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  • Profile photo of nmw

    nmw 14:42:55 on 2014/11/14 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , owner, , , , , partnership, , ,   

    To Own or to Be Owned? 

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    When my girls ask their friends “Do you have Facebook?” I joke and ask them “Wouldn’t it be grammatically more correct to ask whether Facebook has them?” — then they smile politely but usually don’t go so far as to chuckle. ;)

    The same can be said for most technology — whether hardware or software, there is almost always a “make or buy” decision. And buying into a platform usually means submitting to the constraints of that technology.

    What I find particularly odd, though, is the degree to which these two extremes seem to make up the entire spectrum — there is apparently nothing in between these two polar opposites!

    When I navigate to many sites on the web which are essentially not indexed by Google (I have a feeling the vast majority of sites actually never show up in Google’s so-called “search engine”), I sometimes come across sites with messages along the lines of “please help us to make this site better“, and yet even though this is clearly stated, I almost never find people who seem to be willing to contribute in any meaningful way.

    I wonder why people are so eager to become Facebook’s or Google’s bitch, yet are so unwilling to even just lift a finger for any random, relatively unknown site. I have a hunch there is some kind of psychological error that happens, along the lines of “if I participate on this site, then I will become a co-owner“.

    If that is the case for you, then I’m sorry to pop your bubble: Either you have the wrong idea, or you have the wrong website.

  • Profile photo of feedwordpress

    feedwordpress 12:35:32 on 2013/07/06 Permalink
    Tags: , , , partnership, , ,   

    Are Partnerships a Thing of the Past? 

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    At some point, they will be — for example: In the not too distant future, it will be possible to create a list of everyone who offers products and/or services of a particular type at a specific geographic location.

    This point hasn’t happened yet (though most people don’t realize that). At the moment, when you search for something on Google, you will get results from Google’s partners (for example, businesses that pay Google a lot of money in order to show up, or online versions of newspapers of magazines that run Google advertising on their websites). Only really stupid people think that Google shows you everything. Google’s top 10 result are not everything! Google will never show you more than 1000 results (and often far less).

    Let’s say Google actually did show everything — so if you searched for “barbers in NYC” and there were hundreds of barbers in New York City, then Google actually would show you all of those hundreds of barbers. Would an individual barber shop even want that? Many barbers today might say: “I don’t want the barber shop from across the street listed next to me.” Well, I would ask those barbers: “When you order a pizza, do you want to see every pizza parlor, or just some of them — Google’s partners?… the ones who pay Google a lot of money to show up?” My hunch is that most people don’t want to see any of the sites where people pay to show up — but then the question is: Why do you use Google at all? Just so the NSA can spy on you? :P

  • Profile photo of feedwordpress

    feedwordpress 22:26:03 on 2013/06/05 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , partnership   

    To assume that everyone is listening to you is a very condescending attitude 

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    Earlier today I wrote “Great Expectations: When the Boss Talks, Subordinates Listen?” — but I think perhaps I didn’t underscore enough how a lot of people behave like bosses. The will simply “voice their opinions” and think that everyone else will sit up, pay attention and figure out the meaning.

    What you need to do is to figure me out — and I think most of my friends understand this distinction.

    On the contrary, most of people who publish articles or advertisements in the New York Times don’t. I don’t read the New York Times, because I don’t think the New York Times cares about me. I don’t search with Google, because I think Google cares more about the New York Times (and other companies) than it cares about me.

    Do you think you’re “front page news”? If so, then good for you… — but that don’t mean nothing to me. ;)

  • Profile photo of feedwordpress

    feedwordpress 07:14:36 on 2013/06/03 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , partnership,   

    Content doesn’t matter — unless… 

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    Content is a tool, an instrument, a means to an end,… — and if it isn’t, then the content doesn’t matter.

    One person who had a great impact on my thinking about a lot of things was Theodore Geisel, better known as “Dr. Seuss”. His quote from “The Lorax” sums it up quite well:

    Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
    nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

    So according to Geisel, caring is important — and although I agree, I think it is also not enough. It is, perhaps, a prerequisite for engagement.

    It is only actively engaging that will lead to results. If I read a story, if I look at a picture or watch a movie, listen to music — whatever: none of this content will lead to results. It may motivate me to engage, but it is only the engagement that will actually result in something.

    What is more: The result of actual engagement will always be a success:

    I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

    Note what this means for websites like “Facebook” (and/or other previous “participatory” networks such as “Digg”, or “Slashdot” even earlier than that). The content itself becomes engaging. Yet if the result of the content is more content (whether that be “likes” or ad impressions or whatever), then this result will remain limited to cyberspace, having no impact on “the real world” (or “in real life”, “IRL”).

    Likewise, as I wrote many years ago: “You must remember this, a click is just a click”. Even though Google continues to be able to turn such clicks into large revenue streams, it is only a matter of time before people realize that these clicks are actually worthless unless they lead to real engagement.

    In contrast, the Addle search system, which I introduced earlier this year, requires participants who wish to engage with other business partners to put skin in the game before they are allowed to interact. There is no requirement to create superfluous content, or for bean counters to tally up clicks. Since worthless clicks are worthless, counting them up is also worthless. Since the only thing that really matters is real-world engagement, each participant needs to gauge their online content according to how well it leads to real-world results.

    One last note on this notion of “collaborative economy”: Jeremiah Owyang of Altimeter Group has also been writing a lot about collaboration in recent weeks. However, his view of collaboration seems to be different than my own — he writes that the “collaborative economy” is:

    where brands will rent, lend, provide subscriptions to products and services to customers, or even further, allow customers to lend, trade, or gift branded products or services to each other.

    In other words, according to Owyang, collaboration is an exchange. In my view, collaboration is a matter of participation towards a common (or complementary) goal. Although I will not be attending the Le Web conference in Paris, I will be interested to read what Altimeter Group will start publishing about this topic beginning this week… — who knows? Perhaps such readings might actually lead to real-world results! :D

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