OPGS

OPGS - Staying True to Your Audience

Other Peoples' Good Stuff (OPGS)

I read a lot of online content; this is some of the best stuff I've read this month. It's the stuff that's thought-provoking and worth sharing, even though it might not tie exactly into this blog's normal themes.

 

image credit - flickr clement127

 

 

ESPN Firing Over a Hundred Employees

This article was published last spring, but I've kept it around because I think the story matters.

ESPN added social/political commentary to many of their stories and shows over the course of the last few years, thinking that it was what people wanted. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't.

First of all, their audience wanted to come home from a long day's work and watch a game, simple as that. They didn't want to hear a social commentary about Colin Kaepernick taking a knee. (and secondly, at least half of those who didn't mind hearing the opinions didn't agree with those opinions!)

In the end, ESPN let a vocal minority of social warriers (ie: a few twitter users and those with a cause) dictate their programming, rather than staying true to their primary audience.

 

In search of the minimum variable audience

From Seth Godin's blog. Seth reminds that when we try to please everyone, we rarely please anyone. He advises:

The solution is simple but counterintuitive: Stake out the smallest market you can imagine. The smallest market that can sustain you, the smallest market you can adequately serve. This goes against everything you learned in capitalism school, but in fact, it's the simplest way to matter.
When you have your eyes firmly focused on the minimum viable audience, you will double down on all the changes you seek to make. Your quality, your story and your impact will all get better.
And then, ironically enough, the word will spread.

Do you really need to advertise to everyone who might be searching for homes online? Why not choose to have a major impact on / influence over the few hundred people who already know and trust you?

 

Why social media failed

I get a weekly email from Chris Brogan, and it's usually one of the more thoughtful pieces I read each week. Unfortunately I can't link to this email online, because it's only an email and not a webpage. I'm going to link to Chris's site, and I encourage you to subscribe to his weekly email.

Chris wrote a couple months ago about social media, and why it isn't what it's cracked up to be. I'm going to over-simplify below:

3 Parts to Social Media

1.) Volume wins?

The social media companies need volume, and early users benefited from having lots of volume and lots of clicks/likes. Unfortunately, this changed over time to "fill volume by churning out lots of blather and drivel," and quantity exploded while quality became hard to find.

2.) Revenue wins?

The social media companies are trying to make money, so they tuned their models to maximize revenue. This means content providers have to pay to be seen in most cases. "Content is king" is a quaint concept from a long ago time.

3.) Communication wins!

We've been told there's value in producing tons of content. There isn't.

We've been told to post daily, to use clickable headlines, to add a great image, and to write lists. Stop it.

Social media is just a bunch of software. Storytelling is a core human endeavor. Tell great stories that resonate with the people who matter to you (and to whom you matter to them!)

If you aren't making money from social media (or good connections which later become money), why are you so driven by it? Get back to more social and less media, and watch your income grow.


Staying true to your audience is a big deal - big enough that plenty of experts our there are noticing. But it's harder than ever to do, mostly because there are so many distractions and so many "how-to" articles which forget to mention this simple concept.

Stay true to your audience, and stay connected with them. And if you want help staying connected, give me a shout - I'm pretty good at it!

- Chris Butterworth

OPGS - Technology Tidbits

Other Peoples' Good Stuff (OPGS)

There is so much incredible content available that we simply can't find it all on our own, so I like to share some of the best and/or more thought provoking things I've seen online recently.

 

AI Chatbot Fights Email Scammers

The concept is sound: email scammers send out millions of phishing emails (like bait), and then work hard to rip off the few who actually respond. If an AI chatbot can keep them busy answering questions, the bad guys can't respond to as many legitimate people.

 

If the youtube video doesn't embed properly, click the image below to view it in youtube directly:

Click the image above to watch on YouTube..

Click the image above to watch on YouTube..

 

 

Driver-less cars arrrive in Phoenix

Google's driver-less cars (now called Waymo) have hit the streets; Phoenix and the Southeast Valley are one of the few cities chosen to participate.

Personally, I can't wait. These cars are logging millions of miles on the road (and hundreds of millions of miles in simulation), with each car gaining the experience of every other cars' experiences. It won't be long before they are safer than the average human driver. Once they are, I will not only have less people texting while driving next to me, but I'll also be able to get productive work done while commuting - double bonus!

 

Swarming Drones for the Military

Think about a swarm of bees. No leader; no formation; no particular order - just thousands of insects flying in near proximity to each other, working together towards a common goal, and without any crashing.

Instead of attacking with a multi-million dollar aircraft, why not send in a swarm of a thousand miniature drones? The enemy might shoot a few out of the sky, but they won't get them all - and new inexpensive replacements can be easily added to the swarm. (here is another article on the topic.)

I first read about this concept from an economics & investing email; looks like some people see financial opportunities in the changing times.

 

Bill Gates invests in an Arizona "smart city"

It's becoming more and more apparent that, whenever we need to make a quantum leap forward, it's going to be done by private industry.

SpaceX is giving NASA a run for its money. Not mention the Hyperloop, Solar Roof Tiles, and Self-Driving Cars.

Next up may be a new Phoenix area suburb, built from the ground-up to take full advantage of technology.


Ready or not, technology is coming. Well, it's already here, but it's going to keep coming anyway..!

And if all this technology is off-putting, so much so that finding the right platform for your monthly newsletter is getting you down... Let me help - that's what I do best!

- Chris Butterworth

OPGS - Blame Charles Mochet

Other Peoples' Good Stuff (OPGS) -

There is so much good content available online that we can't possibly get to it all ourselves, so I'd like to share one of the best and/or most thought-provoking pieces I've seen recently:

From Seth Godin

Recumbent bicycles were banned from sanctioned bike races in 1934, because Charles Mochet, after designing a superior bicycle, chose a not-so-respected rider to set the world record while riding it. Today, 80 years later, we still don't see recumbents as "real" bicycles. (End Bikeism.)

image credit - flickr photoateller

 

Cars have two headlights because horse-drawn carriages had two lanterns - one on each side of the horse. It would be easy, and safer, to have one bar of light across the front of a car, but the status quo was set over a hundred years ago.

Sometimes the status quo doesn't make any sense, but no one understands why it is the way it is.

What are you doing (or not doing) with your business, just because that's the way it's always been done?

- Chris Butterworth

ps - And if sending out a great monthly newsletter is one of those things you want to do, but you find it difficult - check out my 8DollarFarming.com newsletter service - easy and affordable!

OPGS - It's only working for the white kids

Other People's Good Stuff (OPGS) -

because the internet is chock-full of great ideas and stories. You can't find and read them all, and I can't write them all, so I'm going to share this one with you..!

It's only working for the white kids - American soccer's diversity problem - published at TheGuardian.com last summer, this article talks in depth about how our youth soccer system does not produce the best possible national team, and why so many great American youth players don't make it to the higher levels of the sport.

My son has been playing soccer since he was little, in the suburban American "pay-to-play" system. The system produces some great players, but I wonder how many great players don't get produced due to the cost and limitations.

 

This story relates to youth soccer in America. It resonates with me because my son has been playing club soccer for a number of years (and we've been writing those checks for a number of years), and because I've often wondered about the economics of national-level soccer and why our national team isn't as good as it should be considering our nation's population and wealth..

I could talk around and around and try to explain how this topic relates to a monthly email newsletter, but let's be honest - I don't think it relates as much as I just thought it was interesting.

That being said, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic, and I'd love to help with your monthly e-newsletter. Give me a shout anytime.

- Chris Butterworth

OPGS - You can't do it alone

Other People's Good Stuff (OPGS) - because the internet is chock-full of great ideas and stories. You can't find and read them all, and I can't write them all, so I'm going to share this one with you..!

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Together

Arnold Schwarzenegger came to America with $20 in his pocket and went on to become the greatest bodybuilder of all time, then a movie star, then a State Governor, and was even appointed to the President's Council on Physical Fitness. Talk about making it big after starting out with nothing!

He says you can call him anything you want, but don't ever call him a self-made man, because there isn't any such thing.

We all need help, and we all need to help.

Goalcast.com has the original video, with a full transcript, in case my embedded video doesn't play.

And you don't have to do your email newsletters alone, either - I'm happy to help! Take a look around 8DollarFarming.com and let me know if you have any questions.

- Chris Butterworth

OPGS - Just Stand There

Sometimes I like to highlight Other People's Good Stuff (OPGS) - usually something I've read within the last week or so that made me stop and think, whether on-topic or off-the-rails completely, and I felt the need to share it with you.

Recently I read an email from Rob Hatch of Owner Media Group (his newsletter is worth signing up for!) titled "Just Stand There", where he talks about having the opportunity to unplug from his phone for a day.1

image credit - flickr clement127

 

You probably don't even realize how often you check your phone (I didn't either, but apparently they have an app to tell you the answer.) It's become so habitual that every minute of downtime - waiting in line, arriving early to an appointment, etc. - is met with a reach into our pockets for a glance at email or facebook.

Rob thinks this constant flow of information to our eyeballs is hampering our brain's ability to think freely, creatively, subconsciously.

Forget the old saying "Don't just stand there; do something."

The new saying should be "Don't do something; just stand there."

What would happen if we left our phones in our pocket? Probably more good than we would imagine...

- Chris Butterworth

1 Unfortunately I can't find a link to an email archive, so I'm linking to Rob's site and recommending his newsletter.