Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Steal this content and kill a kitten

For the record, I was not looking for porn when I wrote this article.

How long should writing an article take? I'm not getting paid by the hour, so I suppose my effort to reward ratio is my own problem. I'd like to construct a well written article to hold your interest in less than 5 minutes, but that probably won't be worth reading. And can I sit here writing about the blog and this self-referential post and get much further? Not really.

When it comes to web traffic, content is king. If you have something worth reading, seeing or downloading, surfers will come. Hell, if you just write about increasing web traffic or creating something worth seeing or downloading, they will come. At some point, web masters need to leave the revenue generation behind and just focus on some original content. Of course, the internet has been practically custom built for intellectual theft, so be prepared to see your hard work being delivered from another site, paying someone else's bills. If it's posted, then it can be duplicated and reposted somewhere else. Sure, that's technically illegal, but it's down right near impossible to police, unless you're Disney or Microsoft or some other conglomerate with a team of lawyers protecting your assets.

So what's the deal here, you wonder? Why am I still writing and why are you still reading? Short version, we're both waiting for something interesting to happen. Where's the wisdom in my post? Where's the hidden web gem idea that you can beg for/borrow or, hell, it's the internet, just plain steal? Is there inspiration here to quit your job and develop your own revenue stream, one that works 24/7, even when you're sleeping? That would be nice, for sure, but I haven't written that part yet.

What about "Doing What You Love And The Money Will Follow"? I've always wondered what else needs to be in a book with a title like that? Maybe "Charge money for this service or talent that you love" or "Start a business around your passion to generate revenue". That gets us to page one. Now what? There are 6 billion people in the world, 300 million in the U.S. now. Aside from the 10 other people in my department, no one else does what I do for money. Sure, there are similar jobs, and mine has provided some unique work opportunities that "owning a website" will never provide, but at what cost?

Working for yourself is probably very liberating and empowering, but unless you plan to get into the cruise ship business or the skyscraper business on your own, sometimes working for "the man" is the only way to gain access to the things you truly love (if you love building cruise ships or skyscrapers). Unrealistically you could argue, "I'll just found my own renowned architecture firm and do what I love". Go for it. Good for you. But for some it's much easier to join up with the establishment and hit the ground running on the details you love, not the details of the business. I don't know many architects who enjoy managing payrolls or employee health coverage.

The pitfall is that a newly founded business will always grow into an established business. Internet startups eventually need to hire MBA's. In the beginning, Microsoft was 2 guys in a garage, but do you think they have grown-up corporate problems now, with thousands of cubicle dwelling employees? You betcha. Easy answer - get out before the kitten becomes a cat. Are you the one who can start 'em up, but can't send 'em to college? When they get older, pass them off to your sister and start another one. Travel light, jumping from one idea to the next, spawning kittens everywhere you go, because, let's face it, kittens are pretty damn cute. Yet, kittens grow up to be cats.

Problem is, if we remember where we're coming from, we hate cats.

Now, hypocrisy has a new friend...you. Even if you don't go global and your kitten stays cute, young and naive, like a Kansas girl at a Hollywood busstop, the cats will suppress their envy and either eat you up or buy you out.

Innocence is always lost, and those who lose it are on the prowl to take yours.

In the meantime, generate some original web content and drive traffic to your supplemental income website. But don't be discouraged when the only statcounter numbers you see are from your own publishing software. If you build it (and make it worth seeing/reading or downloading), they will eventually come.

To steal it.

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