I’ve been explaining this to people over and over again and I reached the point where I just want to point them to a web page to read through before we can talk some more about it :p
So here it is, in a nutshell, the whole deal about Google and Facebook competing to hire the best engineers and develop the ultimate social network. This is also the deal about Google Buzz, Google Wave and Google whatever other products they pimp these days… including personalized search and maps.
What Facebook and Google want, is to get as much personal information as they can to better profile you as a consumer.
Ideally, they’ll try to do that by looking good. For example: they don’t really push you to volunteer info about your age, place of residence, etc. Instead they merely let you share your thoughts about getting married, or going on vacation, or buying a new car, or considering a new diet, or what not with your friends… but don’t kid yourself, all these status updates, they are basically strings of very meaningful keywords… and they are being analyzed! Right Now!
I just finished reading "the dip" by Seth Godin. I actually didn't really know what the book was about and I basically picked it up just because it was less than $10 and because I loved previous books by Seth Godin (no doubt he's one of the greatest marketers of our generation!)
Well I'm glad I did. This is a small 76 page book, so it was pretty easy and fast to read! Actually, it could probably be even shorter and still make its point! But wow! More than making a point this book will actually pep you up and motivate you to hang in with your projects... or to quit before wasting any more time. Basically it tells you that the worst thing is to stay on a dead end track...
But for me, the most interesting part was the motivational part about how the dip before success is a normal thing to experience. If a project didn't have that painful phase where nothing seems easy and where you feel like you want to quit, then that project probably wouldn't be worth pursuing anyway... since just anyone else could do the same.
This is exactly the kind of stuff I want to read right now, with the down economy and everyone around loosing their energy.
Of course, the book also made me realize that a couple of my projects were sort of dead ends and that I should quit them right away. But that's part of the process! Reading this book over the last 2 days made me feel better about prioritizing my projects and cutting dead branches!
Minimum cash & time investment. High motivational return. Check it out! :)
Interestingly enough I just stumbled upon an old IRC conversation where I was asking some PR questions to Robin "Roblimo" Mille, editor of NewsForge. It's pretty old (the file date says April 2004), but I thought it was still interesting...
fplanque: should we position our product against the competition by mentioning competitor names and pros/cons
roblimo: fplanque, This is touchy. A company we'll called "TinyLimp" to disguise their true identity is currently giving Linux great credibility by telling people to compare it to a product we'll call "Doors."
How many people would not have considered Linux at all without reading the TinyLimp sponsored case studies that "prove" TinyLimp products are better?
Comparisons are good when you're the underdog, but are usually not smart when you dominate a market.
(If any TinyLimp people are reading this, I hope you keep your present course, though.)
Let me add to this a bit....
*Honest* comparisons work, and dishonest ones don't. Ad maven Jerry Della Femina once said nothing can sink a bad product faster than a big ad budget.
His example was a beer hardly anyone liked that his agency designed a successful campaign for.
The problem with PR and promo is that it can get people to try a product, but that's all. If the product sucks, they'll try it and kick it to the curb. Getting more people to try a bad product just makes it fail faster.
This is the underlying point, always: Stumbling, badly written PR for a great piece of software is *always* better that slick PR for crap.
PR is simply telling the world that your project exists.
fplanque: should we write different press releases for each journalist, making each one more focused on the interests and backgroung knowledge of a particular publication?
roblimo: That would be a lot of work. I'd say it's more practical to write press release for different types of publications.
Think of a guitar notation program. You'd make one press release for music pubs, another for software pubs -- and if it's FOSS, yet another one for FOSS pubs, which is where a plea for developers or testers might be best.
"Giving up the illusion that you can predict the future is a very liberating moment. All you can do is give yourself the capacity to respond... the creation of that capacity is the purpose of strategy."
- Lord John Browne
Chairman of BP
I've been laughing my ass out reading the report about Papa Hari's "Make Money Offline" seminar! [update: the site hari.literaryforums.org is gone]
Just a couple of quotes to give you an idea:
"It was really cool, the way they taught us how to make money, like getting a job or starting a business," spoke a teenager wearing a T-Shirt with the words 'World of Warcraft Rocks!'
An authoritative expert on making money offline said "If you really want to get rich quick, you need to resort to unethical means like stealing, counterfeiting, defrauding the public, evading tax, robbing a bank, kidnapping for ransom or becoming a celebrity."
"Many youngsters in the audience were extremely interested in counterfeiting and forgery, since it was literally about 'making money' but were very disappointed when they learned that it was not legal."
"Who are the Government to tell us what is legal and what is illegal?!" fumed an angry young lady, "They're acting just like Google these days: interfering, always breathing down our necks and telling us how to live our lives..."
This is AWESOME stuff!