Playing in Traffic: Speed Demons

Anyone who has driven a vehicle has encountered a driver who has a touch of road rage or is just highly impatient. These are the people who change lanes repeatedly and for no apparent reason. They try to blow through every yellow light they can. They follow dangerously close, hoping you’ll move out of their way. They seem to have no earthly idea that there are actual legal speed limits posted along the side of the road.

You, on the other hand, cruise along patiently (unless you are the speed demon). You may exceed the speed limit, but only by a bit and you don’t swerve in and out of traffic like a maniac. You know your destination isn’t going anywhere. So, in all that dodging, speeding, switching, changing, and endangering that these speed demons are doing, what always happens? When you pull up to the next red light, or the one after that, guess who is sitting right next to you?

You don’t have to always be doing something to get what you want out of life. You don’t have to always be rushing around like a chicken with your head cut off tweeting, Facebooking, blogging, developing, marketing, vlogging, parenting, downloading, uploading, meeting, greeting, and checking in so that you can reach your goals. Notice, I’m not saying you never have to do things, but most of us are just doing too much to actually be productive.

Your creative mind, that magic piece of genius where the good ideas come from, cannot operate if you are never idle. John Cleese, Brian Eno, and others agree that being idle is essential. Most people might be paying the bills and probably feel like they are getting the job done, but they are merely running in place. While you are actively doing things, your genius is on hold.

So, go sit your ass down somewhere and chill out. Let your mind be at ease. While you relax, that spark of genius grows, new ideas form, the things you really want move closer to you. Stop speeding, kick back, and enjoy the scenery.

I leave you with a quote from The Matrix:

Neo: What are you trying to tell me? That I can dodge bullets?

Morpheus: No, Neo. I’m trying to tell you that when you’re ready, you won’t have to.

Is The Relevant Web Really Nameless?

Holden Page at Pages Are Social recently wrote a piece about the relevant web being nameless. I can’t say that I really disagree, but it got me thinking about a few things. It’s true, services like my6Sense take the focus away from the authors/brands and place it on the actual content.

So what are bloggers and blog owners to do? While My6Sense is on the small scale of things, and the few who support My6Sense have come to love it, there is no doubt in my mind that a backlash will occur.

A number of things came to mind here. I remember not so long ago, when bloggers lamented the loss and fragmentation of blog comments. Services like Disqus came out of nowhere, giving ownership of comments to the commentators rather than the bloggers. I don’t see many blogs these days that don’t use Disqus or something similar. The blogosphere changes, content creators change with it.

I view an experience like my6sense as something like the radio for the written word. Of course, my6sense is not a corrupt industry where content creators pay the stations to play their junk, tricking the listener into thinking what’s popular. Rather, you have a channel of content customized by the reader. What they see is exactly what they are looking for.

The similarity with the radio is that, once you come across awesome content, you will want to know who wrote it in the same way that you would want to know who sings your favorite song on the radio. You will probably go further than just waiting for the radio to play that song and go buy the album. Just on the strength of that one piece, you are motivated to own tho whole shebang.

My6Sense and future technologies like it are fundamentally changing how we consume news, and its a benefit is purely for the consumers, not the producers.

Uhm….kinda. There is a saying that any blogger worth his salt has heard. Many have taken it to heart and many others write it off as bull: “Content is King.” As it stands now, you can pretty much write crap as long as you market it well. If you are awesome and networking and connecting with people, your writing skills don’t have to be that strong. I won’t point out any artist in particular, but how many have you hear don the radio or seen on stage at an awards show and wondered how the hell they got there?

Now, take the front man away. Ditch the artist and the blogger. All you have left is their content and, if it can’t stand on its own, that creator fails. This is where my6sense and the few other services like it are taking us. You won’t choose your favorite sites by how awesome you think the author is, but by how great their content is.

Great for the consumer, but all you bloggers half-assing it better get back to basics before it’s too late.

Are Google And Amazon’s Cloud Music Services Dead in the Water?

 

Google Music

 

As you may have noticed, Amazon and Google have both launched cloud music services. These work as storage lockers, where you can upload music from your computer and play that music, streamed directly from the cloud, to just about any computer or mobile device.

iTunes Dominates

Apple’s iTunes, the king when it comes to buying music online, has been rumored to be launching a similar service. The main difference being that Apple will launch with support from record labels while Amazon and Google are going it alone.

Why is this important?

It all comes down to how you get started on these services. With Amazon and Google, you have to upload all of your music to the cloud. As I can personally attest, this takes for-freaking-ever even for a modest amount of music.

It’s hard to overstate how critical this is. Right now, Amazon makes you upload your own library for any song you haven’t purchased from them since their service launched those you purchase from them can automatically be added to your locker. Google doesn’t even have a music purchase option at all yet, so you have to upload music.

As Jason and I talked about on OMG/JK this week, that means hours or days of uploading — that’s what he had to go through. How many people are realistically going to do that? Not a lot.

via TechCrunch

Look Mom! No Uploading!

You see, Apple could get around the uploading by scanning your music library and simply unlocking those tracks for you in their online library. You won’t have to upload, but you’ll still have access to your music in the cloud. This is exactly what LaLa used to do.

Why This is Dangerous

We have to remember that the gate keepers are gone. The music industry is desperately trying to hold onto a revenue model that consumers and artists are just not feeling anymore. They tried to lock us down with DRM, which failed miserably, so how else could they possibly limit our music?

Oh! I know. Get direct access to all the music on your local drive. Scan it and compare it with watermarks (yes, they can do that), hashes, or whatever from “official” services like iTunes and Amazon. Maybe they even compare your library to an extensive library of pirated music they snagged from torrents.

Bottom line for me is that I don’t think I want a cloud music service that has anything to do with the record labels. A dying beast is always the most dangerous. Of course, I’ve never bought anything from iTunes anyway and never plan to start.

Back to the Technical Side

You only have to upload your music once. After that, uploading an album here and there isn’t going to be a big deal. With Amazon, you don’t even have to upload anything because they’ll automatically dump your purchases into your cloud storage. Purchases made in their store don’t count against your storage limit.

What Do You Think?

I’m not down for an industry-backed cloud player, but what about you? Why? Which company will you roll with?

Leads are Unproductive and a Waste of Time

Business folks put a lot of focus on leads and sales. Sales are important, that’s how you make money, but leads are usually pointless. Think about all the methods you’ve used to generate leads. They probably worked great for creating a list of random names and contact info, but how many sales did they lead you to?

Leads don’t mean sales. What you need are fans. Fans will buy whatever you put out just because it’s you. They think you are the best artist, writer, brand, blogger, leader, and software developer on the planet. Fans mean sales.

Instead of following the mantra that sales and marketing is a numbers game, try becoming valuable and visible. Instead of Always Be Closing, how about always be informative? Always be helpful? Always be real and keep it 100? (that’s “one hunnit”, for the uninitiated)

When you work to make yourself an asset instead of just an ass, people will seek you out. Instead of you asking for the sale, you may find them asking to be sold.