Tag Archives: internet

Bottom-up simple things – Day 127/139

Today’s guest blogger is Aleksis Nokso-Koivisto, Chairman of Board, FinderBase.

Back in the day, everything in the Finnish media was about making portals, and that seemed the future of internet. That even stretched to the Finnish version of dot-com bubble, the phenomenon of “wind suit investors”, referring to non-experienced ordinary people queueing in their jogging clothes to make sure to get their share of the last newly listed internet-company. Just check the photo in this article, if you want to remember the good old days:
http://www.kauppalehti.fi/5/i/talous/uutiset/etusivu/uutinen.jsp?oid=2010/04/32526

Currently social media is everywhere.

For example, I was recently participating an event, in which some EU-funded projects reflected their experiences on usage of social media. Almost every project believed, that social media is important for them, and they were often doing something in the field. However, the most usual experience was “we just created a wonderful social media site for our public organization, but nobody is using it”. Well, I am not surprised, if the social media was implemented from a top-down starting point of the organization’s intent to build one in order to have one. The opposite starting point, the user, and their relations offer far more interesting setting for building the media. How can we serve our users with different types of media? What is the user doing, with what objects, with whom, why, how? And also, social media is not a technology question, it is – as the name says – a social question. If the organization is ready and interested to work in open, networked ways, and wants to utilize tools for that, the media will be found to serve it. But if the organization just wants to use social media because it’s trendy, probably there is no technical tool to solve the equation.

Lessons learned.

Social media today appears to me similar to “portal companies” 10 years and more back. It is important to be there, even if it takes some queueing outside for some strange reason – as long as you get your company/university/community/whatnot to utilize social media. If you want to succeed, keep it simple. Social media is just a set of tools and social interaction, nothing more mysterious. Think from the user perspective. Strive for the heart of the issue, understand it, and then solve it. That’s what made the winners 10 years ago, and that’s how you win your game in utilizing social media.

Things are simple, we shouldn’t make them complex.

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Silly Internet communities – Day 75/139

The Internet is a silly place. Most people do silly stuff in the Internet at least most of the time.

I’m not an exception.

If you’re building a community in the Internet, the very least you should do is to think about your own behavior. Would you use your own service if it was designed by someone else?

Here’s my current contribution to the humanity via Internet communities:

  1. Geocaching and Geocaching.fi Wiki. According to my Geocaching.com profile page (needs login), I’ve found 3,099 caches and hidden 99 of them. In the Wiki, I’ve written dozens of articles and made hundreds of edits. None of this work really has any value outside the Geocaching community. And quite frankly, some of it doesn’t have value in it either.
  2. EuroBillTracker. This is a community that probably makes the least sense of anything I’ve done. According to my profile I’ve manually entered the serial numbers of  4,048 euro bills to the system. 117 of which were also entered by another member of the community.
  3. OpenStreetMap. According to my profile page, I’ve posted around 500 change sets to the community edited map. If an average set is about 20 changes that would make my grand total around 10,000 edits. Most of my edits have been manually copying features from aerial maps to be used on OpenStreetMap.
  4. Wikipedia. I’ve done a few changes in both the Finnish and English Wikipedias. The contributors of Wikipedia have done a really good job and nowadays the articles mostly make sense. That’s probably why I never became a huge contributor.
  5. PartioWiki. According to my profile in PartioWiki, I have contributed around 500 edits. I basically concentrated on correcting spelling and grammatic errors in the articles.

It would be easy to say that all of this “contribution” has been utter waste of time.

But I refuse to say that.

I’ve started this project partly because I’ve seen what the Internet is capable of. Ultimately, every great Internet community is about something silly. You have to at feel first-hand what a community feels like. If you’ve never done anything silly yourself, you might be limiting your thinking to the things that aren’t silly enough to be remarkable.

Millionaire magic – Day 61/139

There are millions of millionaires in the world and they all have their own money-making method. I was recommended to familiarize myself with the teachings of one of them, namely Brendon Burchard.

His teachings have several touch-points to what I do.

You can get an excellent overview of Burchard’s life and ideas by checking out his 90-minute Experts Academy Webinar. To summarize here are the bits and pieces that I agree with:

  • Anyone has the potential to become highly paid expert.
  • You have to choose something you’re passionate about to become good at it.
  • Show and share your passion and others will follow.
  • The money will come when you’re good enough in whatever it is that you do.

The slick 90-minute presentation has its pros but also its cons. The actual relevant content is really limited. The whole show has like 15 minutes of stuff that isn’t obvious or irrelevant. To top that off, the last 30 minutes of the his video is basically just hype-marketing his program. Needless to say, it still worked.

800 people paid $2,000 just to join his program, that’s 1.6 million dollars right there.

What should we learn from this?

At least that it doesn’t matter even if your message is 80 % rubbish. If that rubbish doesn’t scare people off, you have a chance of finding someone to follow you just for the other 20 %.

What do you think? Why is Burchard so successful in what he does? Is he ripping people off or actually creating more value than his services cost?