Are celebrities changing Twitter???

No question these days – Twitter is all the rage.  You have to look no further than the presidential address the other day when the commentator ended the post-address comments by telling viewers that they were “continuing the conversation on Twitter”…

But look at what is going on.  Celebrties are pouring on to Twitter like crazy.  P. Diddy stated to Ellen DeGeneris the other day that it was great because it was a celebrity’s way to push out his message in an unfiltered way to his fans.  And that is certainly how it is being used.  For sure celebrities are making Twitter even more mainstream and even more popular.  But look at how they are using it.  Most are following less than 20 people and are being followed by over 100,000.  Is this important – yes.  Is it bad -probably not.  Even Twitter-celebrities seem to be doing the same thing – followed by lots of people but only being followed by some.  Obviously – it would be impossible to follow 50,000 people so it makes sense that people only follow select people.  But does this change what Twitter is and what it will become?

What is the essence of Twitter?

It appears that is the key question.  It is quickly evolving as a way for single – to – many short message communications with the ability for unfiltered feedback.  This is different for sure from the concept of group communication and micro-messaging within a community.  Is it a bad thing?  No.  But it certainly is a direction and certainly leaves an avenue for someone to come along and create the “New Twitter” which serves the exact opposite service – that of closer knit, online short messaging, instant communication.  Will this new direction hurt Twitter – probably not.  But will it leave an opening that will certainly benefit a newcomer – my bet is it will…

Source CEO: Pay Your Editors, Charge for Content – B2B @ FolioMag.com – really???

This is one article that I came across this week that really made me step back and pause. The link to the article is here. Is this really the right direction to be headed? I have been headed in the exact opposite direction from this CEO for the past 12 months and thinking that everyone was seeing the light – that content needs to be free and that with the proliferation of social media, bloggers, and social “news” web site and the amazingly fast growth of Twitter, Facebook, etc the desire to pay for content was not jsut dwindling but disappearing. And then I saw this… I do not know Source Media CEO Jim Malkin’s personally, have never met him, am not in a situation to say – I am right, you are wrong. But I caution him to look at the indicators.

Reminds me of the HBO special

In many ways this reminds me of an HBO special I watched some time back with Bob Costas that I often tell people about. He was doing a year in review program and was interviewing a Sports Journalist and then brought in a notorious Sports Blogger and had a debate between the two. At one point, the Journalist stated to the blogger that “you have no right to be in this situation, you have no training, you did not go to school for journalism, what makes you someone who can be an authority on sports” to which the blogger responded – “all I can tell you is I write and people read and follow me”. It seems that it is that simple. We are living in a time of choice – with many people out there writing, authoring, spreading news, delivering content. With so much free content out there, will people really pay? Would you pay for this journalist’s writing instead of the blogger just because he was trained in journalism? I would suggest not.

My recommendations…

I think Mr. Malkin’s theory that relying on advertising is a tough thing to do is accurate. But to then take it to a model of charging for content – that is going too far and possibly a suicide mission. The article concludes with the quote – ““If what we have isn’t valuable and no one wants to pay for it, maybe we don’t have a business.” – while bold and definitely defining, I think it is too risky an alternative and not rooted in the current climate for content. Instead, the real challenge needs to be in search of a new business model – one that combines advertising with content and education. It needs to acknowledge that free content is the way of the future and that to fight it is like trying to hold back a wave while standing at the beach. Do I know all of the answers – no. Does anyone – I would guess no. But someone, some group of someones is going to figure out and those people are going to emerge the winners in the next generation of media and content producers.

Thoughts?

Interesting articles I have come across

I thought for this blog post I would post some interesting articles that I have come across lately – hope you enjoy.

Article – Twitter: A fine ‘pre-business’ but un-monetizable and a deadly acquisition target – http://bit.ly/3LK5YA

Interesting – http://bit.ly/fPvAE – concerning “Three-quarters of marketers have $100,000 of less budgeted for social media marketing”

Interesting article about the “Future of Twitter” – http://bit.ly/gmc1K – Twitter’s Future Looks More Social Than Commercial

What are the key characteristics in a valuable business???

What are the key characteristics in a valuable business???

By far, this is probably the most talked about topic that we discuss on a daily, weekly, yearly basis. As we are trying to build value, it is so important to clearly understand what is value…

In reading an article recently published by the Jordan Edmiston Group (www.jegi.com) I came across what is probably the most clearly delineated listing of what buyers would be looking for.The quote is from Philip Siegel, General Partner from Austin Ventures in discussion interactive and marketing acquisitions. He stated, “we’re looking for a company that combines two or three key aspects: a focus on proprietary information; a software application that the user embeds into their business process; and recurring revenue”.(Source – JEGI Client Briefing – January 2009) For a while I have been preaching the theme of “Locked-in / Recurring Revenues” as the model most appealing as value to customers. This is a combination of business model, technologies, business processes associated with these technologies, and a clear vision for growth.

Philip’s delineation, I believe, is a further and clearer and better definition then mine on the same theme.  It clearly rules out many business models and avenues that people would go down to chase business and build out a company.  However, as a roadmap and key guiding principles – it is very clear and should hang on the wall of every tech CEO and anyone looking to grow a value business.

Again – here they are -

1) A focus on proprietary information

2)A software application that the user embeds into their business process

3) Recurring revenue

Obvious – probably.  Simple to understand – definitely.  Easy to make happen – not so much.  Worthwhile as a guiding light – DEFINITELY.

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