Planes, Trains, New Hollywood and Your Network
I woke up with a headache so you all are in trouble.
Here’s where the rubber hits the road.
This is the post where you decide if you are with me or against me. If you think I am a full of shit blowhard or if I really know what I am talking about.
Yesterday, before the boring Superbowl, I was reading Brogebrity and came across a mention of Jason Calacanis’ diatribe on YouTube. Jason, who I don’t know and never met in my life, is , of course, wrong as sin. I was bothered he didn’t understand the participation age we live in but whatever.
Then I started writing my story on Rafat Ali. Now Rafat should be the poster boy for blog network creation. He took a one man show and has created a mini empire of blogs. I go to Blog Network List and he’s not even mentioned. I do some searches and find that no one in this industry has ever mentioned him. At this point I’m irate.
Some of you still don’t get it. You have no idea what is happening and what is about to happen. I’m going to try to take a minute and explain it all to you. I’m pissed off right now but still I’ll try to be rational.
You are in the content business. Got that?
Right now what the internet is is something like the railroad. People are making all these tools to make the railroad a cool place. Some are building tracks and trains (Google/MSN/etc.) Some are making comfortable seats on the train. Some are making different communication tools. All kinds of stuff.
But what you make (or should be making) is the most important part of the train. The cargo. No one would give a rat’s ass about the train if it didn’t have stuff to carry.
Now there are two types of cargo.
Information and entertainment. That’s it.
Now the people who want to get the cargo of that train don’t really care too much about the extra tools. If they are there and can afford them, good. If not, so what? The important thing to them is that they get their cargo (information or entertainment).
Now there are all types of ways for people to get the cargo that they want. (planes, cars, ect.) But the train that’s been built goes everywhere and everyone’s facinated by it.
You. As a cargo producer. Should not give a fuck about the train. Stop worring about the train and it’s ammenities but focus on your cargo.
Do you know why I got involved in this industry? I love the music industry but you would have to be blind not to see it is practically dead. You can’t make the money you used to because the market has completely changed. And the folks running it are lost. Completely.
All the cool kids are on the train.
But most of them are making tools. What I wanted to be involved with are the folks making the cargo. The new cargo for the train.
Now all the old cargo producers are starting to put their stuff on the train. They don’t know exactly how and are only sending bits and peices. But some of them are catching on. And catching on fast (Did you see the ESPN commercials last night?)
Now like I said before. You produce cargo. All you care about is creating cargo and getting it the people. You don’t care if it’s delivered by plane, train or automobile. People use all of them so you gotta be on all of them (ESPN, people!). The cool thing about using the new railroad is that it’s easier and cheaper to create the cargo.
Let’s forget the train anology for a second (because I was really getting rediculous with it.) what we have the opportunity to create here is the new hollywood. It’s already happening but not everyone is seeing it yet. The internet is full of stars that it has created. The problem is (or should I say the missed opportunity) is that few people are trying to bring those celebrities to other platforms.
Now people try to do the opposite. Everybody who’s anybody in the “real world” has a website. They leverage their celebrity to drive traffic.
What network owners should be doing is creating celebrities/content/information which, after proving their success here,they can then take to other mediums.
The machine has already been built. There are so many different mediums that they are all starved for content. Especially content with a built in audience. Do you really think it will be that long before you see some Gawker TV show? The Smoking Gun already has a TV show. The key is creating compelling content for a specific audience.
That’s why I curse at adsense ads. Who gives a fuck about .03 cents when your main focus should be creating an audience.
That’s why you want content producers instead of mere writers.
That’s why i get so pissed. I see people creating networks based on other peoples content. I see networks with no vision of where they are going. It’s fucking depressing.
Jeez, this is getting long but I’m not done.
Let’s take for example the WURK network. Cool idea. Cool site. But how do you leverage that?
I have no idea how big his audience is but he has to grow it. He needs to be talking to all the job sites on the net. There are a lot of them. Some are city specific. Some are national. He needs to partner with some of them and get some traffic. A lot of traffic. And then he needs to make his writers stars. Promote them like they are fucking Paris Hilton. And then he needs to contact a cable television network or producer and say “look, I got this many readers a day. I need to be on TV.” Then he goes to a radio syndication company and says “I have this many readers, I need to be on radio”. And suddenly he has a freaking empire. But first he has to stop thinking so much about adsense ads and worry about content. The cargo.
After 9/11, when I was married to my second wife (this one not this one) she got visited by the FBI for recruitment because she knows several languages. (She’s also Mensa and accomplished more by the age of 25 that most have in their lifetime). She decided not to accept their offer because “I love this country too much to be involved in what’s going to be a mess.” She quit her teaching career and took a job with the ACLU instead. She wanted clean hands.
I felt the same way about the music business. I thought I would get into this blog network thing because the music business had no real vision of what came next. They were an accident waiting to happen. I thought this business would be different. But I’m finding the thinking just as myopic. And it’s an accident waiting to happen as well.
Will the leaders of this business please stand up?
9rules is getting involved in fucking porn. It’s for the money. Because they have no idea how to monetize their content. They can scream all they want about community this and that but shouldn’t it really be about the readers of the content not the producers of the content?
Pajama’s Media. WTF is that? Glen Reynolds has nicely taken his brand and capitalized on it. But really, why would I visit PJMedia? If it’s a news source tell me what I can see (9rules got that right) but if it’s just a place where cool writers hang out then I’ll skip it.
If you are creating a community it should be for your readers not your writers. Isn’t that just common sense? If I went to a place and I knew some cool writers would be there I can chat with I would be impressed. If it’s just a place with cool writers all I have is Vanity Fair with out the pretty pictures.
Some people know what’s happening. Denton knows. Rafat Ali knows. Federated Media understands. But the majority do not have a clue.
You want to get it? Read This. But hurry, the trains leaving.
[reloaded: Is it obvious I lost a bunch of money on the seahawks? 🙂]
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