We often think of the 'calm before the storm', but rarely do we recognize or even witness the 'calm after the storm'. This sunset occurred less than an hour after a severe storm, near Otter Falls, MB, that brought down a hundred trees near a cabin we had rented. The clouds became soft like cotton balls (mammatus clouds) and the sky was at peace.
This question blew up the internet this past few days. My daughters brought the image to my attention last night, making the rounds on Twitter under various hashtags #TheDress, #blackandblue, etc. Everyone, and I mean everyone, including my family, @justinbieber, and @talyorswift saw different colours, or both, at different times of the day, or saw it change colors before their eyes. I have seen both, but at first glance was black & blue.
First thought would be that it is one of those animated pictures, called GIFS, but it is not. You can screen shot the image, and it will still appear differently to various people. Scientists are weighing in. Late night talk shows will be weighing in tonight. People are arguing in the streets, and fighting in school hallways across the planet!
Fact: The source which originally got the controversy to go viral, via Tumblr, eventually determined the dress to be Black & Blue. In fact, other sources indicate the dress is ONLY sold in that color.
Human eyes are imperfect, and can be easily tricked to see one color and interpret as another. Our eyes are all different by so many factors, and the reality is that geometric shapes, angles, lighting, clever placement, and a thousand other things can mess up our brains ability to properly distinguish color. These illusions have been studied for years.
Example: How many different color circles do you see in the box below?
The answer: Only Two (Blue & Green)
Reality: The dress is black and blue, but sometimes your brain is telling you it is gold & white, and that’s OK! You are human. Booyaaa… mystery solved Unless, of course, you wanna argue about it?
I hosted a webinar on May 5th/2014 for Professionals interested in getting the most of their LinkedIn profile and network. I had convinced professional trainer, Rachel Murray, to give her best tips and advice in under 45 mins. SHE DELIVERED!
OK! Please don’t 100% hold me to this, but I am usually pretty good at remembering names because of, years ago, going though Kevin Trudeau’s Mega Memory book. It was WORK… but did actually help immensely. Anyway, found this gem of a training video he did that should save you the time of reading the book and learn the ‘remember names’ technique in less than an hour.
I normally don’t like making predictions, and blogging about American Idol may be a tad off topic for me, but young father & singer songwriter Andrew Garcia is such an amazing talent.. he is going to win. As a music lover, amateur musician & blogger I wanted to do my small part to spread the news and encourage everyone to vote for Andrew to win!
I’m sure you’ll see plenty of him on TV, but found this gem of a video he did with a friend on YouTube.
No, I’m not talking about Microsoft Outlook vs. Google Gmail. If that’s what you were looking for, LifeHacker just did a great post on the top 5 email clients you can read here: 5 Best Email Clients
Instead the question today is, are the e-mail wars vs. social networking still raging? Is e-mail as a business marketing tool still relevant?
Let’s try and answer these two questions:
The e-mail war indeed rages on! What I mean by this is that although social networking, micro blogging and instant messaging have taken the main stage the last several years, we ALL still rely on email as the main stay of a significant percentage of our time on the Internet and or mobile devices. Despite giving up a percentage of time to social networks, email is still the preferred communication tool on the Internet for the majority. The war rages on, with all of these additional social communication tools still requiring us to have a valid email address before we can use them! Heck, email even notifies us when we should be logging into our social networks. When Twitter or Facebook no longer depend on email addresses, then this will be the signal that the E-Mail Wars are coming to an end! This will happen one day, the world is just not quite ready for a Facebook or Twitter operating system just yet.
Is e-mail still relevant as a business marketing tool?
After conducting a seriously unofficial survey of many business owners I know, email is still by far the easiest way for them to reach out to all their customers the fastest! Unfortunately, for social networking, many, many SME business haven’t even graduated to email newsletters, such as Aweber or Constant Contact, let alone trying to create effective campaigns on social services such as Facebook or Twitter!
Word of caution to all of you tech company owners! Unless you are tech to tech B2B, then there is still a ton of educating needed on the ‘basics’ for a good number of SME clients and prospects (opportunity is alive and well in North America). Those companies that educate or automate… Will continue to win!
The email wars rage on and they are far from over.
If you are a small to medium sized business and want to read up on email marketing, I would suggest getting advice from the bloggers & professionals at companies that deal with email marketing on the front lines, day in and day out! Even more importantly, read the comments on these blogs as their customers often create light bulb moments you can take to the bank.
If you are a business or entrepreneur that has already figured out email marketing, and are ready to graduate to marketing on social networks. Then as far as I am concerned, there is only one person you need to study & learn from and that is Trust Agent:
Thought I would do a little self promotion, considering I have cracked the TOP 20 of Canadian Twitter users on www.WeFollow.com. If you are using Twitter , WeFollow is a great way to see where you rank for one of three categories you choose to TAG yourself with.
If you are not using Twitter, well then I only have two words for you… “Why Not?” (Jump on over to www.Twitter.com and see what all the fuss is about!) If you are using Twitter please connect with me and my fellow Canadians.
Here are the TOP 20 Twitter Users tagged #Canada on WeFollow as of August 2009.
I have three daughters so this issue is very important to discuss with my family, but when you get emails from friends and family freaking you out that girls are dying and having adverse affects from a vaccine created to protect our daughters from cancer… confusion and anger sets in.
Do we trust the medical doctors, the naturopathic doctors, the FDA or do we trust people like Jenny Thompson who is neither?
It makes you wonder who you can REALLY trust as an information source on the internet these days. I don’t normally post information like this but felt compelled to see what other people think. I’m not vouching PRO or CON the speaker, but below is the video. I would also suggest you look at this article that claims the video is a mixture of accurate and inaccurate information. http://www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/gardasil.asp
Section 4: How To Stay Ahead of the Curve and Profit
The internet is still in its infancy, and although blogging is here to stay it will get progressively more difficult to stand out in the crowd with a traditional blog. New and existing bloggers will not only have to innovate to stay ahead of the curve, they will have to adapt daily to the new technologies being created at the speed of light. This last and final section of ‘Traditional Blogs Are Dying’ will focus on:
What web properties to keep a close eye on to stay ahead of the curve.
How Multi Media Blogging & Social Networking is no longer an option, but a bare minimum.
Utilizing Micro blogging & the next wave of Micro Video Blogging
Profiting from the death of traditional text blogs
Web Properties You Need To Watch to Stay Ahead of the Curve
There are a select few websites that continuously stay on top of technology affecting the new blogosphere. It is imperative that you stay tuned to what these sites are not only writing about, but implementing on their own multi-media blogs and micro-blogging accounts.
If you take a little time each day to say abreast of these sites, and jump on top of implementing new technologies first, you will stay ahead of 99% of traditional blogs.
As you will see the new wave of multi-media blogs are seamlessly integrating audio, video, micro blogging and social networking.
http://www.mashable.com/ (All That’s New On The Web) This is ‘THE’ site to stay on top of social networking and new start-ups. Visit Mashable Daily or signup for daily updates, and you will stay ahead of the curve.
This will help you stay on top of WordPress, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and more…
http://lifehacker.com/ Life Hacker Blog is a great site to watch for new tips & downloads available across the web, of which many are mutli-media related.
http://scobleizer.com/ Pay attention to what Robert Scoble not only blogs about, but how he seamlessly integrates audio, video and micro blogging into his WordPress Blog.
Some Additional Sites You Should Watch
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/ Google’s Official Blog is a necessity to watch, as whenever they release new products or update features, you want to be in the know.
How Multi Media Blogging & Social Networking Are Becoming The Bare Minimum Standard
As of today, many will disagree with this Quasi-White Paper and that is to be expected. Staying ahead of the curve has always meant doing things differently than the masses.
Just think of how you consume information today, as compared to just a decade ago. Google has been around really just over ten years now, and as video technology has vastly improved in the last few years, it is quickly becoming the preferred medium online. Just look at the popularity of YouTube and other video sites. This reality is why many bloggers are choosing to innovate with audio & video to set themselves apart from traditional bloggers.
It is now easy to include Video and or audio on most major blogging platforms online; Blogger, WordPress & Live Journal just to name a few.
Here are a few links for various blogging platforms that make adding multimedia easy:
While video blogging has been around for many years already, many bloggers and companies have shyed away from the technology for various reasons; technology confusion, personal disclosure & implementation in the past have been to blame. It is now easier than ever to implement the technology, and internet users expectation of a more personal internet experience require content providers to bare their faces and voices to the masses. It is this expectation that will cause countless traditional blogs to die over the coming years. Those blogs that fail to recognize the paradigm shift to multi-media will fade into the obscure grave of millions of traditional text blogs.
Here are a few recommended resources for video & audio (podcast) blogging:
Utilizing Micro Blogging & The New Micro Video Blogging
http://twitter.com/guykawasaki Guy Kawaski has over 68,000+ people following him on the micro-blogging service Twitter. He drives millions of clicks to his traditional blog (http://www.guykawaski.com/) and anything else online he is promoting, by simply making very short micro blogging posts which are immediately seen by his interested readers.
A micro blogging post is limited to the same amount of characters that a text message on a cell phone, which is approximately 144 characters.
e.g. Guys inputs a short message online or over his cell phone, and it becomes immediately available to his followers.
Not only is Twitter micro-blogging, it is also direct communication with readers. For example I sent Guy Kawaski a question on Twitter, and with in less than 40 minutes he had responded with his answer.
Twitter is at the forefront of the micro-blogging world, and some very famous traditional bloggers have chosen to move away from the old style blog and focus on micro-blogging instead. One such example is Jason Calacanis http://twitter.com/jasoncalacanis.%20Jason’s%2040,000+ followers watch his every move and communicate with him in real time.
Twitter provides an amazing direct connection with readers that just doesn’t exist with the commenting systems on traditional blogs today (it’s coming though). It is this speed and connectivity that readers and internet users are flocking to. Bloggers today, who want to stay ahead of the curve, must integrate micro-blogging into their process.
Micro Video Blogging is Ahead of the Curve
There are two services that you will want to not only keep your eye on, but as well jump into and integrate into your process.
Seesmic brings conversation alive through video. It allows you to see and hear people share their experiences straight from their webcams.
People record a video directly on Seesmic’s website, or upload an existing video straight from their computer, or link to a video posted on a social network, then viewers respond by recording a micro video of their own.
Micro Video Blogging again can be stand alone for some, or if tightly integrated with you main site, Twitter and social networking accounts, will set you apart from the crowd and connect with readers and users in away that just is not possible with a traditional text blog.
http://12seconds.tv/ is another Micro Video Blogging service that is currently in Alpha. Keep an eye on this one, and request an invitation to join as they are not open to the public as of today.
Profiting From The Death of Traditional Blogs
The end goal was to show you or your company how to stay ahead of the curve and profit as the blogosphere makes a fundamental shift from traditional text blogging, to integrated multi-media & micro blogging. The fact is that a large majority of existing and new bloggers simply won’t make the shift. They will keep toiling away at writing great text only content, that as each day passes will get drowned out by the billions of other blog posts that go unnoticed.
So simply by adding multi-media, micro-blogging and micro-video blogging to a traditional blog, will one profit from the death of traditional blogs?
YES, you will ABSOLUTELY stand out amongst the crowd of traditional text blogs, and that alone is the first step to profiting from the death of traditional blogging. In the end, gaining more readers and more viewers, will translate into advertising sales, direct sales, affiliate sales or however you choose to monetize your site.
So as you have read you might already have come to some personal conclusions as to what the major problems currently are for businesses and professionals in the blogging world right now. But, apply the math and future projections and these problems will only compound.
(A) OVERSATURATION-Traditional Text Blogs are drowning themselves based on current growth rates, making it harder and harder to stand out in the crowd.
(B) SPLOGGS-Spam blogs are a constant problem trying to snuff out relevant web content, making it even harder and harder to stand out in the crowd, and as well chewing up valuable time dealing with spam.
(C) Customers and readers are becoming dismissive of the impersonal old fashioned websites, and are flocking to companies and bloggers who innovate with blogs that connect on a more personal level delivering TRULY GOOD CONTENT with video, audio and micro blogging, which are quicly becoming the new base standard.
So what does this all translate into?
This means for companies and individual bloggers that don’t try and stay ahead of the curve, it is likely that they will achieve moderate to little success from traditional blogging.
The amount of effort that is required in promoting a traditional blog to massive popularity is becoming akin to a musician landing a recording contract or an actor trying to land a major Hollywood role. Is it possible, Yes. Is it likely for 99% of bloggers, NO! It is an unfortunate truth in the blogosphere, as there are many, many talented bloggers who will largely go unnoticed because they didn’t innovate and stay ahead of the curve.
A few years back it was almost as simple as throwing up a blog, creating some quality content, and watching the traffic magically appear. Now days, more and more bloggers are spitting out fantastic content, but are having to devote just as much, if not more time to traffic generation.
Here are some traditional methods bloggers use to try and drive eyeballs to their blogs (of which each day that passes become less and less effective):
The above methods are just scratching the surface, and are currently resulting in mediocre results for the majority of bloggers. They are having to go to more and more extreme methods to try and stand out from the crowd and get noticed.
There are currently 3,950,000 Google Results for “blogging ebook”
There are currently 10,600,000 result for “blog traffic”
Whole industries have developed around traffic generation, and strategies range from simple and clean, to highly suspect and likely to get your blog banned from Google or other search engines.
The problem with most of the above method(s), in Figure 1.61 is that in combination with the growing number of blogs, and the growing number of bloggers trying to implement silver bullet style solutions to generate traffic, it is causing even more dilution in an over saturated market.
The core illness or symptoms in the blogosphere that are killing traditional blogs are; oversaturation & sploggs. It will be up to the blog community to bury their dead, innovate and move on.
If you don’t begin to change now, you will be left behind!
… Please Come Back Later This Week to Read The Final Conculsion of Traditional Blogs Are Dying- Part 4‘How To Stay Ahead of the Curve & Profit’