Robert Scoble is an A List speaker in the tech community. Despite plenty of experience I am closer to X or Y in the alphabet. One awkward subject with any speaking gig is arranging payment for expenses. Most of us have a job. We work. Work takes time. So time spent traveling (the majority) and speaking (the minority of the time on any given trip) is time spent away from billable work. Asking if money is available to fund the trip is the right thing to do. So this post is unfortunate.
I also like Robert’s shout-out to Ayn Rand (he doesn’t say that, my interp) from Scoble’s post:
It’s my responsibility to make PodTech make a profit. IT IS MY
RESPONSIBILITY TO PUT AS FEW RESOURCE CONSTRAINTS ON MY BUSINESS AS
POSSIBLE. And, yes, if there is money available to cover my expenses it
IS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO ASK FOR THEM!
Now, as someone running a business I would likely encourage Robert to be even more direct. The goal of business is "to make a profit." Not control expenses, although that is part of making a profit.
Profit enables you to hire PEOPLE. People are the force that does good. People need to eat. Therefore you should pay them. Therefore you must make a profit, hire good people, let good people make a positive impact on society.
The Summary of the US Internet Search Market (pg 18) states:
… Accelerating Migration of Media Content (including video) to the Web, Local and Mobile Initiatives, Rollout of Yahoo!’s Project Panama and the Initial Traction from Microsoft’s AdCenter Could Drive Growth Re-acceleration in 2007
I am not sure "Re-acceleration" is a word. And I added the emphasis. And they qualify it with "could". Yet I believe what they are saying. Our little company is up significantly again in 2006 and the year isn’t over yet!
The report is full of noted gaps as shown in the graph top right of this post. And the stated gap between revenue from classifieds off line and online.
Running a primarily web based biz I spend a lot of time reading and studying economics. Not the formula laden macroeconomics studies, but the real world version. How do we help our clients make a profit while we also make a profit to pay our people more. That version. So I find the copybot threat to product sales in Second Life very interesting. (SL is a virtual world where people interact).
… Somebody in SecondLife, a popular multiplayer virtual world, created a
gadget called the CopyBot, which can make a perfect copy of any object
in the SecondLife world. (Here’s a Reuters story.) This raises some interesting technical issues, but I want to focus today on how it effects SecondLife’s economy.
Raph’s conclusion is that infinite copying should be accepted as part
of the online world and products can’t be businesses, only services.
and from the reuters story, Revolution (who offered copies of copybot for sale) suggests this economic revision to your business plan
“Even if I pull this program, plenty of other people out there have it
or have the knowledge to create something bigger and better,“
Revolution added. “My advice is to offer the whole package when you
sell something. Don’t just offer a couch, but a couch that has several
custom poses “¦ work one-on-one with people to create unique things, and
offer customizationservices instead of throwing up some prims for sale
and forgetting about it.“
Not sure where this is all going, but it will be interesting to watch. And now I will go back to selling services. (note – I emphasized the word "services" in both quotes).
Several years ago many folks, including me, were consistently encouraging people to "join the conversation". People were using different words, I personally still like to talk about the importance of distributed authoring.
Yet from all of my public speaking lately for PRSA and IABC chapters in Florida, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and most recently Arizona, I find myself recommending more and more to recruit.
The field is so new and training to understand the social norms of the Internet takes time. Like learning a professional sport except the pay isn’t the same. Learning is important, but I firmly believe it does not obviate the need to recruit. Find the good ones in college and get them on board. Or study like crazy.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) – Never mind that he has played
golf only twice in his life. Next week the Russian flight engineer
aboard the International Space Station will hit a drive that even Tiger
Woods couldn’t match.
Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin plans to begin a
spacewalk set for Wednesday evening by knocking a lightweight golf ball
off a tee placed on the top of the Russian docking port.
…Club maker Element 21 Golf Co. of Toronto is paying the Russians an
undisclosed amount for Tyurin’s time, which included plenty of practice
swings aboard the space station.
I should also mention that I am quoted in the Internet Public Relations chapter of the book. So consider this a plug. <grin> Upon arrival I had a few moments of running around the office saying "yea, I made it into an index!" And then I remembered that scene from the jerk. So I stopped.
I’ll be diving in to my copy and follow up. Thanks for another contribution to the public relations industry Mr. Saffir!
Second Life is a virtual world where you become an avatar of your choosing and virtually/physically interact. While it looks like tremendous fun, I have been quite busy with first life and have yet to sign up for SL.
The fact that companies like Electric Sheep are making a living building virtual islands and virtual buildings for major brands makes this noteworthy. It does have a certain bubble feel.
It should be noted that mainstream media reporters are not excited about having to login to a virtual world to view your product announcement.
The photo is from RubyJ and shows very real topics being discussed. That is cool.
Texas Tech and Alabama have both lost all understanding of marketing fundamentals. Based on this lack of knowledge they are charging forward wasting millions of Alumni dollars. So in order I’ll cover the bone-headed-ness and then why it is bone headed.
Mr. Moore’s paintings, reproduced in prints and on merchandise,
violated the university’s trademark rights, the suit said. It asked a
federal judge to forbid him to, among other things, use the
university’s “famous crimson and white color scheme.“
Texas Tech on the other hand is suing a bookstore for selling T-shirts about Texas Tech with words like "Raider Land" and such. From the press release:
“We regret having to make the choice to file a lawsuit against Red
Raider Outfitters. Texas Tech never wants to find itself in the
position of suing a local business owner. In this case, however, we
believe Red Raider Outfitters forced us to take actions to protect our
marks. Raider Red, Wreck “˜em Tech, Raiderland and many other symbols
and phrases are important parts of the spirit and image of Texas Tech.
We took this action not only to protect our trademark but also to
protect licensed vendors who properly pay royalty fees to produce Texas
Tech merchandise,“ said Craig Wells, Texas Tech Senior Associate AD.
They are also prevented from using the trademarked "Texas Tech’s well known scarlet-and-black color scheme"
Yesterday while travelling my blackberry clicked in with news of Rumsfeld’s resignation. Then of the nomination of Robert Gates. Then a creative commons request by NowPublic to use a photo I took of Dr. Gates three weeks ago while at the Aggie 100 awards in College Station.
These are of course very serious matters. And the Internet is a very funny place. A photo that was just a photo, because it was posted with a creative commons license and tagged, turned into a PR opportunity. Both for this flickr stream and hopefully also our company (www.schipul.com which pays the bills).
ACCORDING to an advocacy group, Target
declined last year to make its Web site fully accessible to blind
people with specialized screen-reading technology last year. If true “”
and Target has denied the accusation in court “” it was a public
relations blunder, and it may have been illegal as well.
Maybe now Target’s CEO will ask the lawyers to stop being the voice of the company? Just a bad public relations idea.
And on that note I did see a full page "we do good stuff corporate ad" from Target in the Houston Chronicle this weekend. So it sounds like they timed it to hit along with the piece in the NYT.
Again – Target needs to do this, make their web site accessible, because it is the right thing to do. Please tell the lawyers to stop. And get a new PR agency. Or listen to the one you have. Arrrrgh.
What will happen next? Someone will point out that CNN is barely accessible. Snark.
After Ms. Thompson created a MySpace page two years
ago, she found herself sifting through dozens of requests daily from
would-be acquaintances seeking to link to her page. By early this year,
she’d amassed 4,000 such "friends," most of them strangers. Many
flooded her page with remarks like "omg" — shorthand for "oh my god"
— "you’re so beautiful." By June, Ms. Thompson, who resides in New
London, Conn., was sick of the comments and posted a farewell ode
before deleting her page:
"good bye myspace.I’ve always hated you.I just never had what it took to leave"
Ms. Thompson belongs to a fringe of Internet users now
renouncing MySpace and other social-networking sites — not in spite of
their popularity, but because of it.
And it backs it up with some data like a good newspaper should
Both MySpace and Facebook lost visitors in September, according to
Nielsen/NetRatings, a Web-tracking service. The number of unique U.S.
visitors at MySpace fell 4% to 47.2 million from 49.2 million in
August, and the number of visitors to Facebook fell 12% to 7.8 million
from 8.9 million.
Perhaps most predictably for social software sites with an invite/reply method, the article also notes the emergence of spam. Spammers affect software design. More specifically they kill open systems so the designer must focus on defending the user.