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Where did the passion go?

Do you remember when you first started your business? The ideas, the fire, the drive you had when you woke up in the morning. Sitting at your coffee table, reading the paper, following CNN; thinking about how you are going to change one aspect of your business to better the rest. You had no doubt about the direction, you had no doubt that you wouldn’t succeed. No one could tell you any different from what you thought. You attended the network meetings, you handed out the business cards that you self designed. You even made it a point to shake everyone hands.

So now you are a few years into your business, the fire is still there but it is now more of a light flame, just enough light to keep you going, but not the fire it use to be, getting up in the morning doesn’t have the same flare it use to. The once organized coffee table is now a cluster of assorted papers that you still have to go thru. Where did that passion go? Where did that love for your business go? Why isn’t the fire burning as bright as it use to?

Maybe it is the routine of your business, like any new job, once you begin, you have this passion to be the best, strive harder then any other employee, to stand out above any other, but once that passion in that job is gone and the days and hours come and go, you get into a routine, and that passion doesn’t go away but instead turns into routine, you are no longer have that “on fire” feeling, but now it is a routine of daily chores that provide you with a pay check.

So how do you get that passion back? How do you get back to the days when you were on fire, how do you incorporate the passion you once had with the market and changes of today?

I think one way is integration. As the years go on, the way we market, promote and advertise ourselves changes. I have been to so many networking groups where the people use the same techniques from years passed to market themselves. You start introducing yourself as if you were reading from a que-card. The speeches, the act, the persona you once carried is now routine. We have forgotten to integrate our unique personality into our business. Remember that people are buying you as well as your product. Selling is a face to face art. Not just handing out a business card and calling it quits.

Try new ideas and techniques. Marketing in this economy is as every changing as the people who do the marketing..

I think another way is stepping outside of the box and looking at your competition and seeing what is working for them. You don’t need to copy them because success is not universal. The person who is successful by doing one thing is not necessarily going to work for you.

The goal in the end of course is to get that passion back into your life. Even I sometimes lose a little of my fire for what I do…even blogging. As the market changes entrepreneurs, individuals and corporations have to change with it. Passion is huge! You need to keep that fire for what you love going! Without that fire and passion in your business. It will never grow and you will never succeed, no matter how smart you are or no matter how much you want it. People can see that passion for what you do in your voice, on your face and in your heart! Remember you are a reflection of your business!! If there is no Passion in your heart then there is no passion in your business.


Youtube: The bleeding artery of Google.com (A love story)

* What would be your course of action if you purchased a company for 1.65 billion dollars and it only brought in 240 million this year and grows deeper in debt everyday? I would say what a tragic mishap! I would sell it and try my best to cut my further losses and never make that mistake again. But that’s just me and that’s definitely not Google.com. Who made this decision three years ago when they purchased the number one video site search engine Youtube.com

So let’s dwell further into Google’s love story with Youtube. Like I said; Youtube is lying like a lame horse right now, any farm owner would have taken that horse outside and put it down. But Google has many plans to revive Youtube and make it the forerunner as the premier search engine site.

There are a few problems with the site. One is that the video sharing site has failed to attract quality programming

While Google doesn’t break out exact company expenses, what is known is that Youtube is the largest video platform in the world. Users upload 20 hours of video to it each minute, at tremendous cost to Google (That’s a lot of server space and maintenance on a monthly basis…I’d say in the tens of millions)

Youtube remains a repository for long tail content that appeals to a niche audience: clips of cats chasing dogs or the newest death defying stunt (they do have mass audience viewings like Michael Jackson, Susan Boyle which attracted millions)

But despite Google repeated efforts Youtube has failed to create an environment for professional video content where many advertisers are clamoring to put their money right now.

* However Hulu- A joint venture from GE’s NBC, News Corp’s Fox and now Disney’s ABC has catapulted to success among advertisers and consumers. With it sharp media player and a very comfortable and easy to use interface that feels like a traditional television.

Hulu has become the second most watched video site after….you guessed it, Youtube.

Launched in March 2008 it began hosting episodes of “Saturday night live” and “The Office”

A visit to Youtube showed it was airing original series like “Bewitched” (Although my favorite series “firefly” is aired in sections by users of the site)

So with the success of Hulu and the clear and visible mistake of the cash guzzling purchase of Youtube, you would think Google would back down and give this site up. But in fact the parent company is doubling down. A report in fortune magazine says that Google has moved some of its brightest executives to Youtube offices in hope of turning it around. Tech Guru’s are also tweaking the technology that sorts and spits out Youtube content to make it easier for marketers to buy sponsored search links and simultaneously run advertising, as of now the site is now able to make money on 13% of its content up from 3% last year.

Google’s very cost conscious finance chief was also quoted as being very upbeat on recent earnings call saying “soon we’ll actually see a very profitable and good business.

From my perspective Google ambitions for Youtube have nothing to do with cute cat clips or viral web video, and everything to do with data. Video is still in its teenage years on the web, but it is growing up quickly. Laptops and iphones now have quality webcams and teenagers increasingly use video instead of email to send each other messages, posting the clips on their Facebook walls.

So while Google aims (and prays!) to profit from the video on the site today, it ultimately is more interested in making sure that the company becomes the primary platform use to generate, store, sort and view all their video content and communications. (This, by the way, is exactly the kind of wide-reaching power that concerns privacy and antitrust advocates)

*So how do you stop the bleeding and make a profit?

That’s the question for Jawed Karim who joined the Google team in 2005. His quest is to make money from Youtube. Karim was the one at Google who came up with Adwords, Google biggest revenue, which lets advertisers pay a fee each time user’s click on their links. Google hopes he can work that same magic again.

His first move was to create different types of ads such as small ads that pop up inside videos; it has also added click-to-buy options to some videos(Watch Michael Jackson’s “Billie jean” on the site and you have the option to buy the song from Amazon)

Either way you cut it, Youtube is far from fixed and in my opinion losing ground against the competition. Looking at Youtube as a whole, how much content is produced by network studios? The stuff that is most easily monetized today. And if Google merely wanted to sell ads against its inventory of online videos, that might be a problem since it costs the company way more to host and deliver videos that it currently makes on video ads (A credit Suisse report suggests that the site spends $375 million a year on network infrastructure alone; a recent study by strategic outsourcing adviser Ramp Rate puts the annual costs at closer to $83 million)

Well for all of Google’s Youtube woes. Earlier this year Youtube quietly became the second biggest search engine on the web; only Google.com is larger

If video online becomes pervasive and consumers first gravitate to video searches rather than look for articles or websites it may be only a matter of time before the long tail wags the dog

In my opinion, while I am not a tech guru and can’t fully fathom the risks that are involved with paying billions of dollars for a company only to make chump change in profit. I can say that I am a fan of Youtube and of course want to see it succeed, but like any pioneer Youtube was the first to do what they did. They gave any one and everyone a place to show their face(not necessarily talent) and when other companies or groups stand outside the box and analyze what they like and dislike about there competition you can always find better ways to do it and profit from it. Google (Youtube of course) need to step out of there singular box and reassess what works and doesn’t work. And while Youtube will never be the money giant Google is, there is always a chance it can change the playing field in terms of advertisement and how people asses how they market or advertise themselves!


Seminar Presentation/San Marcos Chamber of Commerce


Blog Marketing

Just a few thoughts on blog marketing that have been going thru my head! I have been working on some information for a client and I thought I would share it with the world. Let me know what you think!

Blog Marketing

A new form of communication on the Internet are Blogs, short for Weblogs. This new form of communication allows consumers to express their own opinions in yet another way. Blogs are a new and original cultural phenomenon, reflecting more the changes and needs in society than simple realization of technological possibility.

As of April 2007, Technorati, a major blog monitoring service, claimed to be tracking more than 75 million blogs. “If we keep up at this pace, there will be over five hundred million blogs by 2010”, Web contrarian Andrew Keen (Sohn 2008) has stated. Blogs are simply online journals consisting of a mix of text, links and maybe graphics. Bloggers are usually people who are strong believers in something and listening to what they are saying in.  Blogs can provide insight into what is good or bad about the products. (Barlow, 2008) Destination organizations shall use blogs to see what people have to say about the location they are trying to market. Secondly, location organizations may advertise their locations and services to the virtual communities with blog-ads, which refers to placing advertisement on personal blogs. (Sohn, 2008) A blog is a personal homepage with more enhanced connectivity than an HTML-based Web site. In the blog system, individuals communication activities automatically form networks through which they can move from one blog to another without manually adding hyperlinks to each page. Once a communication network is formed, information may flow easily through it. The blog-ad is an attempt to expose the information of products and services to consumers interconnected by networks.

Blog marketing is the term used to describe internet marketing via web blogs. These blogs differ from corporate websites because they feature daily or weekly posts, often around a single topic. Typically, corporations use blogs to create a dialog with customers and explain features of their products and services.

Many organizations use blogs with their user community. This allows them to share and preview product features, functions, and benefits before the products are released. Blogs are an excellent way to gather feedback and to make sure products meet the needs of users. Blogs have become the next generation marketing tool to corporate websites which merely post collateral and do not provide any interactive feedback. Blogs are also supplementary to a User Group. User Groups happen annually for example while blogs provide users constant daily and weekly feedback.

Blogs are Basic websites which are updated Regularly. They act as a Private news interface for any Company / Website. With regular updates being handled by the company executive team, product marketing, and product strategy teams. The need for fresh content on the web makes the Blogs a preferred destination for Resources. Blogs have been focused as a primary platform for Marketing since the early 2006.

If you need any help understanding what blog marketing is and how to use it to the fullest then stop by www.majesticsocialmedia.com


10 practices for successful blogging!

Being a fellow blogger myself and the owner of a social media marketing company I have been going over the do’s and dont’s of successful blogging! What works and what doesnt work and how to market you blog . You can have the most interesting blog in the world, but if you dont market it, then who knows it exist? Or why are people not reading my blog?

Maybe it isnt that interesting or maybe you are not reaching the people you want to reach with the content you have!  Below are 10 important rules for blogging! With Blogger, WordPress, MySpace, and Facebook, its easier than ever to start your own blog. However, there’s nothing easy about creating a GOOD blog. It takes time and effort but I’ve come up with 10 rules that should make it just a bit easier.

  1. Update frequently – Look, nothing is worse than having a great blog and then abandoning it. You lose momentum, any buzz you might have generated and most importantly, you lose readers. Its not easy (and to be honest I need to follow this rule more often) but a lame post every now and then is much easier to recover from than going two months without posting.
  2. Cite your sources – Everybody and their dog has a site now. No seriously look. So, linking out to a few authoritative sources to help support your claims might not be a bad idea. It gives you more credibility with your audience and shows that you actually put a little bit of work into the post.
  3. Be controversial – There’s nothing like a little controversy to help promote your site. Take a stand on a controversial issue, and then write intelligently about it. People who agree with you will link to you to in support of their arguments, and people who disagree with you will link to you as they attack your position. Just remember not to take disagreements too personally.
  4. Include images – We live in a society of over stimulation. We’ve got flashing billboards, instant information at our fingertips, and about 15 different forms of media on our phones. So, if you can break up your posts with a picture or two, you might be able to retain those of us with shorter than average attention spa…
  5. Stay on Topic – Along the same lines as the previous point, nothing is worse than trying to wade through a rambling post. On a website, it’s not exactly like you’ve got a captive audience. Most people will click the back button as soon as you start to bore them. (See that? I probably just lost 6 readers right there)
  6. Link to other sites – This one is pretty simple, the more you link to other blogs or sites, the more likely they will be to link back to you.
  7. Be original – As we talked about in point 2, there are a ton of blogs out there. Don’t just rehash the same stuff that every other blog in your area is talking about. If there is a major news story, don’t just post the news; post your take on it. Take a different angle. Do something to set yourself apart from the mass of other blogs. Be original.
  8. Grab them with the headline – Just like a newspaper, the headlines are critical. If it’s interesting, people will check out your post. If it’s not, they’ll ignore it. It’s as simple as that. And, just like in newspapers, there are some words and phrases that are attention grabbers. “Top 10…”, “How To…”, “Warning:”, or any other alarming words work great in headlines.
  9. Remember that its public – Have you ever heard the saying “Say it words but not in writing?” That holds true on the internet. Always remember that whatever you write is instantly public information. So, it might be unwise to slam your boss, badmouth your company, or hit on someone else’s wife via your blog (or any other internet medium for that matter).
  10. Tell people – So you’ve got a great blog post. Now what? The last rule for blogging is to tell people about it. Mention it to your friends and family, ping sites such as pingomatic.com, and submit it to social sites such as digg.com, reddit.com, fark.com, or any other appropriate site. Sure it’s a bit of self promotion but if you wait around for someone else to do it for you, you’ll probably end up blogging to yourself.

If you need any help getting your message across then stop by our site at www.majesticsocialmedia.com

or visit www.seorefugees.com they are one of the true sites who know what they are doing!


Watching out for Social Bookmarking

While I am a huge fan of social bookmarking ( you can find me on digg, stumbleupon as well as delicious) I to have recgonized the trouble that comes with these sites. The tampering and the “gangs” that inhabit the sites.

Below I have listed a few points that I think you the reader should be aware of. Let me thanks google for helping me put this together. Research, research and more research ( and some personal experiences) have brought this together.

This my first blog on bookmarking and like I said previously I am a huge fan of bookmarking and have seen this social trend rise and now become a dominat force online and groups such as  Yahoo! are clearly convinced that social bookmarking is the way of the future with their purchase of Flickr, Upcoming, del.icio.us and now *maybe* Digg, all along side their own “MY Web” that “moves beyond bookmarks”.

Add to that the comments made by Yahoo! Director of Search (france), Olivier Parriche, who said, “Yahoo is going to change in the following months and years. We’re going towards “social-search”. We’re going to use users behaviors, comments, users choices and the communities where they evolve to improve our engine.”

Google is also experimenting with this, though in a reverse sort of way. Instead of adding bookmarks users can now remove results from their SERPs. (search engine result page)

It’s clear the search engines are looking to give users what they want, but this may come at the cost of relevancy.

I have a list of more than 20 or so SB sites now. Many are obscure but some have sprung to life in just a few weeks. There’s big traffic to be had here, and where there’s traffic *someone* will find a way to make money.

Expect more to come. The applications are nearly limitless and marketing gurus and data miners can do a lot with the information garnered by SB users. Imagine knowing what sites appeal to your customers. You could build a design and include content based on factors that are similar accross your user-base.

But!

With all the hype and popularity of these new SB communities there are some dangers to watch out for:

1. SB Users are prone to peer presure. Some SB users vote for sites because everyone else voted for it! Depending on the site, popular URLs may get promoted based on the fact that they are getting promoted. Put another way, if a user sees an article is shooting up they may mark that article so they have it to look at later – this vote does not mean the article is any good.

2. SB Users are not experts. As I have come to see articles that sound convincing may get voted up even when they are not accurate. This can do a lot of harm to any industry. Imagine a bogus article about disease-ridden cattle making it’s way to another country. That country may block the passage of cattle hurting the rancher’s proffits. And once cattle is blocked from crossing a border, especially if a disease is attached to it, it becomes news. At this point the stock market is affected…

This may sound far-fetched but I really dont think it is.

3. Some SB sites influence the SEs already, some don’t. Del.icio.us does not give link-pop but Digg and Furl do. The rest I’m not sure about… yet!

4. SB Sites are easy to tamper with. Simply by creating multiple accounts you can give your links multiple votes. Another phenominon is SB “gangs” where groups get together formaly or informaly in forums and other places just to vote each others sites up.

5. SB Users are trendy, not loyal. Most SB Users prefer FireFox over IE but use Windows XP over Mac or Linux. This shows that they are technical to some degree but more likely following the trend of FireFox popularity. Also, FireFox has plug-ins for most SB sites making tagging more convenient.

6. SB Sites give spikes of traffic, not steady growth. Depending on your strategy this could be important. “Link Bait” sites may pick up additional backlinks from SB Users that helps them long-term, but the average link submitted will get a few hundred hits in the first day and dwindle fast after that.

7. Some SB Users are weekend warriors. I’ve noticed that links submitted on the weekend outperform links submitted during the work week.

8. SB Users have a lot of pride. While this may be the most practical and useful post I’ve made about it just the fact that it mentions negative aspects of social bookmarking would get it panned in the SB Sites. Go figure.

9. Social bookmarking is getting competitive without competitive differentiation. While more and more sites spring up the benefits and differences between the sites remain cosmetic. Some have different social customs or likes but the only way to find out what those are is by testing them out yourself. We should soon start seeing SB Communities spring up around niche markets instead of the general “news” categories that exists so far.

There’s more information about social bookmarking at 14th Colony including other things to watch out for and specific site reviews.