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.
We really do like to promote ourselves, oh sure we say we don’t like to talk about ourselves, or pump what we do and who we might be in the pecking order. We do want people to know what we do and how well we’ve done it, we merely disguise it as a shameless plug, well we jest that at it. If you ask a person what they do, they’ll most likely tell you their job title, not what they actually do, we want to know some of the tasks, to give us an idea of how complicated your work may be. How important you might be in the hierarchy.
But if I were to ask you what you hated or didn’t like about your job, you could probably go on forever. I can assess you faster by hearing how passionate you are about who you work with or what you like and don’t like about the work you are paid to do.
When you venture to self-employment, you can no longer tell that story, you have to speak about how great your product or service is, how it will solve a particular problem. You have to plug your business all the time, sometimes we give a shameless plug, its an opportunist thing. I might say, have you read the most popular posts on my blog, hoping you might come and check the most popular blog posts I have in a list. That list makes it easy for you to see the most popular, and then the next…you should check it out, it’s on the right side bar. While you’re at it, sign up for my updates, they’ll be delivered to your inbox, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
It’s subtle, it’s effective, and it’s easy. The shameless plug is far better than sending, or spamming every social network, or inbox of people you have never had a connection with, they never opted-in. The shameless plug is no longer called that by name, today it’s called sharing right?
I can remember as a young boy, sitting in front of the radio and listening to The Shadow late at night. The story being told in these who done it’s was captivating, and yet frightening at the same time. I mean come on, murder to a young boy in the 1960’s was unheard of in most small towns in Northern British Columbia. It was like pretend death, not real right? There were other programs but The Shadow always had you shivering, hiding under the covers, and making sure the light was on. Just in case you had to run, you had to see where you were going.
Radio was and is still a powerful medium, I know, I spent 15 years doing it. The problem with Radio today though, they almost never tell a story, they just sell, sell, sell. In my previous post I talk about sharing, and it proves my point, sharing the story is much more captivating than trying to sell 100% of the time. Even listening to a Hockey Game live on the radio told a story, the story of the progress each team was making, the ebb & flow, the swing in momentum, the incredible save Cheevers made but you couldn’t see, the announcers had to be masters of telling that story to keep you listening. The same is true with your presence on your Blog or website, personal or business, the story will draw people in, it’s been proven time and again for hundreds if not thousands of years.
The story is the glue, it is the very thing that can act as a magnet to your product, service or information. Find your story and share it, but remember, the story must be true and authentic, not fiction. It’s the REAL part that makes people come back. Making your story real and authentic, makes you and your Blog useful, especially if it solves a problem or informs them. People always comeback to places they find useful, it’s human nature to stick with what and who they trust. So, is your story trust worthy, is it compelling, better yet, is it interesting?
Every business has a story to tell, I would love to hear the story of your business, and does it fit the future business model, the open & free business model. The future of your business depends on your story being shared. Because, when we want innovation, we must focus on open and free thinking, and the storytelling that accompanies it.
In alittle over a week I’ll be speaking at FRESH! Fraser Valley on this very topic, but I thought I would start sharing some thoughts with you now. If you don’t have your ticket, get one, there are some very special people waiting to meet you, and to share.
Those of you who frequent this Blog know that I preach an Open & Free Business Model, and in case you didn’t know, sharing is the foundation of that model. In fact, I would venture to say that this is what business and individuals need to know to shape their futures. In my opinion, sharing is the single most important thing you can do in business, transparent sharing to be more specific. Many times I have been asked, what kind of sharing should I do? To me, the answer is brain dead simple, apparently it isn’t for most.
So, what should you be sharing? In can be as simple as telling your story, tell the story of how your business or product came to life, let people know that your business is human. Keep it simple, take your readers on a journey about your business. This story is the glue to your business and your entrepreneurial success!
Now there’s more to it than just a one time sharing of that story, continue telling the story, tell it as the story grows and changes over the coming months and even years. Don’t brag or sell, just share. It’s really that simple. Draw people in through your story, your readers or followers will know if you’re genuine or not, they’ll sniff out a sales pitch in a heart beat. But they love a good story, and are looking for someplace to hunker down feel welcomed. The story is part of an equation, it’s part of the inbound marketing equation, it’s part of how business will be done in the next 3 – 5 years, it’s also part of a paradigm shift.
Turning the future into revenue means this, pay special attention to whats happening around you and your business. I’m willing to bet that you see more and more businesses sharing as a major component to their success. These businesses are rebuilding, becoming smaller to be able to move faster and add people without adding overhead. Entrepreneurs are the new BIG business, small is big in this new world of business, and these entrepreneurs know how to make sharing a financial success.
Looking at the bigger picture helps you with what you will share, looking ahead, the future is not a one way street; you can shape it with the right strategies, the right tactics, and the right story to share. The question is never where to start, or what to share, it should be, what’s coming and what effect will it have on my business. That’s one part of the paradigm shift, moving from denial to foresight.
Sharing will attract customers, readers and better yet, friends. It can improve your bottomline, it can increase traffic to your businesses website or Blog, and it will most definitely improve your entrepreneurial success. Just tell the story and watch great things happen.