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Content Marketing Simplified

Instead of paying tens of millions of dollars a year (or more) creating banner ads and paying to run them on pages filled with someone else’s content, marketers can create their own web and mobile presences and use the most efficient form of advertising, pay per click advertising, to drive traffic to these pages and then engage in a conversation with their customers and potential customers.

Content is king.  Content is the marketing.  You can’t create context or a more personalized experience without providing content first as the fish bait.

Brands are content providers.  Captivating content, storytelling, is what keeps the fans coming back.

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Inclusivity

I love it when those with a significant following express exactly how I feel so the word reaches a much broader audience.

Fred Wilson did this today expressing similar frustration with exclusive sites like Branch, Sbvtle, and Medium.

If you haven’t heard of these sites, they are the latest blogging platforms. While beautifully designed, the sites are controlled, permitting only significant contributors inside in attempt to dictate the conversation.

I’ve requested to be part of all three and have only been accepted to Branch. Side note: My little brother is still awaiting his Branch invite and because of this experience, will probably never come back.

Furthermore, even when you get into Branch, you have to be invited to a group conversation. I was ok with that in the beginning but have recently found it annoying. I shouldn’t have to give the community owner a one sentence preview before I get approved to speak. Quora does just fine with open comments. Those with the best opinion/insight get voted up.

I hope Fred’s post get these blogging platforms to change their minds and be more open. We need to keep the web an open democracy.

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Crackberried 2.0

The buzz in your pocket that never actually happened.  The tingling in your thumbs.  The feeling that you missing something. 

These are the negative effects of mobile addiction created by Silicon Valley

Of course, there’s both sides to the table. Having a mobile phone in your pocket can make you more productive, more in touch, and more knowledgeable.

But we still need reminders to get away once in a while.  Hence the rise in wellness apps to bring awareness to the damaging impact of constant connectedness on our health.    

Breaks are critical.  Sometimes it helps to get back to the basics.  One tip is pulling out a paper and pen instead of a note-taking app.  Another tip is to go for a walk phone-less.  

If you’re bold enough, try leaving your mobile phone at home for the day on the weekend.  You’ll love the Internet even more when you come back.  You may even find you don’t need it.    

Ubiquitous Internet is the best-worst thing to happen to us.  We’re more socially participant and cognizant but threatening our real relationships.  Time spent on the phone is time lost with a human being.

Are you achieving the right balance?   

Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Robert Fulghum
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Glasnost

Fred Wilson is an open blogger.  He writes skillfully about his opinions and observations and inspires me to do the same. 

the blogging revolution is more than a free publishing platform and a new model for media. It is self expression at its core. It is people being who they are, talking the way they talk, and doing it in public. (link)

In fact, it’s the honesty that makes writing easy.  

So many people say they’ll start a blog and never do.  It’s a combination of the lizard brain telling them to watch what they say and the fact that blogging takes work, if you look at that way.  It’s ironic that the people that want to blog and talk a lot are the less likeliest to do it. 

Blogs require openness and revelation.  For me, writing is an opportunity to get it out of my system.  My words are not even meant to provoke but a chance for me to be accountable for something I’m trying to put together in my head.  I want to figure it all out. 

Blogging is an undone activity.  There’s always something new to talk about and while you may have your core principles, the glut of ideas on the Internet can convince you to think otherwise.  Blogging is for the elastic brain.   

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Disqus is a necessary installation for anyone with a blog.  

Its new ‘Discovery Feature’ replaces the content recommendation engine powered by Outbrain

Nice. 

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The right person. 

The right idea. 

The right product. 

The right time. 

The right market. 

MAGIC

(Fred Wilson)

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I’ve got a few simple frameworks for thinking about things. In social media, one of my main ones is the tenet that 1% of the users will create content, 10% will curate it, and the rest will consume it.

Fred Wilson

Fred goes on to say that 10 million Foursquare users are content creators, half of Foursquare’s total user base. I just re-downloaded the app for the third time. Again, it’s one of the best designed apps out there. And it’s very user friendly.

But it’s just one of those apps I don’t use as a creator, curator, nor consumer. I check in with Instagram and search for places and hotspots on Google. Maybe I should give Foursquare another shot even if it’s just asking it for the nearest Wifi.

I’d like to see Apple gobble Foursquare on the cheap and import its 20+ million mobile user community (data) into its new maps app. Forget Ping.

Foursquare is going somewhere but the roadmap is hard to predict.

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Why Introverts Share More

The paradox of social reality in a social media state.

“The network is rapidly displacing the hierarchy and with it the virtual displaces the physical. We’ve got a ways to go, but think about how our relationship works (very little physical, a lot virtual, very close and intimate, even though we are rarely together physically). I experience this even more profoundly as an introvert as I’d love to spend even more of my time physically alone but emotionally and intellectually connected.”

As spotted in the comment section on Fred Wilson’s “Darwinian Evolution” post.

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Reaction To Fred Wilson’s Post on Blogging

Fred Wilson is a strong writer mostly because he’s concise and talks about stuff you’d only see on expert based network Quora.

I started reading Fred’s blog a few years ago when he was publishing a couple times a day. During that time he even became a respected Indie music aficianado. But now he’s too big to respond to emails, blog comments, and even post his end of year playlists.

Like Fred, blogging is a commitment I make every day. It’s like brushing my teeth. If I go to work without publishing I feel empty and disorganized. Blogging is connecting the dots on screen. Sometimes I even draw it out before I tap the keyboard. Blogging is the end of my thought process.

Fred has a huge community. I’m pretty sure no one reads my blog except for bots. I’ve accepted that frustration and write anyway because I love it. I’m a better thinker and speaker for it and often feel like I’m two steps ahead of others because I’ve already put the pieces together. Crazy metaphor but it reminds me of how Michael Jordan used to practice so hard that games were often easier.

Perhaps I should write more provocative opinions. No one ever disagrees with me. I should go out on a limb and say something crazy like “sound is bigger than video.”

Either way, blogging is a healthy state of mind for people pushing hard to get it. Somebody has to make sense of all this stuff and tell it like it is. Blogging is my daily mental workout or what Fred calls, his “yoga.”

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External Apps like Instagram

Fred Wilson on external apps:

When they want to take a photo, they open Instagram, not the camera application.

Cheers to Fred for calling this out.

I used to take two or three shots, go back into my photo library and then select the best photo for Instagram.  However, the last three weeks I’ve gone right into the Instagram and taken the picture directly.  It saves time and feels more natural.  Point , shoot, and share.

Download the new version 2.1 and check out the Lux feature.

Almost too obvious to point out but also note that use of external apps over iOS native apps is a boon for Apple which earned 72% of its revenues from iPhone and iPad sales last quarter.