I have moved my blog to a new address - http://www.raghucs.com
I have *not* moved all the posts from here but only moved the ones which had a reasonable number of hits.
From now onwards I will not be making any further postings here.
I am in the process of moving my blog here onto my domain and am busy working out where to host it to, to use wordpress or stick with blogspot etc.
Amidst all this I have not been able to make my regular quota of postings on my blog. Please bear with me for another week.
I think that there are 5 important stages that a blogger passes through as he establishes and drives his blog up the popularity curve,
Stage 1 - Starting the 'S' curve
Almost every average blogger who starts blogging starts here. Key characteristics at this stage,
- Minimal focus on the content itself (assuming that you are an average starter like me)
- Drive is to post rather than worry too much about the niche / quality etc of the posting
- Low to Medium exposure to other blogs in areas that you broadly want to cover
- Getting people to read your blog is the only focus - monetizing your blog is hopefully low on the list.
As you make some postings and hopefully get some people reading your blog there are quite a few changes that one can see in the characteristics above,
- You feel your have some people reading your postings and start feeling the pressure of living up to what ever expectations that you have created in their minds.
- Meeting expectations means that you don't want to blog every idea that comes to your mind - some focus on content and quality starts coming in
- As you have started blogging the exposure to other blogs in increasing - you pick ideas on how and what to blog - this some what conditions the mind
- Getting more traffic and starting to monetize your blog become objectives for you.
As you traffic and postings increase you are starting to both benefit and face the challenges from the increased readership
- You have more people reading and hopefully contributing on your blog which makes idea generation for content easier
- Network effects start kicking in and your avenues for monetizing the revenue increase - well of course more options means more complications too !
- More people means more expectations - time that you might need to spend would increase and that makes it tougher
- You chose your niche in Stage 2 and now your increasing set of reader condition and narrow it down a little further - you are somewhat forced to restrain yourself to what your readers want. Of course you can take the approach that you keep your niche and lose some readers on the way !
Further down the road and its time to reap the benefits of the tough climb up the curve
- Your network is so strong that it can sustain with minimal contribution from you - the day you probably stop spending time in building the network your simply slip back to the earlier stages
- People look up to you as a thought leader in your chosen niche and you again get the chance to widen your scope - you are leading your network in addition to their guiding you
- Monetizing your blog is much simpler now - any option you choose would mostly work with a little tweaking may be
- You abilities in being able to network with the other thought leaders is put to a thorough test
Having been in Stage 4 for a while I guess the blogger needs to realize that it is time for him to either innovate or saturate. Some of the options that come to my mind at athis point for a blogger are,
- Sell off and restart the journey on a new S curve
- Get your users to graduate on a new S curve - could be a different focus (albeit related), an entirely new way of taking your network along
I was reading Dion's blog today at the end of his posting I read his request for comment which read "Web 2.0 is about participation! Visitors are strongly encouraged to leave comments...".
The key point that stuck me was Web 2.0 is all about communication, interaction and collective wisdom. On my blog however, although on an average I get about 100+ visitors which is good news for me, but my readers hardly leave any comments for me which is not :-(
I honestly urge you to leave comments on my blog (anonymously at least) which will go a long way in,
- Improve the quality of my posting - I am sure that I must have a long way to go before I can be confident and comfortable about the quality of the postings that I am making.
- Improve the relevance of postings - If I get some comments on my blog I get a handle to work towards improving the relevance of my postings to my readers. It will help me not waste time on irrelevant posting that is not required.
- Ideas for content - I must have read that comments are a source for blog posting ideas on almost all sites which provide some tips on this area. So folks please help me out !
Any blog that you visit on technology is talking about the extremely powerful Web 2.0 concepts such as harnessing the collective intelligence, focusing on end users/customers as co-creators, and turning the applications into platforms.
Dion Hinchcliffe's Web 2.0 Blog that I track for write ups on this topic today had a posting titled "Product Development 2.0" and there were some interesting points that were discussed there.
For a young company which is launching itself into developing a product many of ideas / items listed in the note are probably ones which would not make a lot of sense.
I categorize the points that are listed into 3 broad areas and try to address why young companies might 'resist' or take longer the need to make the transition if they have to survive,
- Stakeholder Interaction and Transparency
- Product Development and Ownership
- Definition of Competitive Advantage
- Risk Reward Structure - The 'firm' is taking most of the risk in terms of monetizing the product but with substantial support from its users etc. If users contribute at any stage - requirements definition, design, development, testing etc I am not sure if they would simply take the product and be happy ?
- Segmentation and Targeted Products - If a firm wants to have multiple versions / tracks for different customer segments - how would we handle this in this model ?
- Prioritisation and Sequencing Approach - I agree that collecting a database of intentions is a good idea and would go a long way in interacting with end customers but I think this should also be backed up with a very good process to process that database and ensure that reverse communication is done with the co-creators.
Today I read about a manifesto titled “How to be Creative” on Guy's blog and was very impressed at not only the specific manifesto but also with the idea. So I went to ChangeThis and read up a few more manifesto's.
So what is ChangeThis - read on how they introduce themselves just read their manifesto here.
I went through the following 5 manifestos before writing out this post
I have been using mind maps towards tracking my several activity threads for the last few months. I must say that it has been a great enriching experience and I have benefited a lot in by this effort. Some clear benefits that I have realized are,
- Gives me a clear view of my tasks and activities.
- Allows me to plan better and keep myself updated of all threads.
- Far lesser number of activities seem to slip between the cracks
- Don't completely delete threads which are closed from the map - Many a times tasks are closed but can open up and I would suggest to have a closed thread's branch under which all the activities closed (at least the important ones) can be placed month wise.
- Load the mind map with information - Most of times action thread have mails, documents, presentations, views, discussions, MoM's associated with them. Without this information the mind map is not a complete information base that it can be. So remember to link up you mind map nodes with the information on them.
- Tag your mind map branches and nodes with icons - In my understanding a mind map should not only provide you with a single interface to all your activity threads it can and should also provide you an idea of when and what that goes with the activities. Tag the nodes with the relevant icons to the best extent possible.
- Branch dedicated to 'recurring activities' - Irrespective of the job you are doing you would always have a list of recurring activities that could occur daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly of yearly. It really pays off to organize all these recurring activities under one branch and review them as frequently as necessary
- Highlight dependencies - In many cases one of your activities are linked on other activities on your map. Make it a point to link these together. This provides you a very good view of how your threads are dependent on each other and helps you a lot in prioritization of your activities.
- Spread the word - Any project is team work and you getting more productive is only part of the success. The more and more people use this technique on your team the better it is for everybody. If you are convinced that mind mapping is a good technique, I would suggest that you use it for a few weeks and then take it on you to get at least 2/3 members in your project to get using it.
Well CES is winding down and was reading today at GigaOM a posting titled "Top 5 trends at CES" which are, Content Everywhere, Mobile TV, Location Aware, High Def, Storage Jump
Tags: ces, mobile tv, content, user generated content
When I read the posting to me it appeared that there were just one word which stood out - "CONTENT".
Well what is so unexpected about it after all a event usually makes an attempt to address the top of mind issue at that point in time, in the process further contributes to the trend itself.
I dont think anybody today argue's if or not content is king - further with user generated content catching up in all forms of content focus on content only will increase. So what are the top issues that one would face in the coming year (s) around this word CONTENT
1. Create, Store and Share Content both offline and online
2. Experience Content at each place in the most convenient way - Location aware content, Mobile TV, High Definition devices
So as is expected this area is mostly evolving and products released this year in these areas would go some way in hastening this movement. Read some of the CES press releases here
I came across this brilliant compilation of visualization methods that exist in a highly innovative periodic table arrangement. You can have a look here “A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods.”
I have not yet gone through the table completely myself, but just looking at a couple of cells on the periodic table I am in highly impressed at the thinking behind the arrangement and the innovative approach.
In case you are interested to read a little bit more about how the creators of this artifact Ralph Lengler & Martin J. Eppler worked on this, you can have a look at their short paper titled "Towards A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods for Management"
Was reading an interesting item today titled "How To Market Your Blog in 2007" at ProBlogger.net and it occurred to me that I have not reviewed my blog in Dec 2006. I did a quick review and here is a summary,
- I took a quick look at the nature of topics I was blogging on and coupled with a study of the type of content that people are coming to my blog for, and I decided to re-look on the blogging categories that I was focusing on. I decided to prune down the list based on the following considerations for every blog post of mine,
- Attract new traffic to my blog
- Retain traffic on my blog
- Get personal 'satisfaction' from writing that blog entry
- Blogging Topics - Tips, Suggestions, Corporate Blogging
- Indian Business Scenario - Indian Retail, Indian Telecom scenario
- Telecommunication - Technology focus in this domain
- Web 2.0 - Technologies, Business Models etc.
- Mindmaps - Tools, tips, techniques
- News - What is current in today's scenario, but focused on technology, business
- Ramblings - Some random brainwaves that come to my mind with my spin on that
- Others - a sudden surge to blog about something but does not fall into any of the above categories
- Cover a blog a week. I will choose blogs which have a popularity and fall in my area of focus to start this exercise
- Will make a monthly posting of the blogs that I liked in all what I saw that month
- Target at least one interview to post on my blog per month.
Daily Traffic (average in month of Dec) - 200 page views / day
Money Earned - Still not anything substantial, and I will keep it with me
Targets for this month - Push the traffic to at least 300 page views / day.