January 30, 2005
Economic Transparency of a Business Model
Some businesses thrive and flourish specifically because they are inherantly transparent. Others do well only because people do not realize how successful they are.
Some stuff I do is rather transparent...other stuff, well its not so transparent.
Typically building perceived value or having a deep technilogical understanding are going to be the most critical steps to thriving in a social network such as the web.
Most markets are not saturated with interesting and useful websites, just a ton of cluttered shit. If you can figure a way to draw enough eye balls into a targeted niche then eventually a business model should follow.
People often overlook the fact that they could do much better for themselves by making their business model more or less transparent. Test a variety and hopefully at least one will fit ;)
This week I intend to diversify my revenue stream a bit :)
Oh MY GOD... THIS is Important
So many people have deeply found beliefs or truths which guide their lives.
Something means nothing to us and then one day something tragic touches someone near us and that moment guides many of our actions until we can no longer act.
I don't much believe in religion, or at least what I know of it at this point. Generally in my mind it fits well under the pyramid scheme category.
Some people trade their days though for hope in what will happen in the next life. My hopes are that I will enjoy portions of this one and help others do the same.
Any fundamental truth is also fundamentally blind and fundamentally false. I give away what is the bulk of my business model absolutely free to legitimate charities. In this I spend a large amount of time saying to build links and how important links are.
Last year I probably gave away about 1,000 of my ebooks and I think less than half of the people said thanks. And maybe about 6 of them linked to me.
Now my point is not that I help people because I expect something in return, but the point of this post is some people in charities:
- get the bulk of my business model free
- where I teach them that links are important
- few of them link
- and many do not even say thanks
In my own life much of what I do is at least a little blind and near sided...I spend too much time typing about life and not enough actually living it.
For the average person life would probably be a ton better if we did not need artificial motivators (drugs, propaganda, good causes worth my life, etc) to proceed. If we could focus away from ourselves a bit more the world would be a far better place.
As I type this I am staring into a monitor which may be staring back at me, while uncertain whether or not I make sense and whether or not that matters.
January 27, 2005
Advertising Economies of Scale
No doubt Google is bad ass, but within their search results and in other parts of the web much much marketing or manipulation occurs.
One person I know runs banner ads through an ad server. The told me about what they were making (which was pretty good) but were unimpressed with the lack of ability to grow that sharply.
Most the ads they were selling were CPM ads. The ads were exceptionally unrelated to their site. I was the first person to really explain to them how current off topic ads give future advertisers the idea that there must be little value there since the ads are so random.
The best testimonial a past advertiser can give is to STILL BE ADVERTISING.
Relevant ads give the perception of value. Irrelivant ads do not.
Another person runs a huge ad website who does a ton of relevant advertising, but they were looking to expand and were maxing out many of their markets. I showed them a simple technological thing they could be doing to double their ad supply in a month.
I started helping a few more people do SEO and found out one of the people who bought my ebook and new nothing about computers 6 months ago is now ranking well for lots of gold related searches.
It becomes easy to lose appreciation for a bunch of things when you are doing well. It seems that lots of the pain others around me live through stays with me a bit. And it seems I still am a bit to robotic in my actions.
That magical purpose of life still evades me. I am really good at selling other people's stuff, just not too good at selling my own. But I guess if you help enough other people you gain karma and they help you.
Amazing how well these networks let you connect to people and yet how distant from society I am. Beyond marketing life I actually need to start living it, but that is another chapter.
January 24, 2005
A Plant or Machine that Learns to Smile
So from day to day I find that one more day is gone. I rush and I do this and I do that and I rush to do this and that, but at the end of most days I find that the next day will just fall into the same pattern.
Sometimes I sit and think and realize a bit of stuff now and again but most of the time I rush without reason.
Sometimes I think the purpose of my life is to try to make life better for those whom I come in contact with, but if I live as a machine or as a plant how can I know anything about humanity?
How do you make life better when you spend most of your life avoiding it?
January 22, 2005
Look how Fox News Brigitte Quinn melts down when someone questions Bush's inaguration party. Be sure to scroll through the comments to view the reenforcement storm troopers and the riot cops tear gassing the crowd.
January 17, 2005
Secret Weapons Program, Bush Discovers Words have Meaning, Iraq new Terrorist Breading Grounds
Super Ecstacy...Secret Weapons Programs:
can't imagine the fundamentalists could support homosexuality...
THE Pentagon considered developing a host of non-lethal chemical weapons that would disrupt discipline and morale among enemy troops, newly declassified documents reveal.
Most bizarre among the plans was one for the development of an "aphrodisiac" chemical weapon that would make enemy soldiers sexually irresistible to each other. Provoking widespread homosexual behaviour among troops would cause a "distasteful but completely non-lethal" blow to morale, the proposal says.
This just in: Words have meaning...
the president discovers words have meaning. holly shit batman
Speaker to students: Stripping can be lucrative
Free at Last!
Iraq is the new "terrorist" breeding ground.
January 16, 2005
Do the Ends Justify the Means?
given a desired goal
and enough money
I can prove anything
I have scientifical evidence
that the scientifical evidence is bullshit
maybe the scientists are full of shit
pieces of this relational database
I chose to ignore
and others I trust
though it seems open source has not gone far enough
with so much focus on myself
of course I am biased
I just can't detach myself
its hiding me
its biting me
like dogs did to my face when I was young
when bored I eat
and I am bored often
most the shit we consume
is not worth the dollar we spend
which is not worth the paper we print it on
coco puffs is a whole grain food
and reeses cereal helps build strong bones
and school sharpens your mind
the government is in huge debt
its not spam when a senator sends it to you
social security reform is a huge fraud
pay your taxes
do not question your leaders
love your god
do the ends justify the means?
Right now I am reading a book by Malcolm Gladwell called Blink: the power of thinking without thinking.
It talks about how through thin slicing information we can sometimes extract more information than years of scientific research could prove.
Is it true? surely it is sometimes. but sometimes not.
Was the book wrote to make money? probably at least in part.
the roommate says he trusts stuff if its done for scientific purposes much more than if it is done for profits. of course most scientific research is done for profit, if only to help humanity or have your name forever etched on some stone or to later write a profitable book about your findings.
pride and personal branding are a type of profit.
many people are doing things they are not interested in ...often due to bullshit reasons like money or other artificial barriers we lay over life.
why should millions of people live in suffering conditions to make a few leaders or some arbitrary god happy?
after years of hard work right before the casket is dropped if one looks back they probably would want to have the ends justify the means.
no doubt I am rather naive
and no doubt many people have tried to manipulate me
its really hard to chose who to trust when you have little trust in humanity, but
I think Malcolm is one of the guys I will trust though.
are ethics nothing but an arbitrary set of statements aimed at manipulating you?
January 9, 2005
What is the value in an online education? I see college being useful and valuable based on the social connections that emerge and the atmosphere. You don't really get that from an online education, do you?
My roommate is going to college right now. Despite the fact that he "wants" to be an electrical engineer he is taking a bunch of english classes. I have it in my mind that he will do much more with literature and writing than with mathematics and engineering based stuff. He had a bit of a crush on his first English teacher and she got him into a course he normally would not have been able to attend as a freshman through her recommendation.
Now I am convinced that the social network that the web is...that is a really powerful thing. I am not convinced that one needs the structure of a course to learn though. Simply open yourself up to market forces and out of the need to survive and desire to succeed you will probably lead yourself toward water.
Within my first two years of site creation / promotion / extensive online interaction necessity led me to search engine marketing and even allowed me to have a one on one chat with employees and managers of some of the largest search engines int the world.
The more you learn about the web and its underlying technologies the more you realize that any field usually only has a few exceptionally powerful forces or sources in it. Its sometimes nearly impossible to directly access some of them right out of the gate, but as you learn more and more about a subject you can lead yourself toward water.
The real tricks are:
- figure out something that you are really interested in
- participate in communities related to those fields
- read books and tons of web pages about your topic
- as you learn, share.
- don't be afraid to be wrong.
- and learn to become a good judge of motive
Lots of internet marketing plays upon greed. In a sense there is a huge field of affiliate marketers who do nothing but write bunk testimonial letters and try to get thousands of subscribers to their newsletters to buy the shit they make money off of.
One of my recent customers just sent me a few emails. The first one covers that typical an ebook which is chuck full of affiliate links that really tries to sell that affiliate marketing pryamid scheme stuff.
I just finished reading XXXX. Very
interesting - seems like effective marketing is
basically learning how to fool or lie to people best
Useful though in terms of knowing what works.
he also read my ebook and left a comment on my site
Hi Aaron. Thanks so much for all your help! Your SEO book is fantastic. Very informative and super honest! Thank you also for all the personal help you gave me via email. You are extremely patient.
You have inspired me to go in the direction of honesty, something I have thought about, but wasnt sure if I could do.
Thank you for being such a great role model.
for myself the turning point(s) which really helped me sort order from bunk were:
- when SearchGuild invited me to be a moderator there
- when I read Andrew Goodman's ebook and it referenced a guy by the name of Seth Godin
Most everything on the web comes down to creativity and citation analys. If you do not give into emotions such as greed your instincts will probably lead you down the right path. Good people and good sites usually tend to reference good people and good sites....that is what makes them good.
As I write this I am chatting back and forth with the guy who created one of the better blogging software systems out there. He also runs the forums for Knoppix.
Its not easy right out of the gate for most people to do well online, but after you get to do something you like and eventually become a self sustaining business the logarithmic growth can really make the economics shift in your way really friggen fast.
When you are already doing exactly what you want to and money is of no concern for your day to day living you can focus a bit more on life :)
January 2, 2005
Navy Core Values Chief Mike Michael Cosgrove Senior / Master Chief Manteli USS Dallas (SSN 700) COB
I went back and visited a bunch of my friends for the first time in about a year.
I spoke with some of them and they told me that indirectly and directly I was spoke of at GMT (which is general military training).
Manteli (the chief of the boat) stated that people could try their luck selling T shirts on the internet if they get kicked out of the navy. The irony of that of course is that I am confident that if I worked half as hard at creating and marketing T shirts as I did at other things I have been doing it would still work out. Incidentally Yahoo! Search currently ranks me at #17 in the world for "t shirts" although I have put little effort into marketing that product ;-)
These guys go out of their way to try to make me sound poor and lost because they do not like the idea of me betraying their system and almost instantly making way more money than them while
- living a more interesting and full life
- being able to go wherever I want whenever I want
- not needing to report to a boss.
My chief also said I was a disgrace to the Navy core values. My friend got in his face and backed him into a corner. My chief may have been right, but he too was a disgrace to the Navy core values.
The Navy core values are honor, courage, and commitment. Where was the honor when they destroyed their work records of mine? Was destroying my work records an act of courage? What about the commitment to your people? Not there.
My own core values include concepts like humanity, empathy, and understanding. The Navy is generally a disgrace to my core values as well as their own. ETCM ETCS ETC (SS) - or whatever label defines your life - Cosgrove have a happy new year.
Declining US Dollar Value
This is the first email I have got like this, but it is a sign of things to come...
Please Paypal.....$130 Canadian! Yes, Aaron, 130 Canadian Dollars!
Would you consider changing currencies? Paypal enables you to make payments
in Canadian Dollars effortlessly.
You will notice no difference in price at the moment. However, if your US
Dollar tanks next year, you will find the price will begin to rise somewhat
bit by bit. When you find the price too expensive, you will leave. And
then, I'll just sell your Ad Space to a European, who will find it
inexpensive. That's the whole reason your government is letting your dollar
fall. The want American businesses like your's to buy only from other
Americans...not foreigners...hence, solve your whopping current account
trade deficit. From my perspective, I can choose to go down with your ship
(loose 10 to 20% of my income), or I can maintain my income by selling to
foreigners.) It's a mean old world!
I really think the dollar is falling because the leaders are negligent self absorbed corporate puppets who want the US government to be weak to help maximize shareholder value. I suppose I need to study economics a bit though...