLife 11 DVD in my iMac (the Air came with it preloaded (w a USB Restore Key). I’ll never do that again. Shrinkwrap software distribution is dead in 2010.

This morning I sat on the exercise bike and chose from more shows than I could possibly want on my iPad through Hulu Plus and Netflix (delivered over ATT 3G none the less). I love the new show “The Good Guys” but couldn’t even tell you what night it is on (and I remain a TV junkie). Sure, I canceled Cable TV in 2007 but the family simply doesn’t miss it anymore. Yes, Comcast delivers the Webernet to my home but I got Clear and Verizon as options too. No, everybody doesn’t have as many choices, but we do have choices. The Cable Company as monopoly is dead in 2010.

Cali Lewis is at Revision3 and even Adam Curry has taken a “soft exit” from the company formally known as Podshow. Mevio, the company who first sold Podcasters of the dream of quitting the day job, is dead in 2010.

What else is dead in 2010?

What are you going to change in 2011 as a result?

iOS4 (iPhone OS 4) Thoughts

I have to admit the following – I spent the morning putting off the errands I needed to run because I knew the IOS update was coming. Yes, I’m that kinda geek. P.s., running errands with Pandora streaming in the background the whole time – priceless.

So, the new version of the iPhone OS is live. ARS has a great comprehensive review and RWW has a great piece on what runs on the different phones.

As fate would have it, I spent a great deal of time playing with this bad boy while in line at the AT&T store (on a billing matter). Kind of surreal, the whole process. Favorite moment was organizing my apps into folders while overhearing the AT&T sales dude explain that the new phones had “some folder thing in them.” … But I digress.

Here are the big deals for me.

Multitasking. Yes, I understand that this is only as good as the apps that support it, but even as a simple task switcher, this is really nice and elegant. As mentioned, running errands with Pandora streaming in the background is fun but the speed at which I now go back and forth between programs is awesome. And, there are a few more apps that I think make much more sense with this option. A world where Evernote, Simplenote and Skype are all there for me and are all running is an awesome world indeed. If/when 1Password is running, boooyaaahhh!

Folders. I have lots of apps. If you’ve read things this far, you do too. It’s nice to have them in folders that make sense. Minor in the functionality sense but pretty major for me in focus and organization.

Mail. Running a few different accounts through the same interface is extremely powerful. I probably will be redoing my mail strategy based on what I have now at my fingertips. Of course, it really becomes cool when my iPad is at IOS4, but that’s another post all together.

GPS in Multitasking. I don’t use GPS much on the iPhone because the single tasking stuff was just plain annoying. Folks would always call at the key times I needed to make the right turn at the right place. I can’t tell you that this changes much as I don’t know for sure, but I see that phone give me directions a lot more now …

Do you have it yet? What do you think?

Rent Your Content Via YouTube

I’ve been warning/writing/saying that this was coming for a long time now. Looks like things are getting even closer. In a recent Media Post article, we learn that Hunter Walk (head of product management at YouTube) is now speaking publicly of a “self-service method that will give moviemakers the ability to upload and provide their streaming content for rent” on our favorite video hosting service.

Now, we know video renting is live at YouTube.

We know YouTube on the Phone and on the TV both have the ability to enter in your account information.

Renting across all three screens is coming people, trust me …

What should you do about it? Well, the information marketers and content producers of this audience should consider what it would/could mean to have their content on the worlds biggest Internet Video Distribution platform for computer, television and telephone for rent.

And those without content might want to consider producing some.

Shameless self promotion: Thank goodness YouTube Secret Weapon 2.0 is so near launch it isn’t even funny. If you want to get on the early bird list, fill out the form over at the site.

Weekend Roundup: Returns And Launches Edition

Old favorites are coming back (in some new ways) this weekend:

Speaking of the weekend, have a great one!

Amazing Video Makes Important Point

Mike Koenigs just launched the final video for his Mainstreet Marketing Machines campaign (yes, that was an affiliate link, if you’d like to visit without my cookie, click here). Watch it.

40% of the top ten in Google in 48 hours.

Yes, you can do this without Mike’s program. It’s a training system / business in a box over there but what I want to examine today is the reality of what this video MEANS.

I had dinner a few days back with a friend who was telling me how much money his company had spent on SEO.

Imagine what he could have done with a well placed video or two.

Mike’s teaching others how to place a video or two online so that their customers will pay them some of that consulting money.

All for a well placed video or two.

Think about this – it isn’t hard – a page of results and one of them is a video. Which one would you (do you) click on?

What could your company do with a well placed video or two?

What could you do with a well placed video or two?

When will you place this videos? What is stopping you?

You saw the results Mike got. When will you see the same for yourself?

Weekend Roundup: New Ways To Think About Internet Marketing Edition

Are you noticing the trend of more “realistic” views on the whole Internet Marketing thing?

yeah, realism, it’s the “new black.”