This has been the topic of discussion for a very long time, the argument of making people pay for content over giving it away. The landscape is changing rapidly, the world is and will not tolerate being forced to buy content whether it be music, files or the written word, you can’t enforce control when you need trust! It used to be that he who had control made the money, today, the good news is, that is changing, he who has less control makes more money. The bottom-line is the bottom-line, we will always try to monetize anything and everything. It seems we are very short-sighted though, we are still trying to make people do things they don’t want to do. Trying to control what people can access is not the way to go about building trust, in fact, it puts the guard up and raises questions as to motive.

One of the bigger challenges I see with making money online is, it’s not seamless enough yet, people still have to jump through far too many hoops. You would think with all the advancement in technology this would have been solved long ago. As mobile technology improves, the more and more we become mobile, the more transactions and advertising will be come seamless, it has to because we won’t tolerate what is cumbersome. Mobile advertising is where you should be developing your content, convert your free content into an app for iPad, iTunes or mobile phones and what have you. Advertising (At-vertising) is now Appvertising. The world will almost be 100% mobile in the next 5 – 7 years, focus your distribution through Appvertising. Feed your Blog content through an app, distribution is not the problem anymore, the Internet solved that for us years ago.

The easier you make it for your audience to come in, the greater return on your investment. Attention is the new currency, and in that currency there is an underlying trust osmosis component. The equation of tomorrow is:

EXPOSURE -> DISCOVERY -> COMMUNITY -> REVENUE

We are moving from selling products & services, to selling our attention, Google is doing it all the time.

The power of the future is in sharing, sharing music, sharing content, and sharing means doing it freely, not being forced to pay for that sharing. The problem is we are in the midst of a copyright gridlock (coined by Gerd Leonhard), there is much to be figured out here. Making the money happens around all that sharing, your primary content is distributed freely, this paradigm shift of Free & Open will change behaviour. The revenue change will come after the behaviour, habit & culture changes first.

Being connected scares companies and business owners, because we are going through a fundamental shift, from Closed to Open. The fear of loss is far greater than the desire for gain in this shift. It means not controlling how the money is made, the open & free marketplace means you & I are in control, we get to decide, big business doesn’t want that. So think of ideas that will allow you to maximize the Open & Free Business Model,  that will allow you to attract the right kind of attention.

We have to change our beliefs in how the world really is. Today only 25.6% of the world is here online, what will the world look like in the next 3 – 5 years when that number is over 60%? What would 5 Billion people online change in your online presence and brand? Think about that for just a moment, should you be doing things differently?

We have a Global Trust Crisis, Copyright Gridlock where the value of money needs to be re-determined, and there is so much to unlearn, but that’s what makes all this fun, the future is perfect because we haven’t screwed it up yet!

Give your audience access first before paying, Collaborate instead of Dominate, Coordinate & Cultivate instead of Command & Control, Control is Dead. We are becoming a broadband culture, we click to get before we ever pay. Access first, pay later.

I would love to hear your thoughts, my goal is to make you think, nothing more nothing less.

What do you think?

I have been asked many times what the Open & Free Business Model is and what it might look like, how would do I use it in my business and so on. The questions always center around, how will I get paid for my digital content? That’s actually the wrong question and the wrong focus. The model is not about technology, nor is it a skill set, it’s a mind set, a paradigm shift of moving away from control. It used to be, he who had control made all the money. Today, the good news is, that thinking or model is shrinking and is changing to, he who has less control makes more money. It sounds risky doesn’t it? I liken it to a faith based way of doing business, trusting the people formerly know as consumers.

With that in mind, Owen Greaves Consulting is holding a workshop for local businesses Friday April 30th from Noon – 4PM, there will only be 20 seats available and is being held in my community. This workshop is a scaled down version of the Two Day Program. Three topics will be covered, first I’ll touch on trends to help get the creative juices flowing, then I’ll give you 4 – 5 examples of brands / businesses that do variations of the Open & Free Business Model, then we’ll spend most of the workshop in a breakout session, call it a Think-Tank if you will. We’ll split up into teams of 5 to work together on developing idea’s, concept’s that can be implemented, and then each team will share their idea’s with everyone. In the longer Two Day Workshop, the format is similar but with perks not included in the shorter session.

The purpose of the workshop’s is to help you as a business owner to begin the process of changing the way you view the world online, revolution is adopting new behaviour, it is my hope you will change your behaviour and become revolutionary through these workshops.

I have shared many times before, there are 1.7 Billion people online today, in the next 3 – 5 years that number will be 5 Billion. We will have to prove Impact like never before, we will need to find new creative and effective ways to get attention. The current strategies and or tactics have yet to be proven effective in this new way of thinking, also the current infrastructure is inadequate.

If you live in my area and would like to fill one of the 20 seats available, please contact ASAP! I will be providing more details later in the week, there will be a 10% discount for registering by April 23rd, 2010.

For more information, check this Blog and or send me an e-mail: owen@owengreaves.com

I know you sit in front of the TV shaking your head over some of what you see and hear, the media has you, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. You know something isn’t right but you can’t stop yourself from wondering what’s so terribly wrong. You know you’re being sold but you can’t help but think everything that is presented before you is a good idea and you must have it. It baffles the mind how easily lead we are as a people, how we just bite the cheese in the trap like the mouse.

We wait for and anticipate the big announcements from some of these huge companies as if they were the Messiah! Silicon Valley can’t wait to tease you with another great technology company making the leap from nobody to something larger than life. It’s everywhere, you can’t escape it, the media has us in the palm of their hands. The Media has you, we are all sheep!

The much anticipated announcement by Apple is a prime example of how the whole world stopped, stood up and paid attention to the moment Apple unvieled the iPad. And now we are inundated with reviews, critics, a bazillion blog posts about what’s good and what’s bad about the iPad. Yes, Apple has developed a new product but why are we so hooked on what happens when the rest of the world is struggling, trying to recover from earth quakes and famine. How is it that we can be distracted by something as trivial as an iPad over these other disasters? I’m already tired of hearing about Apple’s iPad, everyone is trying to break the stories.

It’s simple realy, the Media has us all, the chain around the neck being yanked when they need your attention. It’s attention space selling here on the Internet, TV and what have you. That’s the future of who we will be come, attention freaks trying to make a name for ourselves, building a brand, but we still don’t get it, we can’t keep marketing on the Internet by yelling. We pay attention to Apple because we trust their products and services, we pay attention to Microsoft because we trust their products. The challenge is that it’s not free, it’s time consuming and it distracts us from whats important, the tools are not more important than our lives.

What I’m learning from all of this is, there are fewer visionaries and leaders than there are followers, everyone wants to be out front. The 15 minutes of fame the world is selling you is misleading and unhealthy for most of us. This probably won’t change but, the visionaries will see you and take advantage of your vanity as they do today. I know I’m coming off synical, I’m just trying spread some sanity and help you stay focused on what’s truly important.

The world is changing faster than we can possible imagine, we can’t keep up, some of us sheep will slaughtered in the progress and some of us will become famous sheep. The world of free content, freedom of speach, the freedom to be who we are not will transform business, transform the way we do business and how we continue to function in a connected world. We must move into a place where we are not trapped by the media and big business, we must begin to believe in the impossible, what we can not see yet. Look past the iPad, look past Social Media, look past how to make money blogging, stop and look at how we are moving to an unlimited world.

We must become truly revolutionary, revolution is adopting new behaviour. The things we focus on today must change that behaviour, we must break away from old thinking, we must break away from media as we know it or we will continue to be sheep lead astray. Those who figure out that paying with attention is the new advertising will find themselves out in front of the masses. It’s advertising not @vertising!

The Cloud is where the money is, free content is the new content model, we have to figure out how to monetize around it no matter what the media tells you. Break from old methodology, learn to unlearn, look at new trends that are hard to adopt, look at Social Networking, Content Services, Communication, Money and eLearning. But look with fresh eyes and new thinking. Think about who controls what, who the gate keepers are and which ones we have to remove in the world of free. We are entiring into a world where we all will be mobile, everything will be in handheld devices and everything is and will be on the Cloud.

We are constantly being sold down the river, told a story, distracted by what’s important in life, media must change and you must help re-shape it, re-write the books on copyright to usage rights, develop new ways to monetize around your brand, product or service.  What will the world look like when more than 6% of the worlds population is on the Internet, what happens when countries like China breakout from behind the wall? The winds of change are blowing, are you building a shelter or a windmill?

Media comes to us in many forms, it’s the music industry, it’s newspapers, it’s books, it’s radio, it’s television and now it’s blogs & people. In the end, nothing happens without people, the power is shifting back to the people, the problem is also with the people, how we think and how we act. The new media will be built on trust, are we trustworthy?  The Media’s would have you think you are not smart enough to figure out what they are doing, they talk to you and expect you to follow like sheep. That’s because they are in a state of protectionism, so beware.

The Media has you, we are all sheep!