Five years ago, March 1st, 2010, I wrote about what Blogs might look like in 5 years, I also threw out some numbers that I predicted would happen. Let’s go back and see how close I was back then.
Here is my opening paragraph:
“I can’t help but wonder what blogging will look like in 5 years, blogs for the most part are static and becoming integrated with Social Media Tools. There’s only 1.7 Billion people on the net and over 235 Million Blogs out there. Projections clearly show that over the next 3 – 5 years 5 Billion people will be on the Internet. Will Blogging be the primary platform? I don’t think so, everything is going more and more mobile, on the go.”
At that time only 1.7 Billion people were using the Internet. There were ONLY 235 Million Blogs, and data also suggested that in the next 3 -5 years there would be 5 Billion people using the Internet.
Today, over 3 Billion people are using the Internet, that’s 2 Billion short of projections, but that’s mostly due to the speed in which Internet access could be provided. Google & 3BNetworks are making the Internet available to all the 3rd world countries, but not as quickly as they had hoped.
The number of blogs on the Internet today is, well….seemingly impossible to track, there is no accurate count that I’m aware of.
Let’s look at paragraph #2:
“Will there be a place for blogs? Will there be a need to for content to be new and fresh multiple times a day? The money won’t be the content, it will be in the filtering and curation of content produced. More products or systems will be invented to manage all this data, data will be connected to data, there will be a huge need for filtering.”
There was a time, recently…that blogging was considered dead. But ask the question, will there be a place for blogs? Obviously blogging is not dead, and there is still a place & need for blogging. The money in blogging is actually the content, original content…there is bigger money in the curation, and the delivering of that filtering and curating. It’s kind of like the retail market, the channel of distribution, more information, curated, and lower prices. Whoever has curated a large amount of data, and has figured out how to deliver it to the masses at a low price, and even free, is making large piles of money. Not much has changed here, the old way, or the old attitude still prevails here, in terms of how we think about business, and how it is being done. One thing still rings true, it’s impossible to read every blog on the Internet, so those who filter and curate have a leg up.
And the last paragraph:
“There is much to do, and it will be interesting to see how things scale as the rise in Internet users climbs to 5 Billion. How will it impact your business? How will it impact your blog? How will we rise above the noise we can’t rise above now? The answers are forth coming, but we haven’t figured them out yet. We better hurry, time is running short. Will this blog even show up on the radar screen, it barely does now! So many questions and so many unanswered. We spend hours a day working on our blogs thinking it will look and feel the same years down the road. But I can help but wonder, what will blogs look like in 5 years?”
All these questions are still valid today, why? It boils down to one thing….we still haven’t made the paradigm shift. We are still hanging on to the old ways of doing business, organizing business, and we are still trying force feed an Industrial Age to the masses. We just can’t seem to embrace the change required, it’s too hard I guess.
In some circles, change is happening just for the sake of change, and in others, it’s moving to fast to accept as a new way of life. No matter how difficult it might be to make this paradigm shift, the blog doesn’t appear to be going away, everything is just more mobile. Mobility is here to stay, and is also changing, technology is being embedded into everything these days, including our clothes.
So, was I wrong? Sure, but not because I should have been, I was wrong because most of what I saw, and see today, is just taking longer, but it’s still going to happen. Is blogging dead, not by a long shot…you’re reading it now : ) And yes, there is still much to be done. To be honest, I’m disappointed in where blogging is today, but that to is changing. I am concerned as well, technology is fooling us, we are allowing it to control our lives. Texting and driving is all the proof I need.
Remember back in 1994 when the big boom happened, and then the big bust! A funny thing has been happening lately, and it appears to be picking up speed, especially in the main stream. Now this may seem like old news, or you might even think, well DUH! I wrote a long while back I wrote a 2 part article that, everyone will eventually be an affiliate marketer of something, and part 2 is here – the future of business is an online business, and it’s easier than ever for anyone with a laptop and an Internet connection to beat the big guys. If you haven’t considered starting an online business, ask yourself one thing, how long will you be working at your current job (if not self-employed), even if you are forced into retirement, you’re probably going to need to continue generating revenue somehow.
Let’s say you’re 50 an older, what will you do if you suddenly find yourself out of work? This isn’t fear mongering, it’s real, and it’s becoming more and more common each passing day, are you prepared, is it even on your radar.
This morning I received an email from a firm pimping a series of eCommerce Tutorials to build an online store, this is the list in the email:
– Build a product catalog
– Create a shopping cart
– Manage product options
– Add checkout
– Learn about payments
– Compare gateways
– Learn about shipping
– Learn about hosting
Anyway, you get the idea. I would suggest these are not the items most people want to know how to do when just getting started, at least they shouldn’t be. Mostly because, and I’m generalizing so don’t get all out joint. Most people struggle more with what business to start, and want some kind of assurance the thing will make money and succeed. But those topics may help you, they aren’t the place to start in my humble opinion.
I like to do my grocery shopping early in the day, like 6AM early…not because I like mornings, but I like it when the store is dead slow : ) I happen to go down the magazine isle, I noticed a rag with big bold letters, and it said,”Step By Step – How To Setup An Online Business 2014″, this is a mainstream well know magazine to boot! Yes I opened it up and started to review it. Now, considering that I make my living online, I’m often curious about how mainstream views this Internet online business thingy, and I was also curious about what they were teaching. I don’t have the time and frankly I’m not convinced you sit here and read it all if I wrote it, but let’s just cover some points anyway.
The magazine broke it down into four areas, Planning, Building, Selling, and Marketing. I’m not going to go into details, there’s just far too many topics to cover for a blog post.
The Planning sub-section heading was, Start The Right Business and had 13 sub-topics from going into business to finding money. I have to admit I was surprised how much they covered, and how much I actually have used over the years teaching clients and in my workshops. One area that caught my attention was called, “Why An Internet Business”. You probably have your own reason’s but, the biggest reason is, you can reach billions of buyers from your bedroom, or wherever you want to work from.
This also had 13 sub-sections from finding a home for your business to creating an app for your business, the main heading was titled, “Create The Right Website”. This section was mostly about the technical stuff, should you use WordPress, where to host your site, good web design, registering domain names, getting your site written, video & sound, and creating an app for mobile devices.
Maximise Your Sales is the main Title for some 14 sub-sections. How to set up on eBay to making money from your own Amazon shop.
The sub Title, “Find New Customers”, I’ll admit everyone wants to know the answer, but most don’t want to do the work. This topic has 24 sub-sections, I told you there was lots of work, from an introduction to marketing to making your business thrive.
The reason I mention these two situations is because a new NORMAL has revealed itself, the second industrial age is now real, the second industrial age is you doing business online, we’re talking about it more, it’s being written about in almost all the mainstream magazines, and it has been taught online forever, the business landscape has changed! For years you have seen magazines convincing you to go into business for yourself (Bricks & Mortar), today, it’s about going into business for yourself online (Clicks & Pages). Where are you in this journey? If you need more information, the first thing to do is, sign-up for my Future Of Business updates on the right side bar, then take some time to read my blog, I’ve shared about this and much more.
Remember, the future of business is online!
Recently I wrote about privacy & security, I find it interesting that email is still considered open season. I can stop you from posting on my wall, and very little else. Consider how much time one can use to filter or manage the ongoing spam, email your friends think you should read, and then there’s the deluge of offers from Internet Marketers.
One not talked about often, is emails from those called acquaintances, or someone you met a wine & cheese that just can’t wait to get home to send you that all important ask, and they want you to work for free. I’m all for doing free, but that free is a calculated risk I take, not one I impose on others. Is the inbox no longer sacred? Having a conversation, or meeting someone at a social doesn’t mean you can make a request to work for free, to fill your inbox with offers, and to refer them and the their work to others.
The inbox violation is part of the etiquette of relationships, carving out time to get to know people at a deeper more rooted level. I’ll meet with almost anyone who asks, to be clear, if you’re asking me to work, don’t be surprised if I tell you jump through a hoop or two.
Be respectful of the Inbox, your business depends on it.
So here it is, its Wednesday March 12th, 2014, a beautiful sunny day here on the west coast of Canada. I fetched my snail mail this afternoon, I opened an envelope addressed to me. No, it wasn’t bills or bad news, it was…well, I wasn’t sure what to think. Most of the world knows who Mayor Rob Ford is, if you don’t know who he is, he is the Mayor of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has admitted to smoking crack cocaine, and is a binge drinker, along with host of other issues. There’s a much deeper story, but I don’t have the time, the patience, or the space to write it.
So, in the mail today I got a direct mail piece, they used Send Out Cards (www.sendoutcards.com), so, a card, I have never done business with them before, or know anyone who works for them, so they’re soliciting via the shotgun approach. This card was from a financial firm in British Columbia, getting the card was fine, but what was on the cover….well…. rather than me say it, I’ll show you:
Now I understand what they’re trying to do, but I felt like they were going for the cheap humor, potty jokes. The question, “What do employee benefit renewals and elections have in common?”gets lost in seeing Mayor Rob Ford’s picture to me. Call it shock marketing, hoping the negative will be a positive conversion experience. The sell inside the card, I removed the company name & phone number. Here’s the inside message:
Would you consider this a good direct mail piece, would you use the picture of Mayor Rob Ford as your cover, is this a good marketing idea or bad? Would you do business with this company? What is your gut reaction, impressions? Remember, perception is everything.
Social networks now behave like mainstream channels. I’ve spent several years on Social Networks, and have notice that they all have become mainstream. They’re no longer different from TV, Radio & Newspaper, all you have to do is watch all the yelling, telling, and fire hosing of ads and links to selling products and services. Many would claim that’s just what they’re all for, I’m not convinced.
We live in a connected economy, we no longer fall for mainstream tactics, because they don’t work well for connecting. The biggest reason it fails, we all have control over our most prized asset, our time. We don’t want anyone to waste it, or take advantage of it. So why is it still happening, two reason’s might be, it still brings results, or connecting costs too much, time & money. Or, they figured out what quality story telling is. Quality story telling always wins. The story telling looks and feels differently on each social network, because we don’t act the same way on all of them, we talk differently on FaceBook over Twitter. So the easy thing to do, just blast, just let the fire hose go full on, on all social networks. But the audience is not the same on all social networks, success with each of them requires you to do some research and looking at data, what’s really happening.
Remember when we were told, God gave you two ears and one mouth, use them proportionately. We have fallen to our old habits, we like to talk more than we listen. People today, want you to listen, they don’t want to you to talk so much they can’t get a word in edge wise, they want to take part. It’s not just TV, Radio and Newspaper that yells at you, all the social networks are doing the same thing. They’ve all become mainstream, and I’ll bet, you think nobody is paying attention to your activity on social networks.
The secret, the way to win, is quality story telling, but the way your subscribers, your readers, your visitors, and your customers want it, NOT the way you think it should be, and that’s the hard part. You already have what it takes to tell your story in a quality way, the world and those who are paying attention to you, want to hear your story. So tell it!