Conversation is Easy to Cite

Cory Doctorow covers a killer concept associated with Amazon's new author blogs:

Today there's the explosion of choice brought on by the Internet. All entertainments are approximately one click away. The search-cost of finding another artist whose music or books or movies are as interesting as yours is dropping through the floor, thanks to recommendation systems, search engines, and innumerable fan-recommendation sites like blogs and MySpaces. Your virtuosity is matched by someone else's, somewhere, and if you're to compete successfully with her, you need something more than charisma and virtuosity.

You need conversation. In practically every field of artistic endeavor, we see success stories grounded in artists who engage in some form of conversation with their audience.

It doesn't matter whether or not something is fair, it really only matters how the trends are changing and if you can adopt with how they change.

I sell a download-able ebook for $79. Is that too much to pay for a book? Maybe. It really depends on what you get out of it, but over the long haul the value is easier to justify and the sale is easier to make because there is topical engagement and conversation.

At times I absolutely screw things up, but mistakes usually teach me more than the things I do correctly. You have to try new things, and the more ways you allow your personality to be seen and connected with the easier it is to be successful being yourself.

Many people and companies fight the potential openness associated with some web based business models because they don't want the feedback or want to protect their rights and current business models.

My opinion is that if you consider markets as conversations and piracy a progressive taxation the way to have influence and create wealth is to spend far more time learning how to create additional value and distribution instead of focusing on how you are not getting your fair share.

The end goal is profit and satisfaction. While I am absolutely no good at many things I was stoked to see my site has been getting bookmarked in Del.icio.us almost daily recently and I got this killer feedback there:

Without a doubt the most interesting blog on search engine optimization I've found. His book is excellent, and his writing is clear and transparent. You feel like you know Aaron when you read his posts.

Of course there will be readers of various skill levels and knowledge levels. You really don't want to read too much into your own reviews because you are more likely to get feedback from the biased edges while the people in the middle sit quietly.

Recently I started posting a few Q and As to create more content for the beginer level SEOs, but I will likely need to balance that with other types of post to keep the blog interesting to more advanced readers.

My mom has recently started blogging and reading some of my sites as well, so she should keep me on the straight and narrow if I am posting things that confuse her. My mom thinks we encrypt Threadwatch, but she thinks my blog about blogging makes good sense. I believe this site is typically somewhere in between the two. As far as making marketing concepts simple and easy I think Seth does a great job of posting things beginners can understand. To some extent I think I would rather post original beginner level stuff than posting about the same thing be posted about everywhere. If you can relate other old ideas and concepts to what everyone else is talking about right now then you are at least one step ahead of the me too posting crowd I frequently find myself falling into when I am bored and uninspired.

It is rather amazing how well this blog has done because when I originally created it I did not define a specific market audience or skill level I was writing for and I still have not. It may not matter if 90% of the readers are bored by 90% of the posts so long as they can identify with the remaining ones.

Published: January 3, 2006

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