The Internet Wasn’t Around Then

Et This week I started a new experiment with this blog and I've been looking at the metrics and thinking about what I would change and do differently next time to keep learning.

I'm quite fortunate to have a platform such as this to try new things.

Even as building the platform took a lot of work and many sleepless nights, I couldn't have imagined connecting with so many people on the strength of the ability to create helpful content vs. depending on others — media, influencers, etc. — to find the time or have the desire to sponsor my work by publishing it.

This is insight number you have when publishing a blog that you probably take for granted.

Who you write for

It's just as important to learn what your customers and readers are interested in after four years of blogging as it is after two days.

In fact, in the early days it is easier to know all the people for whom your write. You start with a content plan and an editorial calendar and off you go. Over time, if your content is spot on, you may attract the people you intended to attract and their friends and colleagues to join in by commenting, passing the content along.

Which is what makes the conversation richer — all of those who make up your community and their friends are a big part of what makes the platform you built successful. The feedback you receive also comes from other metrics — page views, links, conversations on Twitter, Facebook likes, and so on.

You decide what success is, how to measure that, and if you want to take things to the next level. The feedback is pretty much immediate, compared to other activities — say a school degree, a job where your first review comes after 4 months.

The Internet wasn't around then

When I spoke to Donna Fenn about GenY entrepreneurs this week, I thought about the opportunities young people have today. In addition to having really good role models who have showed the way, college programs, and venture funding capital, they have the Internet — or the world wide web to build a business on or a platform from which to help market their business.

My friend Chris Guillebeau helps entrepreneurs build their business or take it to the next level thanks in part to digital media. It's great to have access to a product like his to help frame a lifestyle business — one where you can make a comfortable living doing something you love, without killing yourself.

For an enterprising person like me, this option would have been much better than the lower paying jobs with harder physical labor that were available when the Internet wasn't around. I also like the creativity that goes into working on such a business.

Signal and connections

Today, you have ways to create signal with content and to have a fast path to resolution for issues that may arise with customers. To engage all the opportunities that can come from this digital shift, you need to work on solving your personal PR crisis — learning to think like a free agent and putting skin in the game.

This is what allows you to go from here to what's next. 

The whole conversation about social media wouldn't have been here without the Internet. However, the world wide web just opens opportunities much wider.

Think about the benefits of meeting people — strangers at first — who give you tons of free advice through their content and that of others. How about the friendship, support, and counsel of your peers? 

To connect with people and opportunities, you still need to be willing to do, act on ideas and connections, give yourself permission to overcome your inertia and fears, and show up.

How are you planning to build momentum for yourself or your business thanks to the Internet?

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0 responses to “The Internet Wasn’t Around Then”

  1. I find this question so hard to answer because I have trouble defining what “momentum” should mean. For most of my efforts, I would probably have to define momentum as better search rankings, increased response to outreach efforts, blog comment or follow-on post growth, etc. This can seem daunting initially in the b2b space (or more appropriately the for-profit to nonprofit space that I work in). However, I keep in mind that a business itself is not a people, BUT its employees are. Businesses don’t retweet me or my employers. People do. The same goes for blog comments or whatever else.
    As a result of this, I just have to keep in mind, like you said, what types of people my audience consists of and what they respond to. If I can keep focused on that, I think I have a pretty solid start toward building momentum.

  2. Thank you for a very thoughtful post. It reinforces my view that excellent content driven by passion, presented in a consistent way, is the key to building relationships and success with your online presence.
    You ask a key question about how to build momentum on the Internet. My take: Think more like a publisher of a magazine or newspaper. Plan your content. Set the frequency (schedule). Capture and create stories about topics you love. Share. Embrace the conversation. Repeat!

  3. @Eric – good feedback on defining terminology. To me momentum means scaling forward, building things in business to a point that it tips and actions are carried on the strength of other, existing actions with the customer community. You did beautifully in your example.
    @Peter – I like your point about capturing and creating stories about topics you love. Excellent content takes time. To be appreciated, it would need to be viewed from the eyes of the reader, what is useful for them.

  4. @Valeria Thank you very much. I appreciate further insight into how you define momentum for your business purposes. I think that’s a great point about social media, online (or offline) communities, etc that many ‘outsiders’ don’t always get adequately explained to them… Your efforts can reach a point where you get paid back above and beyond your initial and ongoing investment.

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