I’m changing my corporate Mission Statement.

I’m changing my corporate Mission Statement.

My Mission Statement was:

“Paul Colligan helps busy people leverage new media to get their message out to more people, with less effort, and for greater profit.”

It is now:

“Paul Colligan helps the busy leverage technology to be better people and to reach more with their message (often with less effort and for greater profit).”

Whereas the changes are probably obvious to many – a few thoughts:

It’s no longer just the Internet – it’s technology as a whole. At some point, our message gets even bigger than the Internet.

Better people – tech can make us better in business, parenting, friendship, etc. I want to explore that more.

My question for you … the parenthetical “often with less effort and for greater profit” – is that needed?

#ct http://www.facebook.com/pages/p/130920846476

Again With The Charlie Brown True Meaning Of Christmas Post

Mom, he’s doing it again … (but this time it’s the cool new iFrame embeds – not like last year).

Here’s the direct link to YouTube.

It’s a tradition here at PaulColligan.com to post this YouTube Video every year. Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

For those not into the whole Christmas thing, I hope you get a few minutes of peace as well.

Best iPad Case – A Case For A Cause

Best iPad CaseIf you’ve seen me at an event in the last few months, chances are good you mentioned my iPad Case. I told you an announcement was coming. Here it is.

I’m thrilled to announce CaseForACause.com. The first picture in this post will make sense in a minute.

When Joel came to me with the very iPad case he describes in the video below, I knew instantly we were on to something big. Now I have a bunch of boxes from Kyrgyzstan in my basement filled with artistry. “Small world” doesn’t even come close.

The iPad Case was hand made by artisans from the Tian-Shan mountains of central Asia and are hand-stitched by indigenous artisans. The iPad Case displays traditional Kyrgyz embroidery. All artisans are paid a fair wage to make each case, and the Issyk Kul Development Center is provided valuable funds to help their work of intervention, counseling, job training, and other programs to help these women gain hope and the possibility of a better future for themselves and their children.

What are some of these women facing? Try domestic abuse, human trafficking and forced prostitution. Every dime made from every iPad case sold goes right back to them.

The story of these iPad cases has everything I hold dear – entrepreneurship, beauty, tech, artistry, cause, intent, service, and gosh darn it, iPads …

So, first things first, I going to ask you right out to purchase a Case for Cause iPad Case. If you’re reading this, chances are good you have one.

Secondly, I’d love your help in promoting this. We’re not spending a dime on advertising so we need the social love to make these things happen. The Get Social page over at the site as all you need there.

Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving here in North America. Friday many of us will go out and buy a lot of plastic crap.

Thousands and thousands of iPad cases will be purchased as well.

Consider purchasing one of ours instead.

If you can’t see the embed above, visit the project’s YouTube Channel for the full story of these wonderful iPad cases.

It’s been said in the video and all over the site – but I do want to stress that I’m not making a penny from this project. All time is donated and EVERY PENNY taken in minus shipping costs (no handling, that’s me and my kids ;-)) goes right back to this magnificent cause.

The Global Paradox And Main Street Marketing Machines

One of the most important books for my business and professional career was/is The Global Paradox. Although written when the Internet was becoming a reality, very very little of it had to do with that specific tech. The book was all about the logical implications of where things are going.

And, it was as obvious to me back then as it is now: Things are changing and we better go where things are going.

What is the “Global Paradox?” … The Bigger the World Economy, the More Powerful It’s Smallest Players right down to the individual.

I can’t but help but think of YouTube, founded by 3 early PayPal employees and bought by Google for $1.65 BILLION. This isn’t just a story of three small players with a big payoff, it’s a story of EVERY MAJOR MEDIA DISTRIBUTION COMPANY having a plan (public or private and internal or external) to deal with PayPal.

I can’t but help think of Steve Jobs who made computers fun, phones not suck and the “netbook” pointless. His company is now worth more than Microsoft. One man’s vision is now part of EVERY CONVERSATION where tech, marketing, or packaging is involved.

I can’t but help think of Facebook … The world built the World Wide Web for about 15 years (as a massive project of awesome) and them suddenly, nobody makes a serious move on thing without first considering the impact of TWENTY SIX YEAR OLD’S Website that he built while at school.

I could go on and on with this list. Heck, I’m sure you could to. Actually, why don’t you put your favorites in the comments below?

And, finally, I write this from a hotel room in San Diego in the middle of the launch for Main Street Marketing Machines. Mike and the team have suggested, simply, that their tech is better than anything else for the marketing of Main Street businesses online and, gosh darn it, I believe that they’re right. The customers (most of them a single person) are launching businesses that not only have the Yellow Pages companies shaking in their boots but they’re also actually helping the Main Street Businesses get found online.

The Global Paradox is a reality. I’m thrilled to be part of it.

Note: I will keep this article up in my blog forever but I need to point out most of you who read this will read it after Main Street Marketing Machines closes for purchase. If it’s still up when you read this, consider it a warning. If it’s down … sorry to say, but I told you so.

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?

Losing Weight – Social Media Style

Like many of you, I’ve made a few new years resolutions.

But, unlike most of you (as well as myself in the past), I’ll keep mine.

Enter, dear friends, the power of losing weight – social media style.

It’s a three point plan:

Point 1 – Go In With A Clear (Proven) Strategy. I’m going Slow Carb ala Tim Ferriss and The Four Hour Body.

Tim Ferriss And Paul Colligan

It’s quite the book, quite the diet, quite the way of looking at life. Not only does the slow card diet make a lot of sense (and don’t worry, I’ve done some initial testing on myself already) but he writes of (when making changes) to making it conscious, a game, competitive, and small and effective. Here is my take on these four things:

Conscious – Everything I eat in this 7 week journey will be posted at this Posterous Blog called “What I’m Eating.

A Game – Here’s my game with you. Every time I forget to post a meal (or anything I eat), I’ll produce a YouTube video on the Internet Marketing topic of your choice. Any videos you’d like to see (again, they’ll only be made if I miss a posting)?

Competitive – Here’s where it gets personal for me. I’ve set up an account at StickK.com where I am tracking the intimate details with some dear friends who are keeping me accountable. I’ve pledged $50 for every week that I don’t meet my goals to be spent on the charity of choice as chosen by this group. Got a group you’d like to see get my money? Vote on it below? Of course, I have no intention of paying out a dime but competition keeps these things alive.

Small and effective – I’m going for 7 weeks this round. Why seven weeks? It’s a clear small goal. Also, at the end of these seven weeks is Brendon Burchard’s Expert’s Academy Event where I’ll be sharing the stage with some incredible people – including Brendon and Dr. Wayne Dyer. I want to look as good as I can and be as healthy as possible for the event. Motivation is never bad.

Point 2 – Have Clear Goals. 21 pounds. 3 pounds a week. Nuff said. WIthout clear goals, things don’t happen – weight loss or otherwise.

Point 3 – Track Everything (Socially If Possible). Although my StickK specifics are closed to the general public (and only accessible to a close inner circle of friends), the food photojournal is wide open and, of course, the choice of charity and topics for trainings if I miss anything is all yours.

I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that I’m a bit hesitant to hit the Publish button on this post but, once she’s out there, there is no going back. The pain of looking bad, producing a bunch of videos for free and paying out money to a charity I don’t really agree with should certainly focus me in a way I’ve never been before.

And social media is keeping me honest. Between the public declaration here on this blog, the food photoblog and the StickK account, there’s no going back.

How cool is that?

Thoughts?

Verizon iPhone Details

Like most good geeks this morning, I read the liveblogs regarding the Verizon announcements. At the top of the list was Engadget’s live reporting (they always do a killer job) and Techcrunch as they, like me are always interested in the business side of it all. Of course, if that’s the focus, I guess we should point all the Wall Street Journal piece as well.

Long and short of it all. iPhone launches February 10 for Verizon at pretty much the same pricing and features as the iPhone on AT&T has right now. Same phone as AT&T too, just a special antenna for their network.

I say pretty much because it’s got something very cool that AT&T doesn’t have, and something very silly that AT&T is glad she doesn’t have: On the upside of things, you’ve got a “personal hotspot” option that will let you make your Verizon iPhone into, yup, a personal hotspot. Very cool – Internet tethering on steroids. On the downside of the things, the Verizon iPhone uses CDMA technology which, among other things, means you can’t do data and voice at the same time.

Yup, do something with data, phone rings, data stops on the new device. How very AT&T of Verizon. Sure technically, it’s a limitation of CDMA technology but it just smacks of AT&T’s initial launch of the iPhone on the Edge Network.

The iPhone 5 is going to come out this year and Verizon is selling a phone that can’t do voice and data at the same time. Sure, insert the AT&T still hasn’t figured out how to do voice joke here but, let’s be honest, it’s not the coup we were looking for.

So, should an existing customer upgrade? TNW says no.

I’m curious what you think …

Firesheep And Protecting Your Wifi Connection – A Few Thoughts And Best Practices

You probably already knew that wireless network security isn’t perfect. If you travel anywhere and use wifi anyplace other than your own home network (with all of the proper security elements in place), you need to take a look at this Wikipedia Article on the topic.

What does this mean to the non geek? Enter Firesheep, a FREE Firefox plugin that will allow anyone on an open wifi network to do some damage to anyone else on the same network silly enough to be surfing without some form of protection. Does Firesheep do anything new? No, it just proves how stinking easy it is to do some real damage on an open wifi connection.

What do I do about the whole issue? I use WiTopia.net and their Personal VPN service. It’s just $40 a year and works on my laptop, iPad and iPhone.

A cheaper (free) option is Hotspot Shield. It’s a free (and reported Spyware/Adware free) program that works on both the Mac and PC. It’s provides a VPN without cost, but you do “pay” for it with a series of ads that they embed over your browser, etc. It could be worse, and you can’t beat the price – but the big issue is the face that it doesn’t provide an iPad, iPhone, or other portable device option.

Below is a video called “Firesheep And Wifi Security – What To Do And How To Protect Yourself” that I put together for eMarketing Vids. It puts pictures to the concepts. Click through if you can’t see the embed below.

What are you doing about Firesheep and/or Wifi security? I’d love your thoughts below.