The other day I reasoned in a post that during the first 20 years of the internet, top careers emerged based on the technology itself. I cited the path of “Oracle Systems Administrator” — but this can be applied to Cisco products as well as Microsoft, among so many others.
It’s important to begin at a high level and drill down on this subject because history is worth learning from… bear with the review?
An inference is that the next 20 years will draw upon machine layers and we should expect careers to emerge that will ride atop the technology. Heard this all before? Doubt it?
To an extent the News Industry has already experienced these changes. Reporting is no longer what it was 10 years ago. Editing certainly has changed and delivery perhaps the most.
Businesses will experience a similar change. In the past — a static web site with contact information was perhaps a sufficient, credible presence on the internet. Periodic “refreshments” even “forklift” upgrades were funded and written off as “capital” investment.
This means that a Corporate Web Presence investment moves more from that static asset category into one operating in EBITDA. It’s a huge implication — and one that will require skill demonstrating value continuously. Not just once in a while, and when the pain is so great the Company has to react (like do a forklift upgrade to a website.)
Social Media is being developed by the big Channels as much as search was colonized by Google. You’ll notice that Google has taken Social Media very seriously. They’ve developed competing products.
So in a future discussion, I’ll delve into where the opportunities lie. But to summarize — the near term situation is “Break – Fix.” And the longer term involves sophisticated strategy and management of client Web Presences. And in there — is a next generation of services for SMB IT Consultants.
Also in a future discussion — what the heck is SMO? Social Media Optimization? Against what metric?!
Postponing compensation as results are generated. Is this the infamous “Test drive” or “Try before you buy?” Perhaps.
I’ve been observing a process (organization to remain unnamed) at an affiliation of experts “starting up” their brand. The question of compensation models emerged, and has taken a rather long time to craft into a page they published online.
They call it Value-Based Compensation. I wonder if it’s wise? I’ll admit this could be “disruptive” in their space, but is it really the business model they plan to retain?
We used to call the collaborative pay-upon-success approach — “Process Co-Ownership” — stakeholders, each having an interest. Success based on the performance of the partners attaining “milestones”.
Our discovery? That too much time (value) was hemorrhaged trying to plan and document — then — agree on progress assessments. Relationships dissolved owing to … many factors. As a recourse, we fell back on T&M engagements and ignored opportunities of this kind with great prejudice.
If you try this — avoid the perception of being “too hungry.” It’s downside risk of these kinds of agreements, honestly.
And there are two aspects that you’d be wise to evaluate:
Why is the client willing to engage thus? Are they looking an “agent of blame” (as contrast to an ‘agent of change’) — will it be more convenient for them to fail, than to succeed?
Why am I willing to engage thus? Inking a deal MUST bear some tangible value of some kind and it must manifest immediately…
Call this the “present-value’ of future work, payments differed. It’s a similar concept to the financial computation, except that the value balloon is at the front.
If you’re engaged in co-successful projects, at the point of ink — require permission to:
Add the client to your client lists
Make press releases, announcements with pictures
Obligate client principles to say good things about the engagement — script these in advance — the where’s and when’s.
Be sure that those good things are public…
Get them in written form, publish them as testimonials.
Do all of that UPFRONT.
These are a hedge against lack of attention, and diluted involvement issues — reputations needed be invested.
Create Present Value for your business — And then manage the engagement to cash payments later.
You’ll need to balance events like this with paying gigs. Continue to prefer T&M clients that cover your current bills until the bigger ships can come in.
Sometimes those ships may not, but your PR will remain.
This is a soft launch – pushing a series of interesting ideas forward to a circle of thinking acquaintances.
First, IWIT has opened a dialogue with CyberlynxOregon — and has volunteered to present some high-level thoughts (abstract below) at a small meeting in late 2Q.
But it’s what’s happening in parallel that’s really interesting and a pleasure to report — CyberLynx’s receptiveness to an idea I’d been incubating. I was engaged in those thoughts owing to some recent exposure to community issues and news channels: How to take the “community training” idea to a new level? A more comprehensive, participative one. As contrasted with the usual orientation of training folks on “how to” use various tools and then leaving it up to individuals to connect all the dots. Let’s train the whole group! And make “IT” … well, “go.”
The nutshell version:
We solicit the network of NPO’s and Volunteer organizations we have contact with — find a group with needs (little to none, or perhaps an antiquated Web Presence) and begin work with them. Then — that we schedule an evening, meet and actually PRODUCE a “state of the art” Presence for them, including building it all up from the Domain level — email, website, social media. Posting, categories, tags and connecting all the appliances from desktops and notebooks to tablets and smartphones. Do this all on stage, with computer(s) connected to projectors — pull back the covers on how all of this stuff gets done and build followers for the charity.
The objective: use low cost to no cost / free services available on the Internet to accomplish “IT”.
Further — What if we PROMOTE the event? “Sell tickets” (I have more ideas here) to the “working lecture” — so others can “observe” and learn from the process — all proceeds going to that charity of course. And have the “audience” use their mobile appliances to connect to the new “Web Presence” to follow and share about the Charity in whichever channel they prefer.
What do you think?
“How hard can IT be?”R
dggerhart posted: “Giving a talk in Bandon at the public Library June 25th.Schedule and venue details at Cyberlynxoregon.com “Anatomy of a Web Presence. “
Abstract: A high-level discussion of how services like Email, Websites, Social Media, “Cloud Computing” and “
dggerhart (david) shared a post from Web Presence Consulting
Giving a talk in Bandon at the public Library June 25th. Schedule and venue details at Cyberlynxoregon.com “Anatomy of a Web Presence. ” Abstract: A high-level discussion of how services like Email, Websites, Social Media, “Cloud Computing” and our appliances – phones, tablets, notebooks and desktop computers – relate to the ecology that we know […]
Three very focused concrete suggestions. Some related guidelines.
1.) Research sites and pages that feature content of interest to the network you want to build. It could “Cat blogging” … or a very serious consulting niche.
2.) Mine the posts at those websites, on Facebook, Twitter, G+. Find others that have posted that share your sentiments, interests — they have done so commensurate with people you’d want to have an actual relationship with.
Be very thoughtful and discrete.
Would you meet them in crossing at the Denver Airport?
Notes on Mining contacts.
Do so at a deliberate, intentional — even slow — pace. After you’ve made the rounds in those social channels (takes some weeks to accomplish)
Keep notes (links to sites and pages, etc. — comments about them to your self.)
… start over
Interact, interact, interact. Contribute.
Follow some other threads …
Eventually a few minutes per week is plenty.
3.) If you can’t otherwise connect (#2) — leverage LinkedIn. Search for customers. — here’s an angle …
“Hi, I’m doing a piece / series on (XYZ) for my blog. You came on my radar as a result of (ABC.) I’d like to get your opinions on (MNO) … can I meet you on a Google Hangout for 15 minutes? When’s good for you.”
Don’t forget to actually produce those posts and share them back with credit and kudos to that interviewee. Don’t drop that ball.
It’s not the number of followers you have, but the nature of the relationships. A few active and satisfied contacts in your network will engender the site visits and new relationships you need.
It all hinges on regularly posting and following, commenting — but not obsessively. Strategically, and concretely building wisdom and essentially a searchable knowledge base into your “Web Presence” –with an underpinning of historically interesting chronology.
At the end of the day, success might be resonate something like this notion — even in the midst of the busiest week, your spirit needs the little bit of time you spend following, commenting elsewhere and creatively posting to your blog, prospecting for “interviews” — being that expert resource.
The secret sauce — the element that is in fact “Disruptive” — is near at hand.
In an email shared with me today, I read how a company that hadn’t done anything with their website since 2004 was congratulating itself
over it’s decision to invest big dollars in a “Forklift” replacement.
My sense of the situation is that they expect to incur these expenses, write them off over perhaps years and deploy a more or less static web site. They expect to ‘reap the rewards’ — banking at least that existing clients will take them more seriously. Heavens knows their vision for developing new relationships.
Helping develop a Web presence is a gig. I don’t charge much for it, because it simply has to be part of the repertoire.
A Gig (big G) would be advising a client (like the one paying big dough for a forklift update) on how to imagine using their Web Presence to engage their community and audience.
Deeply important is how to go about evolving company culture to one oriented toward engaging those communities.
An analogy: I may have a backpack full of climbing gear, a camera and neat-o Glacier Glasses (shiny new website, I look good!) But if I don’t take them up Mt Hood, I’m not climbing. (Doing the work of Social Engagement.) Further, why not ascend Mt. Rainier, then go for McKinley?
Where the real opportunities exist — are in DISRUPTIVE elements a business needs in order to redefine and reallocate their share of the market.
What’s disruptive in your space will be a vision that not only sees the impact of the Company Web Presence — but the enormous capability that emerges from collaboration with clients and associates — who’s dedicated internet properties can amplify and be amplified in the ecosystem that is defined by your group.
To be disruptive in your space, be an early adopter. Since few others are having this conversation, you’d be well advised to keep some of what you read here private — at least within dialogues among your competition.
It’s a conflict of interest isn’t it? To sell a product the provider knows to be less than optimum for the client. But they have to, in order to be profitable in their own right.
How can you avoid the kind of epic fail that is to miss out on colonizing Social Media? What are the mitigations? Recourses and resources?
Well, you can always just throw more money at it. At least that way change isn’t part of the deal, but the budget was used.
If you were watching news in December this past year, you might have heard that FaceBook is dead. Some study done in the UK, on a limited population of teens. The assertion was that FaceBook growth was stagnant to seriously down – across younger demographics. I’m among those who see a different pattern. And it might be one of metamorphic character. There is an early phase, a peak and a diminishing curve. I have no evidence, only anecdotal suspicions.
An example: History Channel on Cable TV was awesome to start with. Now it airs…? What, I don’t even know, because I never stop past it anymore.
For those less interested in keeping a presence going in the various “channels” available out there in the “wild” on the internet. It’s not so much about colonizing everywhere as it is about knowing which colonies to “ride.” In case a reminder is needed — those channels will change, and more quickly than ever before. It may also become a question of when, if not directed application. It may be that early adoption and managed abandonment becomes a strategy.
Ride the waves. If Facebook is less relevant to the youngest, you need to know how much of your market is represented by those demographics evaporating into new channels.