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Good Tips

People pay for curation today, not the content. The content is cheap and mostly free.

Apple just have away a U2’s new album. You can already stream any track you want on Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud. Unless you’re reading the Financial Times or the Wall Street Journal, there’s no paywall preventing you from getting free news. Meanwhile, Amazon is pushing for an all you can eat books model as part of their Prime service.

Free content means that what people are really paying for are the quality of recommendations thy get in return. Peer recommendations don’t suffice.. You only want to consume the good stuff that master curators spend the time to find.

What made Songza different than the rest of the music streaming networks was its handpicked, contextual playlists based on time of day. Echo Nest plans to turn Spotify into a recommendation engine. What makes Amazon so good at recommending books is its smart algorithm.

The wisdom of crowds theory that said that the best result is the summary of what everyone is looking for is dead. People don’t want to be manipulated by mainstream culture. The best services will find out what niche genres a person likes and make long-tail recommendations around those. Make the users feel like they found it first.

Content and curation are BFFs. The two go hand in hand. The act of curation gives content it’s true value. People just want to hear about the good stuff and ignore the rest.

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You don’t own your Kindle books, Amazon reminds customer – NBC News

“The core issue might actually be a simple matter of semantics: when we click a digital button that is labelled “Buy,” we expect that we’re actually buying something. But we’re not buying anything, we’re licensing it.”

Makes you want to only invest in things that are tangible.

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Narrowing the Publishing/Sharing Strategy

I remember a few years ago as social networks and self-publishing were taking off that the popular theory was to publish everywhere: Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

That may have been a good strategy for then as consumers were still sporadic in their social and reading habits. But the Internet has quickly matured.

For me, cross-posting and cross-publishing is a waste of time when 80% of my social activity comes from Twitter and all my book sales come from Amazon. Indeed, FB is a huge referral driver but it’s much harder to get going if you’re a smaller brand page with no advertising dollars.  It’s also worth noting that the Amazon Kindle and Kindle app have crushed Barnes and Noble e-products.

As creators and self-marketers, time may be better spent publishing to a select number of distributors while you let the crowds spread your content elsewhere. Of course, I’d like to explore Reddit more and possibly be more aggressive on Quora to flex my expertise. But those too come at the cost of time.

I now know that promoting content everywhere is a strategy that calls for inevitable burnout. Share to Google+?  No way, I’m good.  If I had it my way, everything would just emerge from this blog and my Twitter account would be vacant, but I just don’t have the audience yet.

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The future is here.

Get a packaged delivery in less than 30 minutes via Drone from Amazon. 

Prime Air.

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An Internet minute this year versus last year.   (via Digg)
An Internet minute this year versus last year.   (via Digg)

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Get Unstuck: 10 Tips to Unlocking Creativity

I published a new book that I think you’ll like, Get Unstuck: 10 Tips to Unlocking Creativity.

The book is an aggregation of the thoughts you typically see on this blog. Below are the 10 chapters (tips) to unlocking creativity:

  1. Believe That You’re Creative
  2. Do the Opposite
  3. Break Routines
  4. Copy Someone or Something
  5. Combine Ideas
  6. Curate Instead of Create
  7. Go for a Walk
  8. Take Time to Dream
  9. Do It “Now”
  10. Embrace Your Flaws

I hope you’ll support me in downloading this book. I’m happy to send you a PDF version of the book for free if you’ll provide an honest review on the Amazon product page. You can also send me an email or leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Thanks for your support.

Wells Baum, aka Bombtune

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Blurred Lines

There’s usually a line at the Apple Store. There’s always a line at Georgetown Cupcake. What is it about a line that makes a product more desirable?

I think in the back of our mind we worry about scarce resources although in reality Apple is not going to run out of phones, and more cupcakes will be baked.

We also have a regular tendency to follow the herd. While lines indicate popularity and high demand, they can also be deceiving. A cupcake store can only serve and hold so many people at the same time, probably on purpose. Why expand the store when creating an exaggerated line increases demand?

No one wants to stand in a line. That’s what makes buying movie tickets, a computer, or even food via the the Internet so appealing; you can do it sitting at home. Internet products seem to have infinite shelf life.

The store line is a good business strategy nonetheless, creating demand where it previously may have been nonexistent.

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Don’t be boring.

Jeff Bezos
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The Catch

The Internet unleashed an explosion of creativity, DIY, and interconnectedness.

Below is a list of some things you can do today without too much effort.

  • Remembering life’s key moments (Day One)
  • Taking a photo a day (Camera+)
  • Connecting with like-minded people (Twitter, Tumblr)
  • Customizing your news (Flipboard)
  • Monitoring your health (Fitbit)
  • Getting rewards for customer loyalty (Starbucks)
  • Publishing a book, a record, or other pice of art (Amazon Author)
  • Dumping and storing ideas (Evernote)

There’s an app for doing everything, all the time. Data is exploding but attention and productivity are imploding. We’re moving fast without going back and reviewing what we’ve actually done.

We need to make sense of what we produce, revisit and connect the dots. The devil is in the details.

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An impossible feat in today’s age.   How do you recreate the store experience or at least, make it more convenient than Amazon?  
An impossible feat in today’s age.   How do you recreate the store experience or at least, make it more convenient than Amazon?