This morning started early, 4:30AM, nothing unusual or earth shattering happens here at this time of day, not until 8AM when school starts to create traffic. Today however, something did happen, and I was lucky to be here, you see….a young high school boy crashed into the neighbours car, flew over the hood and took a nasty tumble.
The young man was able to make his way to my door, I never knew it happened, he was bleeding pretty good from his head, just over the left eye. He had a helmet on so he seemed OK, but lots of scrapes and cuts, he’ll bruise up before long, but definitely shook up. He tried not to cry, but would break into a fit and then pull himself together, he was scared mostly.
His bike actually survived, handle bars need some work, probably should give the bike a good going over to make sure all is healthy. I sat him down on the stairs, got him a glass of water and then I got the nice warm clothes to wipe the blood and such. He was worried about being late for school, I said, you already are so don’t sweat it. He eventually calmed down, until Dad arrived, he got worked up again…I’m thinking he is the drama queen in the house : )
Dad arrived, I put the bike around back so they could pick it up later, off to the hospital to get the young mans head checked. You are probably wondering why I’m sharing this, I think I have a point.
Do you try to help people when they come knocking, when they call you up and say hey can I pick your brain? I have to say I do, often, and many times, for nothing in return. You see, doing the right thing is hard, it’s never convenient, and it always takes effort on your part. We talk about community, we talk about followers and fans, but do we serve them without attaching some kind of reward to serving them? Yes we have to make money at some point, but where is your paywall, is it up front, or is it a number of levels deeper and can’t be seen on first glance. Mine is both, some things have a price up front, but most don’t, I practice the 90 / 10 rule. I give away 90% and charge for 10%.
Now, some people / businesses say they want help but are reluctant to pay for the help. Some always try to take what they can from you for free, and some have integrity, and always try to pay before receiving anything, even advice. There will always be takers, and there many givers, if you look hard enough, they are the ones that volunteer and show up to causes they are passionate about.
I think we all have a responsibility to help each other regardless of reward, I have found that giving away more than I charge for has many rewards, not only financially, but personally. Which one are you, are you a taker or a giver, and which one brings the greatest rewards?
When someone is crashing, or struggling, and failing, where do you stand? I have a passion for the business community, but I care even more about people, without them, you have nothing but loneliness, and absolutely no business. I challenge you to help people and business without expecting something in return, you will grow from it,and you will be or become a human business. Be strategic about where you put your paywalls, and serve…simple isn’t it? Not really, because we are all wired to be in control, and to make sure we get paid first, I’m suggesting anew model, an Open & Free Business Model.
So which are you, a taker or a Giver?
This topic has been beaten to death, but news sites just don’t get it. Without naming which news site I’m referring to, well all of them actually, a paywall is just another nail in the coffin. I’m not saying these news site’s should earn revenue, what should do is, pull their heads out of their butts! The older generations who don’t have the patience to look for the news will pay now, but for how long, that has yet to be determined. We are now at a place on the Internet where you can’t really hide anything, it will be accessed. Why, because everything will generate a stream everywhere. Content will surface eventually, it’s like having a leak in your roof, you can see the water, but you can’t find the source, where it’s coming from.
Mainstream news sites are now asking social networks to shutdown accounts connected to news sources because it is in violation of trademark laws, not sure how, but I’m not a lawyer. If that’s true, we are in for a world of hurt in other situations similar to this case. The world is getting more and more uncomfortable with an open economy, the push back is amazing. Like it or not, an open & free economy will happen, corps / big business need to find a way to participate without trying to control the economy. The challenge is, they don’t know how, or maybe they do and it scares them.
There is the argument that journalists are the trusted reporters, anyone who is not credentialed as such can’t be trusted or does not have the means to verify facts in the same way they can. Most facts can be verified, the truth is, most facts can be found and verified, no one has locked the market on confirming stories.
Paywalls aren’t going to disappear, they will however become somewhat hidden, seamless, and hopefully, invisible. The problem isn’t really the paywall, the problem is how value is measured by the people formerly known as consumers. If value is found in the content, someone will pay for it, if not, they keep moving. It’s not about mechanics, what’s changed is how we value.
The news sites and or newspapers that force payment they will in the long run lose out. We now live in a world where everything is moving to free, or an access first model, and then maybe, people will pay. The commerce model is reversing, things that can’t be copied are the only real value, because they are scarce.
The other reality these news sites and or all news mediums have to come to grips with, they are too slow to break the news now, Twitter is the channel of choice for most when it comes to sharing major events and stories. The problem for these corps is, they can’t staff enough people to be everywhere all the time 24/7.
The Industrial Age of control is dead, wall street and major corporations are running around with their heads cut off trying to stop you and I from doing what we want to do. Net Neutrality, metered bandwidth and paywalls are all they know and all they know how to do, it’s about control and grabbing as much money as they can.
The Future of Business is the opposite of what they know, executives refuse to deal with the paradigm shift of an open & free business model. Having said that, I know some great people they should hire to help them maintain revenue levels they are used to, but they won’t, they don’t trust anyone.
The rest of the world hasn’t even come online yet, and when they do, they will push the paywalls down.
Will you pay for news you can get for free?