Weekend Roundup: Done With The Experiment Edition

So I’m done with the 30 day part of the iPad Experiment. Next week a video review (or 2) and a special gift for anyone who owns an iPad. Things worth looking at this weekend:

I, along with a few million others, will be playing with their iPads this weekend. This is so much more than a 30 day adventure.

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: 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.”

Weekend Roundup: What Happened To Monday?

Yes, missed blog and Podcasts this week. Too into the Operation iPad Project. Back to normal next week, but here are some links to keep you warm and informed:

  • Songs Of Love is a great organization that puts some new media creators in a position of great service. Read what Geoff Smith is doing with them.
  • Jim Louderback wrote a piece called I support Web TV and I vote that is a must read.
  • Podcast Secret’s Student and cool guy Fred Castaneda has an episode of (one of his) most excellent podcasts about the iPad as a business tool.

Have a great weekend. My youngest turns 7 this weekend.

Tech Scales And You Don’t

I know it’s pretty and fancy and sexy and very Web 2.0 to make your self available to anyone at any time and any place in the spirit of the whole thing.

Problem … it don’t scale. It never did. It never will. Don’t do this to your business. Don’t do this to yourself.

It’s a great idea – but great ideas that don’t scale aren’t really worth that much. The best of intentions implausible do more damage than good.

They’re actually kinda of dangerous.

Insert Congress passing the Health Care Bill joke here.

I’ve shuddered at gurus who proudly announce to the world that they’re 100% approachable.

It doesn’t scale.

You just can’t return all those emails, Tweets, Blog comments, DMs, phone calls, etc.

I applaud the recent Blog posting by Chris Brogan for admitting this fact. Read it, accept it, and applaud it. I actually respect Chris now more than I ever did.

Here’s what I want to suggest. I know it sounds great to be everything to everyone on account of our iPhones but … here’s the approach we all should embrace:

Let’s use tech to be considerably more approachable than ever. Let’s do what we can but … let’s be realistic and speak of that realism.

Sound fair?

By the way, I’m betting my career on the idea that they’ll respect you for it more than they ever did when you made those promises you simply couldn’t keep.

And I’m betting that Chris just extended his career considerably by doing the right thing too.

What say you?

What I Learned From The Traffic Geyser Event

I’m at the airport about to head home from the Traffic Geyser event. Mike and Rocket put on an amazing show and it was a thrill to both be part of it, and to be a part of the audience. I took home as many notes as I did leads.

The “big” lesson was simple. There is still so much room in this space for people to do amazingly well. When we watched the fireman who closed the deal on a Flip Camera and a white wall (and possibly, the worst sound ever), we all realized that there is plenty of room for all of us.

Plenty of profitable room.

And as smart as it was to have been part of the audience, I want to extend the invitation to you as well.

The commercial Internet is still a kid, barely a teenager. You can be part of her future.

Find a market that can be served online.

Reach that market online through whatever medium they wish to be reached by.

Serve that market online.

Repeat.

Have a great week.

8 Years Free – Here’s What’s Next

It’s a very special day for me: 8 years ago today was the last thing I’ll ever have that will resemble a day job. The Internet has been veryverygoodtome and it’s time for me to give back.

Note: This is a work and concept in process. I’ll be editing this a LOT based on what I hear back from you. As you’ll see, we’ve got a site dedicated to the conversation, but please read nothing definitive into what I write today (other than the fact that I LOVE this concept and will be pouring a lot of time and effort into it). Also, please don’t – I DON’T WANT YOUR MONEY on this project.

Problem: The very nature of the Internet is that anyone, anyplace, anytime, anywhere can produce and publish content. I embrace (and love) this reality but it results with this simple fact: The lack of standards and content spam is preventing the growth we were hoping for.

Solution: The Internet has allowed us to publish whatever we want. Let’s use that same Internet to publish open media standards that will take us to the next level.

Paul’s Answer: I’ve started something called The Open Media Standards Foundation. Before you read another word, 2 things: A) I DON’T WANT YOUR MONEY FOR THIS and B) I HAVE NO DESIRE TO “GO AGAINST” OR “UNDO” THE WORK ANYONE ELSE HAS DONE AT THIS POINT.

It starts with what I call the Content Principles Document. It’s a simple list (and simple is the key here, help me keep this simple) of principles that content creators embrace. This will, in theory, grow an audience that can consume our content with considerably more trust than the content they currently consume online.

To be truthful, there is alot more here (and, again, I don’t want your money), but this Content Principles Document is the first step.

So, here’s what I’m asking for … can you visit the current revision of the document, give it a good read, and make a comment on how we can make it better?

I think the industry can and will be in a much better place if we do it right. Here’s to doing it right.

If this site has helped you at all, could you help this industry by making a comment?

Please comment at the OMSF site – not here.

Five Essential Elements To Every Online Strategy

Online is “different” in a Web 2.0 world. A few years ago, we’d speak of necessities in terms of technologies and tools.

It’s time to kill that approach. It’s now all about these elements – the tech simply doesn’t matter.

I’m going to suggest that everyone looking to market and publish online needs stop thinking about WordPress and Facebook and YouTube and Podcasting and the like – but think FIRST about these 5 elements and how they can use whatever technology they want to make sure they’ve leveraged these issues. It’s a subtle difference but can have a powerful impact on your place in this space:

Syndication. The Internet is now received on your audience’s terms. This is powered by syndication. Yes, RSS is part of this, but it is by no means the only (or most important) tech behind this element. I’d drop RSS in a minute for the syndicated social stream made possible by Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

I can hear the geeks screaming now (I hear them because I am one), “but RSS powers all that stuff.” First of all, it doesn’t anymore and secondly, it doesn’t “matter” at all. It ain’t RSS that lets my audience watch my latest YouTube Video on their way home from work (after being notified that it’s live) and I’d bet you 90% of my audience who reads via RSS doesn’t even know that she’s the tech behind the scenes.

In short, 1) If EVERYTHING YOU PRODUCE ain’t syndicated, you are wasting your time. 2) If you think it’s about RSS, you’ve missed the point.

Interactivity. You must allow your audience to interact with your content much the same way that television must broadcast in color. It is simply expected and you basically look silly if you don’t provide it. There are tools that make it more robust and there are dozens of strategies on what to do with the interactivity but you must have it, period.

By the way, please comment below on what you think of this idea.

Microbursting. As I type this Blog post, I have to face two simple facts. The first one is that some of my audience will never read this blog by default (regardless of bookmarking or syndication). They need a reason to do so. These are people who make decisions based on the microburst. Microbursts (today) include Twitter, Facebook updates, status alerts, etc. But, and make sure you get this, whereas the tech might change tomorrow, the need to microburst ain’t going away. You need a microburst strategy more than you need a Twitter client.

When I publish this post, I will microburst everywhere that makes sense that this article is live, and I’ll see as many readers from the microburst as from anything else. This is, of course, automated – but that is another Blog post all together.

Multimedia. The second fact I must face is that the written word of a Blog like this only hits a certain segment of my audience. Like some respond to the microburst, some respond to audio and visual media. This isn’t me reading this Blog post into a slideshow and posting at YouTube, this is me asking myself how I can reach and audience best reached through audio and video (text ain’t enough).

Destination Strategies. You gotta go where people are. As cool as it is to think that everyone wants to visit our Websites and Blogs on a regular basis, we need to identify where they are and be there too. As I write this, a destination strategy demands a Facebook Fan Page and a YouTube User Page (even if you have no videos) but this could change at any point. In short, know where your audience is, and be there too.

One of the most freeing effects of this approach is that it moves content producers from having to master a tech to having to master communicating with their audience. Imagine how much better things will get for all of us once we’ve all made that move.

Podcast Advertising Appeals to “Unreachable” Consumers? Can We Sell Ourselves Any Shorter?

Last week, the ADM (my favorite association for our space) teamed with Edison Research (the smartest market research firm in the world) to produce a Webinar called “Consumer Attitudes On Podcast Advertising.” The recording of the whole event has been placed at their site – I highly recommend a viewing.

With a title like “Consumer Attitudes On Podcast Advertising” and a firm like Edison who actually does research, as opposed to prove points for money, you can imagine the content presented. It was dead on, and from what I remember from statistics class, very viable in the polling methodology.

So, I’ll say it again (despite what the comments below will state), this is the best research to date on Podcast Advertising. By Podcast Advertising we mean ads inside of free publically available Podcasts. The research was solid there, and the prospects were good for that option.

Again, fans of the ADM and Edison and what they’re doing.

But … (you knew this was coming).

I still think strong that we’re selling ourselves short – way short.

The power of “New Media” is not that we’re a faster, cheaper “Old Media” with swear words. If the only difference between “us” and “them” is that we don’t have to get a broadcast license, and our biggest battle is in proving to the world that “we matter too” when it comes to CPM ad inserts, … I want out.

Again, not trying to criticize the work done here, but trying to encourage focusing on the things that matter:

I truly believe that if our space spent half the energy it currently spends on proving legitimacy (and complaining about the lack of advertisers) on exploring and trying alternative (do I dare say “new”) profit models, we’d see ten times the growth (and a lot more smiles at our industry events).

My goal here is a simple one: I’d like to suggest that we spend additional time (and equal effort) examining the options that have a considerably higher success rate so far as legitimate standards and part of the “dialogue.” The day the ADM Sponsors a study on “Non-Traditional Revenue Trends In Downloadable Media” and the New Media Expo offers a “Death Of The CPM – Alternative RevGen Models In New Media” track is the day thousands of Podcasters quit their day job.

Another report or blog post on how listeners don’t like pre-rolls just ain’t gonna cut it.

Let me respond to the first couple of comments before they even get entered below:

Yes, folks like Leo Laporte will be able to use slides from this presentation to bump up their CPMs. God bless ’em as they do. Remember that not only does Leo collect way more in sponsorship money than most, he also collects way more in audience donations than most Podcasters will ever make (even after this report is released). He also partners with others for free bandwidth (it’s the fully disclosed affiliate model people), has invested a ton of cash in his studio (I don’t hear him having debates about the “best USB microphone under $100″), and has a full staff behind him. He’s playing all the angles and I respect him for it. Please remember, this is the model Leo loves and Leo has been able to make profitable. It doesn’t make it gospel.

For the bit about “opportunists” are the ones looking to revenue from the premium model (it’s in the recording), I’d suggest you do a search on what people thought about “paying for television” in the 70s – and then make a list of ten friends who don’t have cable tv today.

For the “I don’t want to sell out” crowd, I ask how an ad for something (and remember, the study told us ones read by the host are best) is any less of a sell out than an merchandise line, premium option or affiliate play. Disclose away and enjoy the benefits of an audience that actually like you.

For the people don’t pay for content world, I beg you to explain HBO to me.

I guess, in short, I’d like to suggest that we got options people … why won’t we take them (let alone talk about them)?

Flame away …

Is RSS Dead?

After listening to (o.k., watching), the fabulous TWiT #228 on my Roku over the break, I’ve decided to test a few things here at Colligan.com. There was some discussion about the relevancy of RSS and content subscriptions, etc. that I need to look into.

You’ll need to bear with me for the next few weeks and help me in this test. I’ll need you to click through to read the rest (please do if you’re interested in this topic).