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.

Boxee.TV – 7 Things I’d Change

I am a HUGE fan of Boxee.TV right now. It has changed the face of my home entertainment center and my strategy for 2009 in some pretty major ways, but that isn’t what I want to talk about here.

As I mentioned in the last Blog post, I bought a new MacBook Pro yesterday (and not for the reasons Mike suggested). I’m finding more and more that the Apple angle on life, etc., is more to who I am and that, really, Windows is just another program for me to run on my Mac.

But that, funny enough, isn’t the topic of this post either.

At my home entertainment center, you’ll see an Apple TV. I’ve loved her for a long time and have done everything I can through that device. I’ve loved her through Hulu and Netflix online despite, well, you know.

Then along came Boxee. She’s installed on my Apple TV.

My Apple TV just hit puberty – I always saw her potential, she’s just now showing it to me.

One sub $200 box gives me television, movies, pay per view, streaming, music, Internet Radio, etc. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am.

But, Boxee.TV ain’t perfect (she’s closer than anything else I’ve seen). Here, not that you asked, is what I’d change:

  • I’d put together a master database of all shows, Podcasts, etc. in one space so you don’t have to know that “The Unit” is under CBS while “24” is a Hulu property (let alone, where in the heck to find Ask A Ninja). If we’re really going to “kill” the networks, let’s KILL ‘EM.
  • I’d have some option between “your friends know nothing about what you watch” and “you friends know EVERYTHING you watch.” Some people don’t want the world knowing about their Hannah Montana addiction.
  • Add a very simple “across the room” email and RSS experience to the program. A simple ticker of your latest email at the bottom of the screen while you’re watching a show could be really fun too.
  • Let us change the background image (I know they’re working on that).
  • Let users “subscribe” to individuals and find out not just the last 6 things that all your friends did – but their entire history as well. Suggest some thoughts leaders in different spaces too.
  • Let content producers produce “channel” options on Boxee. For example, I decide I’m a big fan of Ask A Ninja, I click a button and now the “Ask A Ninja Channel” is there right next to the other Internet video options.
  • Produce a $99 box that runs Boxee.

Played with Boxee yet? Your thoughts?

2 Weeks Of My New Media Inner Circle For FREE! – Help Me Test The Membersite Software

Update (10/9/2008) – The Coupon Is Now Only Good For 7 Days And Is The Regular 2008 Pricing After That. I have to stay true to my word.

Updated: I have to close this offer on October 8.

Note: If you just want to offer, skip to the bottom of this post.

Of the different products and resources I produce, my favorite by far is my “New Media Inner Circle.” The best and most honest way to describe it is simply this: it’s a direct feed into everything I’m doing and a glimpse of how it all fits together. New Media Inner Circle (of which we’ll call the NMIC from this point on) members get private membersite access and a premium RSS feed to EVERYTHING I produce, be it a paid teleseminar for another marketer or the product/series I’m putting together at any given time. I also throw in monthly office hours and special NMIC only recordings to makes sure the “full story” is told.

It’s full access to everything I’m doing and, many times, it’s actually cheaper than some of the other options out there.

Note: To be fair to partners, there are times when access to the NMIC is closed. For instance, in the months leading up to Podcast Secrets 2009, nobody new gets in.

Thank goodness, the next 3 weeks is not one of those times.

So, here’s the rub: We’ve added some cool new features to Premiumcast.com (and the private membersite engine) that I’d like to give a real good test to. I’m giving away 2 weeks to the NMIC during a very crucial time (check out the schedule for the new two weeks). You can get full access to the my YouTube Training and the first week of the very cool Membersite Magic program – ALL FOR FREE.

All I ask is for you to tell me what you think about the membersite system and how we can make it better.

Fair?

The Offer: If you visit the purchase page for the New Media Inner Circle and use the coupon code “membersitemagicfree“, you get a 14 day free trial of the New Media Inner Circle. If you act early enough this will get you both access to the exclusive YouTube “Secret Weapon” training and the first week of Membersite Magic listed above. You can cancel anytime during the 14 days (either via PayPal or in the private member site directly) without paying a thing and enjoy this content. All I ask is for your comments on how the system all fits together.

One more thing … OFFER CLOSES 10/8/2008.

And, yes, you’re right, the monthly coupon cost is less than the monthly cost at the site. That monthly coupon cost is good for as long as you stay a member.

Purchase the NMIC Membership here.

Use coupon code “membersitemagicfree

Leave your comments / questions below:

Using Feedburner’s Tools With Your Domain (Freedburner MyBrand)

Just a quick tip.

We all love Feedburner and can’t get enough of what they have to offer but … I never like putting too much power into the hands of one other company.

Awhile ago Feedburner instituted a program called “MyBrand” that would let you use their service with your domain. Perfect win/win and it kept everyone honest. Was well worth the price too.

Well, since Google purchased Feedburner, the MyBrand feature has been free.

Most don’t use it – because I’m going to guess that they don’t know how to set it up.

This video should solve that.

(click the Full Screen icon on the embedded video to get high-quality full screen video of this)

So, yes http://feeds.feedburner.com/ThePaulColliganBlog is the same thing as http://feeds.podcastpartnership.net/ThePaulColliganBlog

BTW, if you’re not the embedded video type and need to click through, feel free to view the video at YouTube, MySpace, Metacafe, DailyMotion, Blip.tv, Veoh, Crackle, Stupid Videos, Sclipo, Howcast or 5min.

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I Got A New Ringtone For My iPhone

A quick post before I get online for Module 4 of Podcast Secrets.

Got an iPhone? Check out RingtoneFeeder.com.

You know of my fondness for Geoff Smith. You know how much I love ecommerce by RSS.

This combines them both.

$2 a month to have fun little ringtones on my iPhone. I’m in … I’ve subscribed.

Fun thing on the math behind something like this – a year subscription will make them more than a CD sold through iTunes would.

And yes, they use a system different than Premiumcast.com to do it.

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Who In This List Of Thought Leaders Do You Want To Hear Most And Why? Win Free Access To The Social Media Telesummit!

This started as a Tweet, but I decided to kick it up a notch.

I’ve written a few times about The Social Media Telesummit. I’ve already written that the model is killer but, I can’t stress enough the smart people associated with this group.

I want to know who in The Social Media Telesummit that you would want to hear the most and why. Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

I’ll pick one posting at random and buy them “A” level access to the event.

P.s. Entries that pretend I’m the one they’re looking forward to the most will be disqualified.

Let the comments begin …

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So Paul, What Is This PremiumCast.com Thing You Keep Talking About? What Can It Do For Me?

Now that PremiumCast.com is all systems go, and completely live, I thought I’d say a few words about what we’re trying to accomplish here. I think you’ll like it.

The paradigm for Podcasting is one feed for many.

I dare say we can do better than that.

What if we had a way to automate things so that we could produce one feed per listener?

When we can produce a unique feed for each of our listeners, imagine what else we can do:

  • Really track our listeners. Do they come back after a few episodes, or do they just get bored and leave?
  • Use the Podcast channel as a really intimate communication mechanism. Send personal messages down the same channel you send your show content.
  • Watch download patterns. If you audience tends to only turn on their Podcatchers every Monday, does a twice weekly show really make sense?
  • Let the audience start the series when they want to. Ever joined a Podcast halfway through the series? What about the audiobooks out there? We can now let our audiences start with episode 1, no matter when they sign up.
  • Tie Podcast content into a private member site or other closed programs. Why communicate by email when you can use this spamless channel?
  • Connect a Podcast Feed with an email address. Many of our audiences are far less technical than us and a simple email note reminding them to check their iTunes could be a really good idea.
  • Sell our content. When the individual stops paying, turn off, or change, that individual’s channel.

It’s all there, it’s online, it’s running great.

And by the way, this isn’t the limit to what you can do. This is just a batch of ideas that have gone through this office as we’ve built this thing.

The change from one to many to one to one is what’s important here. We aren’t the only ones doing it – but I dare say we’ve made it easier and more accessible that anyone else has.

We also have things set up so that EVERYTHING can happen on your site. We work both behind the scenes (as you can see at PodcastToolsDirect.com) or have a complete API for those who need it. It is a true web service.

Three levels – Free, Pro and Viral.

Free follows the whole Freemium model of a fully functional but limited account that directs people back to PremiumCast to subscribe, etc. Go ahead, sign up, and get your feet wet.

Pro lets you do everything above but doesn’t require you send them to PremiumCast for anything. It also has a COMPLETE toolset for selling your content with PayPal.

Viral lets you run your own little affiliate program for your content. Who can rep your content for you? How about anyone with an account at PremiumCast.com (including the Free accounts).

We’ve got a great little affiliate program too. 30% – monthly.

If you have other questions, post them below, or at the PremiumCast.com forum.

By the way, Dave Jackson over at the School of Podcasting did an interview with me (#94) on PremiumCast.com and, well, let me put it this way, I’m not the only one exited about this. Dave and another high-level Podcaster have already left testimonials for PremiumCast.com here.

I would love your thoughts and comments.

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A Little Contest Over At PremiumCast.com

Well, PremiumCast.com is now officially “live.” It is a soft launch at the moment but everything works really well. Three very respectable Podcasters have put this thing to the test – you can read two of their testimonials here.

We’re having a little contest as I build out the training center. We’ll help someone take their Podcast Premium Live at a Webcast. The details of the contest are here at the forum.

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Feedburner’s TotalStats and YourBrand Are Now Free! A Few Thoughts …

I’m sure I’ll get certain fruit flavored comments about the nature of this being proof that Google wants to own my first born but I this point, I’m thrilled that Google/Feedburner (Feedoogle?) has made their TotalStats and YourBrand product free for all. You can follow all of the hubbub and whatnot over at Techmeme if you so desire.

Bottom line for me is that it’s nearly $50 a month that I get back. No complaints there.

Bottom line for the Podcaster is that these services should no longer be debated. The more stats the better and, gosh darn it, owning the domain name of your feed is always a good thing.

We hit the topic lightly over at PodcastTools.com if you are interested. As always, we offer the ad and fluffless version of the show over at PodcastToolsDirect.com.

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