Are you good….or great?
Yesterday I grabbed lunch with three other podcaster/bloggers in the Twin Cities. As we talked, I once again thought about all the talent and skills sitting around that table and it made me wonder, “How come none of us are famous? Why haven’t any of us hit a home run, knocked it out of the park and watched the cover come off the ball?”
All four of us have all the enabling tools we need to deliver (and we are delivering) podcasts, blogs and other specific value to the world and to our respective clients. I would argue that at least two of the others around the table have the talent, the niche and the skills that should have the cover coming off the ball as it sails out of the ballpark in areas they happen to be passionate about.
Here’s the kicker: the enabling technologies for blogging, podcasting, vlogging, participation in social sites and so forth…are too easy. The barriers to entry are so low that anyone with a cheap camcorder can vlog; a microphone and computer can podcast; and anyone can blog with free services! As a consequence, there is more noise than ever…noise that makes it even harder for anyone with talent, skills or value (and yes, that’s in the eye of the beholder!) to get heard, seen or read.
So what’s our respective problem? Is it marketing? Somewhat. Where we live? I think that’s irrelevant in a day where the internet is increasingly the primary conduit for value exchange. Distribution? Ahh…that’s a big one since existing distribution networks can really help get the word out as all the new media, content and participation we (and thousands of others) are doing eat away at traditional sources and “push’ publishing models.
One example of that is a company started by two friends of mine, Internet Broadcasting Systems (IBS), that builds TV station web sites. Turns out IBS is the 7th largest news and information site with 11,700,000 unique visitors and 278,000,000 page views per month. When IBS built their first web site, Channel4000 (for the local CBS affiliate, WCCO-TV which is on channel 4 locally), night-after-night viewers were referred to the web site. People went and went and went and pageviews continued to grow. It’s that way with most of their properties.
“What about Ze Frank?” you say. “They weren’t augmented or promoted by traditional distribution sources.” Great point. But how many other babe-fake-TV-news-shows or unique-funny-guy-with-face-right-in-camera shows will succeed? I doubt too many as is evidenced by theHill88 which I went to after reading
this post by the (peeping tom/lurker?) Marc Canter. How many pretty-little-girl-acting-goofy serial video shows can anyone take? If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.
Recently, I had a post hit Digg and it ended up on the front page. Within 24 hours, a frighteningly huge number of new and unique visitors viewed my post and I’ve seen both my RSS feeds and pageviews grow since (hopefully a few of them came back to read more).
While most A-list bloggers experience that many visitors per hour, it was an interesting spike and made me at least stop and think about energy that I could possibly invest in building buzz and marketing my own blog. Is that what it takes?
My only concern is that doing so would divert attention, energy and effort away from my core mission and purpose: providing guidance, insight and ideas (with next generation internet technologies and applications) in a time of accelerating change for those who need it most (small-to-midsize business). Perhaps…building buzz about this blog would facilitate that mission and purpose? I’m beginning to think so and thus am considering buzz-building for my own blog…
…or I’m going to go open a Fantastic Sams salon and just be done with all this tech stuff.
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About Steve Borsch
Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.
Connecting the Dots Podcast
Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.
Some great ideas, Steve. I’m not sure if we need to be “hitting the cover off the ball” in this age of the Long Tail. I’d be pleased to find enough consulting work in my niche to wait the current job market out for the perfect gig. Then again, I’d like to birth the next Digg in my spare time and be worth $60M on paper, too 😉
Whatever you do, please DO NOT go into the hair care business. It would be the geek equivalent of the Hindenburg disaster for those who know you.
Ze Franks numbers: wildly off for an entirely new reason?
I wonder if Ze Franks download numbers might be as wildly off as his perception of Rocketbooms.
Just take a look, if you will, down the page (if youre on the home page here at bizhack). Or check out this post on Ze Frank.
New reader here, just wanted to say I liked your post. I’m curious – how much time each week do you spend on your blog?
Promoting your site in non-traditional ways is sometimes the best. I started my silly (work appropriate) humor site about a month ago and have been slashdotted once, been listed on VH1, and listed on Fark.com. These drew about 50,000 visitors to my site over 3 days.
What amazed me was how fast a good post travels, and how you know it’s good the moment you post it. As a result, whenever I have what I think is a great post, I’ll spend a few hours hitting the other blogs, slashdot, some forums/boards, etc to ensure that others have a chance to read it, and can then spread the word. For the other 90% of my posts that are probably entertaining for my regular readers, but not really earth-shattering for the others, I don’t spend much time on non-traditional marketing.
Keep up the great work!