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Whatever Happened To The Internet As A Destination?

Today I have been hanging out on Google+, Twitter, FaceBook and a few other Social Networks. All this hanging was bothersome, why?

It got me to thinking back when the Internet was new, there was very few places that dominated your time on the Internet, at least not since AOL. Today we are sucked into big sites like FaceBook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and so on. Think about how uch time you spend there, think about what you did before these sites came to be.

Can you even remember what the first thing you did back before these Social Networks? I used to spend a lot of time using Gopher, remember that one?

Today we are immediately, automatically taken to FaceBook or Twitter, we don’t even flinch or think twice about it. It’s like the Internet has lost it’s glitter and has taken a back seat to Social Networks.

The Internet has far more to offer than just Social Media Networks, it does doesn’t it? I hope so, if not, we will wonder aimlessly through the desert once again.

So whatever happened to the Internet as a destination?

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The Future Of Business – What Could The Hardcore Hockey Fan Tell You?

Abbotsford Heat

I know the question is odd when talking about the future of business, but I ask you to play along. Let’s see where I take you : )

If you were hired by your local hockey team (In my case, the Abbotsford Heat) to market the club in the digital realm, what might be there first question out of your mouth? No it’s not how much do I make. If the resources were in place, funding and say personnel, what would you ask?

Lets consider that all the questions are not dumb questions, no matter how obvious they might be, what would you ask?

I would most likely ask what the current cost is for customer acquisition, there is a cost with online marketing, so what is it?

Knowing that number would tell you at least two things, what they have been doing and, what they aren’t doing, that is provided you understand some simple marketing metrics and the overall understanding of what the strategy be.

You might even ask where the marketing dollars have been spent, like Google Ad Words and so on. Make a list. But there are two more important issues or questions I would be asking. Because frankly, I don’t care where the money is spent unless I know the answer to one primary question, and if I don’t get that answer, we are going to get it through some due diligence.

My first question is more about what the hardcore hockey fan wants, do the fans want free tickets to games, food or beer, or would they want dedicated, intimate free time with their favorite Player / Coach/ or even Executive?

It’s an Access over Ownership question, if we don’t know the answer, we better find out, and fast, because everything else that follows will be based on that data. I’m certain the average fan will pay the ticket price, but how much would they pay to have one-on-one time with their favorite hockey player? Maybe over a nice meal, I mean dedicated time, an intimate time to just be. What would you pay for that? A better question to ask yourself would be, would we be willing to give that access away for FREE?

You see, it’s easy to sell tickets, it’s even easier to sell club merchandise, but give the hardcore hockey fan access, and you have something really exciting.

The digital strategy will be built around what the hardcore fan really wants, and I’m willing to bet access is the secret sauce to your marketing efforts. The future of business as I have researched it, over the next 3 – 5 years will be Access over Ownership. Fill that need, and your hockey club will have a whole new set of marketing tactics to play with, a new view of the community, and a great way to Connect With Fans. Add that with a Reason To Buy, and you have a thing called revenue. (CWF + RTB = $$$$)

There are many, many more questions to ask, and this is a very low level, very loose post, but I’m flying at 50,000 feet and blue skying it.

If you knew access was the key, what other great ideas come to mind? Share them here in the comments, it would be great fun.

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The Future Of Business – Social Is A Feature Not A Platform

There is a technology cycle working in the background while the rest of the world is distracted with and by Social Media. I have shared with you in the past that Social Media is not the future of business, at best it will be a feature, not a platform. If you study technology at a deep level you’re probably unaware of the tide changing or shifting might be a better word. Something much bigger than Social Media is brewing and you should pay attention, because the tidal wave of change will knock you over and sweep you out of it’s way.

The social component is merely the doorway to engagement, but we are headed for a much deeper kind of engagement. It might surprise you when I say that Microsoft Windows is dying, Google may loose it’s stranglehold on search in the next few years.

Windows is suffering, it has gone from 96% to less than 50% market share, and soon will be 30%, this means the Desktop era has passed us by. The reason, SmartPhones. These devices have all but made us forget about Windows Operating Systems for the most part, don’t be surprised to learn that Windows 8 (Due out in 2012) might be the last big push for a Desktop Platform by Microsoft.

Index search has peaked, Google, like Microsoft, have many other ways to be a player in the new technology cycle, but not doing what they are doing today. Not with Index Search, and not with the desktop, the mobile marketplace is doing both of these things better and seamlessly, they’re not separate things you have to do anymore.

The big craze today and in the next few years will reshape the Internet, Apps, HTML 5 and Tablets, they have already set the pace for a new frontier. But if we must talk social, let me share this, if you are an investor or a developer, and a business owner, consider building on top of FaceBook, no one can catch up with them, no one. The same can be said of Apple’s iPad, and Apple’s financial structure, no one can catchup with them, they are the current leader with FaceBook. FaceBook IS the new Windows!

Social Media is not the future of business, it’s a side show, Roger McNamee is quoted as saying about Social Media, “This is not the mania you are looking for”.

The future of business is mobile and social, FaceBook is the new windows, HTML 5 allows all of us to participate, Apps and Tablets are the tools we will use to move products and services. Most of what we manually do today will be fully automated, like search, it’s just a matter of time. The real issue, how does your business leverage this new technology cycle, I think the first step is to open your mind to new better ways of being in business, the world has yet to arrive in the digital realm, are you ready?

Being Social alone is not enough to participate in the Future Of Business.

 

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The Future Of Business – Fight Off The Mainstream Media & Big Business

Here at owengreaves.com I have my own voice, I talk about other people’s work, I even applaud them, but I try to give you my voice, even if I agree with the others I promote. Even if there is a guest post, if you know me, you know what I like and what I am looking for. The truth is, most bloggers don’t create, they borrow, they beg, and even steal, it’s like they don’t have an original thought of their own.

Let me give you an example of what’s bothering me, and why I’m writing this blog post. I will write in general terms, because I know you’re not all guilty.

I read 200 – 400 pieces a day, not everyday, but most days, I read these pieces in Google Reader. Yep, I follow many of you, your RSS feeds, and something has been happening out there that has lead me to believe, that either you don’t have an original thought of your own, or you have been sucked in by mainstream media & big business.

Since Steve jobs passed away, all everyone writes about is Steve Jobs! Most of you never met him, but you write about him like you did. And frankly, it shows a lack of respect when you do this, you are merely drawing attention to yourself. Most likely for the wrong reasons. I mean no disrespect for Mr. Jobs, but come on people.

Another consistent thing that happens, and this really gets me going, we write about social networks, we compare them, we complain about them, and we keep score like we have some input or control over these free services. How did that happen, how is it that we actually believe we own these networks, because we use them? We don’t run them, if we did, things would be different now wouldn’t they.

It seems to be a waste of time in my humble opinion, I’m being sucker punched by writing this, the mainstream has sucked me in, and now I’m giving it my attention! The HELL! I would rather we all paid more attention to our businesses as if we cared about the betterment of mankind. All this technology is not all that important that it consumes our writing too, or is it?

So what’s my point? I could easily tell you to go read everything written by Seth Godin, that most likely would be enough. The truth is, IAuthor Seth Godin at PDF 2007

want you to fight off mainstream media and big mainstream business, and have an original thought of your own. As Seth said, GO! Let’s hear your voice, let’s hear your story, not the regurgitation of everyone else’s version of something they most likely no nothing about.

The Future Of Business will not change until the behaviour changes first, but only you can do that, only you can do it, how? Speak, your own voice, write your own voice, share things that matter to you, that are real and in your face issues. Just remixing someone else’s version is not your voice, it’s just another way of gaming the system. There’s no integrity in that, be heard, share your feelings, share your story, and let the world know who you are. Show us all that you are a real person, and you have a powerful story to tell, one from your side of the table, that no one else could write or share.

So I beg you, fight off Mainstream Media, Mainstream BIG Business, don’t let them draw you in, stand strong and let your voice be heard, GO and make a difference, GO and change your world. Maybe even change mine, because you shared all that you could share. In fact, write a book!

Try to visualize how you want your business to be, to interact with consumers, how you listen to them, even visualize the lifestyle you want to have, right down to how many hours a day you actually want to work. Is the path you’re on today taking you there, are you telling anyone about your vision, are you taking the right steps to be that business of your future.  If so, carry on. If not, STOP and make a new plan, but share your vision, and let’s here your voice.

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The Future Of Business – Turn Your Business Into A Platform

This idea of platforms has been talked about for years now, new start-ups are popping up everywhere, many are trying to convert and become a useful platform. Why a platform? The business of the future needs to become a destination and useful, a place where people can come together and do something useful. People always return to things and places that are useful to them.

The best example of a platform to date is Google, they provide an environment where you can run your entire business. That in itself is very useful. Crisis mappers wasted no time responding: In under 2.5 hours Google launched its person finder application, which was also used when New Zealand’s 6.3 quake. A platform can be built upon and used, think of all the things you can do at Google, problems you can solve, and dare I say it, the time you can save. Today you can view your street via Google Maps, you can get images, videos, news, books, you can use Gmail for your primary email service, you can use Blogger to put your content on the NET, you can translate the language of a site. Google provides all these tools at no charge to you, an open & free business model to the extreme, it’s what the cloud is meant to be.

If you have a platform, you will need developers and other entrepreneurs to build on it, creating more functionality which brings more users. FaceBook did that. Networks are built upon platforms, the Internet is a platform, services like Flickr, WordPress, PayPal, self-publishing company LuLu.com, and business software Salesforce.com.

Google as I mentioned above is not just one platform but multiple platforms, multiple ways of using Google, multiple ways to build upon what Google has built and provides to you for free. What is a platform, platforms help users create products, businesses, communities, and networks of thier own. If it’s open and collaborative, those users may add value to platforms.

Questions to ask yourself: How can you or your business act as a platform? What can others build on top of it? How can you add value? How little value can you extract? How big can the network grow atop your platform? How can the platform get better learning from it’s users? How can you create an open standard so competitors will use and even contribute to the network and you get a share of thier value? It’s time to make your business a platform. It’s time to make your business mobile.

As you can see by the list of questions there is much to consider, pull together a team to begin the process of building you platform. If you are looking for help in creating ideas to adopt the future of business, stay here, I will be continually be posting concepts and ideas for you to build upon, or, just e-mail me.