Three Fingers in a Dyke

The legend of the brave Dutch boy – by others thought to be named Hans Brinker – who supposedly put his finger in the dyke to prevent a flood, was actually a literary invention by the American writer Mary Elizabeth Mapes Dodge (1831-1905), who was born in New York.”

I’ve been thinking about this story lately, because it’s all well and good if you can save the town by placing one finger in a dyke. Depending on which finger you use, you can still do a lot of stuff while you wait for help to arrive. You can play guitar. You can text someone on your g1. You can hold a knife and fork and eat dinner if someone brings you the food…..

Bill & Sandra

However, things become more of a problem FOR YOU if you have to put TWO fingers in the dyke to stop the flood. It gets obviously worse if you have to put THREE fingers in the dyke, because now, you effectively only have one hand left to do what YOU have to do until help arrives to properly plug the holes and you can go about your business.
 
This is what happens to you when people JACK THEMSELVES UP and then ask YOU to get them out of it. People just LOVE to paint themselves into corners that they can’t possibly get out of on their own and then beg someone else to solve their incredible problem for them. On top of that, they still want to haggle with you as if YOU’RE the one with the problem and not THEM. They explain the issue to you, you inform them of what you CAN do and how long it’s going to take you and then they want to know how cheaply you can do it for them.
 
How about if it costs you ZERO and you DO. IT. YOURSELF? How about that? Meanwhile, I’ll have a brew, eat some pizza and kick it with some chicks and enjoy my time while you’re busy FAILING. Oh… That doesn’t sound good to you? That means we’re talking about regular rates PLUS “rush” rates. It’s a fascinating combination of amusing & annoying when people are in dire straits (the predicament, not the band) and they want to haggle over the price of a seat in the lifeboat while the Titanic’s sinking. My ship isn’t sinking. Yours is. Hope you can swim! *waves goodbye* Continue reading “Three Fingers in a Dyke”

Lying, Begging & Promising in Social Media

I think I’m starting to see why people think it’s important to gain Twitter followers. They think you can use Twitter in ways that you actually can’t. I touched on this in “Shilling Away Your Social Capital”, but I think we need to think about this a little more deeply.

Stop Begging

Bill CammackBegging on Twitter will net you diminished returns, and quickly. First of all, if you’re begging people to come to your site, event or live stream, that means NOBODY’S THERE to begin with. That’s YOUR fault. You didn’t pub it correctly. You didn’t let people know what was happening. You didn’t inform them WHY they should show up, which is the most important thing.

If nobody showed up to your live stream, take that as a hint that nobody cares. Instead of making yourself look even worse by begging and then STILL nobody shows up, accept the situation and roll with it. Also.. Do not alienate the few people that decided to check out your show by acting like they don’t matter. If you wanted more people than you got?… Keep. It. To. YourSELF and keep broadcasting. If there are more people in the room than on your live stream, that’s the way the cookie crumbled. The show must go on. Live with it.

If you insist on begging, understand that nobody’s going to click ANYWHERE just because you asked them to. Your task is to provide them INCENTIVE in the format of text which explains what they’re going to see, hear or receive if they show up. If you can’t do that, don’t expect any viewers, AND retain whatever integrity you have left by not begging at all. Inform people about what’s happening, and if they show up, they show up. Continue reading “Lying, Begging & Promising in Social Media”

Will Your Show Scale?

I’ve been planning on doing a few different shows for quite a while now. Just about everything is in perfect position… however, before going forward, there’s an important consideration… scaling.

My friend Tyme White is always yakking about scaling. “How does it SCALE?” “That’s not going to SCALE!” blah blah blah blah blah…… Unfortunately (fortunately?) she’s right IF you’re looking at your show being a success from when you’re still in the early planning stages.

The way I’m going to define scaling for the purpose of this article is the ability to grow your show, social site, whatever. Just GROW it. Increase your membership. Increase your viewership. Improve your google rank. Get more people interested. Receive more UGC (User-Generated Content). Get more page hits…..

The reason scaling is important… Rather, the reason that YOU should consider your project’s ability to scale is that you might be broadcasting to a niche market. Let’s say, for instance, you want to make a show about DiY Clothing (DiY = Do it Yourself). There are only going to be a certain number of people interested in making their own clothing. A segment of that population watches videos on the internet. A segment of that population will be aware of your show. A segment of THAT population will like your show and recommend it to other people and/or come back and watch it again. A segment of THAT population will become ‘passionate’ about your show and become your core fans.


Threadbanger.com => Rob & Corinne, Justin & Marissa
That’s great for a start, but once you have an audience, what do you do next? How do you get MORE audience? Can you get more? ARE THERE any more people that don’t know about your show already that might be interested? How can you find them? How can you get them interested? What can you change about or add to your show that will reel in an entirely new set of passionate, core fans?

I remember when I became aware of / fascinated by the concept of scaling. I was hanging out in Bed, Bath & Beyond…. I know, I know. It wasn’t my fault. Blame it on Dan McVicar. :/

Bill Cammack & Dan McVicar
Bill & Dan

Anyway… I’m hanging out by the checkout line, and there’s this endless stream of people slowly making their way to the register to pay. So I start imagining how many people are passing me, and it occurs to me that it’s A LOT! 😀 Then it occurs to me that more people passed me in the last 5 minutes than the total number that subscribe to my show in iTunes. :/ THEN, it occurs to me that if I stood there all day, the number of people that passed me would be greater than the number of people that subscribe to many popular, established internet shows. What I took away from that contemplation was that even if you’re considered popular within your own space or echo chamber, there are still more people to reach…. A LOT more people.

One of the most successful internet video shows that I’m aware of is Rocketboom. In 2006, each daily episode was being downloaded ~300,000 times. Even with numbers like that, comparisons were being made to cable television shows, not network shows, which count their viewers by millions. Recently, this show called “Quarterlife” got booed off the stage for ‘only’ pulling in 3,860,000 viewers on NBC… Obviously more than ten times the daily Rocketboom viewership.

Of course, none of this means anything to people that are expressing themselves by putting video on the internet and have no interest in numbers, stats, revenue-sharing, sponsorships, etc. For those that do care, and whose show’s future may very well depend on scaling, it’s important to consider the “what if?” of potential success.

Actually, before you figure out whether your show is scalable, you need to figure out if your show is SUSTAINABLE, which is an entirely different issue. For the most part, there are no “seasons” in internet-show-biz. It’s a new week… You need a new show. Period. Whatever your cycle is… daily, weekly, monthly… you need to come up with a concept that you can produce consistently and deliver on a regular basis. If you can’t do that, scaling’s useless because your viewers will drift away due to lack of output on your part.

So, do like Tyme does… “Ask NOT, Will it Blend?… but Will it SCALE?”

I’ve Seen The Future

You just can’t believe me
When I show you what you mean to me
You just can’t believe me
When I show you what you cannot see

~ New Order ~

That song is entitled “Confusion” but I wanted to quote it here, because growing up, I thought it was “THE FUTURE!!!” hahahaha 😀

I just visited my friend Amanda Gravel’s website, Social Honeycomb and read her new post about the future, which started out being about a tattoo, but evolved into a lesson everyone should pay attention to…

My takeaway from Amanda’s post has to do with progression… Progression, as she mentions, from Point A to Point B. There’s the progression from the past to the present and also the progression from the present to the future.

Progression from the past to the present is recognized via hindsight. You get to look at who you were in the past and how you used to act through the eyes of who you are today. You might not have recognized the importance of people’s actions back in the day, but having progressed to the present, often, one achieves a better understanding of what people did for them in the past. That might have been the friends you made that taught you how to deal in life, your parents who paid for your college education and made sure you had the best of everything, your best girlfriend that you’re still tight with while her last three boyfriends have come and gone…. It’s easy to not recognize these things and reach back and give thanks to the people that helped you become who you are today. Amanda’s post reminds us to give propers where they’re due and recognize those who planted the seed that you carried to fruition during your turn in the spotlight.

Progression from the present to the future, as she says, is inevitable… However, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to take advantage of that. Many people give up, because they don’t know any better. Many people assume they can’t do anything more in life and reach a plateau… never reaching their true potential because they stop believing in themselves too soon. The future’s coming… whether we act or not. This is *your* chance to be who you want to be and do what you want to do. Planning for the future and envisioning what you’d like to happen is the first step towards achieving your goals.

It will always be right now.

Right now, you have the chance to build your future the way you’ve always envisioned it.

Make It Happen…..