Tag Archives: social

Is Charging for Information Right or Wrong?

Recently, Google+ has been the topic of conversation – ya know, part of that same conversation people have claimed was on Twitter (yet, impossible to follow due to Twitter not having a UX to support conversations).

I’ve been having a blast with my Plus profile – interspersing fun and functional, day in and day out. It’s insanely addictive, reminiscent of so many other social platforms in their nascent stages. We’ve been posting a flurry of helpful Google+ articles on LockerGnome over the past week or so. Why? Because people are looking for help.

My friend Chris Brogan is taking flak for wanting to teach people how to effectively use Google Plus. The arguments seem to be of one of two types: (1) It’s too early, don’t waste your money on something that could change, or the traditional blogger argument that (2) Information should be free, and Chris is a “douchebag” for charging anything for what could be given for free.

Apparently, his two-hour webinar is $47. You probably spend more on a large popcorn at a 3D movie with a date than you would on this two-hour discussion, so it’s not that a lack of money would be an issue. When you consider the lost opportunity of not being on the platform early, getting a foothold in the community could be huge if this thing is as big as everyone thinks it will be. And if Google+ flops, it would have been $47 spent – the cost of treating your family to see “Cars 2” in theaters today (which may prove to be an even bigger waste of two hours and money).

As to the charging for his intelligence? Of course he is going to charge! If you give stuff away for free, people don’t put ANY value on it. Information is power, and the power doesn’t come cheap. If you aren’t wanting to invest in yourself or your business by leveraging someone else’s known experience, then this isn’t the seminar for you. If so, quit raining on everyone else’s parade.

And when people look for help, you can provide it – or not. You can even charge for that help – or not. And it’s the former decision, not the latter, which has seemingly given rise to a situation. Chris Brogan is under attack for planning a paid webinar around his intelligence – and his gathered intelligence, at this stage, is likely no more deep than any other Google+ user.

The platform is too new to understand it completely – but that doesn’t mean that you should wait before you NEED to begin to understand its current promise and potential. Don’t you wish you had been in early on Twitter so that you could have been on the Suggested Lists? And so that you would have built community there when the followers were high quality and the spam ratio was low?

Either way, Chris is under attack by extremely smart people who make money online by other means. This is where I’m a bit lost. What right do I have, as anybody, to tell someone what they can and cannot do with their time? What right do I have, as a person who needs to make money SOME way to pay the bills, to tell someone else how much their own time and intelligence are worth?

It’s just… rude.

I faced this type of insolence every single year I was involved in the production of the Gnomedex conference. Despite bending over backwards to create a VIP-level event for a peanut-butter price point, I had a slew of people tell me that I was doing it wrong. And Chris Brogan, by the way, was a Gnomedex attendee long before he became the person people know him as today – supportive, intelligent, and savvy.

My business organized a meetup a few weeks back with several dozen registrants, both free and paid. Interesting statistic: over 90% of the people who didn’t pay anything for a ticket didn’t bother to show up, whereas 100% of the people who purchased a pass actually attended. It was only ~$20, largely to cover their parking and a drinking ticket – there was no real profit made, and (honestly) LockerGnome probably lost money on the meetup due to the time we spent on putting it together. Thus marked the last time I ever do anything for people for free. This week’s meetup is about Google+ in Seattle (of all things).

Put up, or shut up.

If you don’t think your time is worth anything, that’s fine – it’s your time. But you can’t sit there and claim that someone else’s time is worth nothing – especially when that someone has gone to great lengths to share so much intelligence *without* charging for it!

I probably know just about as much about Google+ at this point as anybody does, but that doesn’t mean that EVERYBODY understands why this is likely to become increasingly relevant. Still, I have half a mind to pay for Chris’s webinar because I support what he’s doing for people who don’t quite understand

NEWS FLASH: Companies make an obscene amount of money by doing what you do for your personal account for free. Like, to the tune of several THOUSAND dollars to manage a Twitter and Facebook account. I’m not kidding. I’m not even close to kidding. And here’s the thing: those businesses are NOT overpaying for such services.

Here’s the thing: Chris isn’t promising an all-out guide to would-be or active Google+ users. He’s offering guidance. There’s a gigantic difference.

I wound up “plussing” what was going to be a longer piece on my Google+ profile a few minutes back, but decided to keep the update succinct: “Is it because Google+ is ‘too young,’ or because people believe that just because THEY get social media without paying for it that everybody should get social media without paying for it?”

A few notable comments have come from this…

Tim Czerwinski:

I don’t see anything wrong with what he is doing. He doesn’t appear to be misleading anyone about the product he is selling. He does not appear to be making unsupportable claims. This is in line with what he does for a living. If the knowledge he is selling is worth the price, people will pursue it. if not, it will go away. that is what markets are for. There is a huge industry built around facebook. Why would Google+ be different?

Ravarius Castor:

Well I definitely think it’s a little foolish to offer ‘expert’ device about a service that isnt’t even close to fully realized, but as already said as well I think this is a case of supply and demand. He feels he can supply guidance worth paying for, and it’s credibility and value falls on the consumers and their demand for what he is offering.

Tim Goebel:

If Mr. Brogan offers a service that others find worth exchanging their money with him to receive, I have no idea why that would be of interest to anyone else? No one is forced to do business with him, as far as I understand the situation, and if his clients feel that they receive value for their money, what can anyone outside of the transaction possibly be objecting to?

Dunno. I’m largely in the camp of “Let Chris Do What Chris Wants to Do” – which intersects with the “Do What You Want to Do but Don’t Piss in Someone’s Cheerios” camp. I’m not here to claim that what Chris has to share is anything more than Chris’s insights on Google’s new social network, but… hey, how much is two hours of your time worth? If it’s nowhere near $47, maybe you should spend less time bitching and more time moving your hourly rate north.

How to Use Your Social Network

Normally, using someone isn’t a very nice thing to do. The negative connotations surrounding that word tend to make us shy away from allowing ourselves to remember that it can be a positive thing, as well. Yes, you need to give more than you take and the social space is no exception to the rule. However, there’s nothing wrong with using your network when you need to.

Are you thinking of buying a new product? Use your network! Throw out a quick message on both sites and ask for opinions. The people in your community who have used or owned that item will be quick to tell you the pros – and cons. You’ll get real feedback in real time. What better way could there be to help make a buying decision?

Another way to use your network is to reach out and ask for recommendations the next time you plan pretty much anything. Your contacts will jump at the chance to tell you where the hottest clubs and hotels are, which airlines cost the least to fly on and where you should be eating or shopping. You can get quick advice about anything and everything – including which Elvis impersonator is the best.

Thousands of people are out of work and having difficulties finding a new position. Use those networks, people! Let others know you are on the hunt and ask if they know of openings in your field. Make sure you’ve signed up on LinkedIn and fully filled in your your profile. Give that link out any time you hear of a promising lead or whenever you inquire about an opening someone may know of.

Your network can be used for education research and finding out the latest information about breaking news stories. I suppose these examples wouldn’t be classified as using the people in your community as much as it would be expanding your mind thanks to them. Are you stumped on a homework question? Ask your friends for help. If you have Google’d your fingers to the bone and still cannot find answers you need for a project at work, the people you surround yourself with online may have a clue. When you hear sirens coming from every direction in your neighborhood, a quick hashtag Twitter search will likely yield the fastest results. Quite often, you can find out what’s what on your social network ten times faster than you would via your local news station.

The ways in which you can use your social network are virtually endless. Keep in mind what I said in the beginning: give more than you take. The next time someone asks for help you can offer, don’t ignore it because you are too busy. Take the time to help someone and you’ll be repaid tenfold.

What others ways do you use your social network?

The #2 Twitter Trend

I wasn’t expecting to do much more than build the LEGO Death Star yesterday, but when I awoke to find 750 people watching the live stream… I knew I was in for a great birthday. Indeed, it was the happiest birthday I’ve had in quite a long time.

I was eating my faux Lucky Charms (the Target-brand variety, which contains a million more marshmallows) and told the chat room that the only thing I wanted for my birthday was to be a trend on Twitter. Didn’t take long before that wish started to come true. After my initial tweet, I pushed a couple more times and then…

The #2 Twitter Trend

We made it all the way to #2! Not bad, even on a Sunday morning – considering we were competing against Harry Potter, the Tour de France, and Comic-Con. Throughout the day, I continued to check my Twitter replies – and despite having to wade through quite a few tag spammers, found hundreds (if not thousands) of friends tweeting their happy birthday wishes.

I am very lucky to have the friends that I do – both online and IRL. Mona planned for and made some amazing Japanese treats, Michelle rocked my socks off with the best ribs I’d ever had, Ellen gave me cupcakes and copy of Coraline, and Traci sang “happy birthday” to me over the phone. My family also called from Iowa and didn’t realize they were saying hello to me in front of 1,300 viewers!

All things considered, it was a pretty happy birthday. Thank you for participating!

Who Are You on Twitter?

Who Are You on Twitter?

http://twitter.com/chrispirillo – I was quite surprised to fire up a Web browser and check out my “Twitter Grade” (which I’m sure doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but it’s still an interesting statistic to know – considering just how many people are using Twitter these days).

Turns out, I’m in the Twitter Elite – outranking everybody else. I have no idea how the hell that happened, but I’m in some good company there.

Then again, I consider everybody on Twitter a part of the elite – one person’s tweet is equal to another’s (despite what some might claim). Just because you have more or less followers than me doesn’t make you any more or less important than you already are.

Twitter is instant gratification, instant validation, and a chance for you to tell the world what you’re thinking… before you’ve had a chance to think about it. Then again, maybe it’s more like an exclamation of feelings before you’ve felt them?

What is Twitter to you? Is it anything? Are you there? Is it a fad – like this blogging thing? Will Twitter be around in 10 years? Will you?

Oh, too many questions – but I dare not pose them directly ON Twitter, lest I be lashed with the 140 character limit. Beh.

So, you can follow me if you choose to follow – I’ll auto-follow back, because that’s how I wish to use Twitter.

It’s a firehose of information and emotion – a digital microcosm of life itself.

Are You an Extrovert – or an Introvert?

Geek!This is William C’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

Hey all! I’m William C. I go by Liam or Wolf, and I’m here to provide you with a few tips to get you out and about, for lack of a better phrase.

First I want to take the time to explain what a extroverted person is. Notice I use the word extroverted instead of outgoing. Being extroverted entitles you get energized by being around people. Sometimes this energy manifests itself in the form of nervousness or fear. Yep, that’s right… some of you could be extroverted people whose energy is just uncontrolled but I’m here to help with that.

On the other hand, you may be introverted. This means you like living in your own little world. You gather energy off of being alone, and when you’re around people your energy depletes. If you’re one of these people, you probably won’t be reading this for the tips. Just know that some of these tricks may work for you.

Extroverted means: “Marked by interest in and behavior directed toward others or the environment as opposed to or to the exclusion of self; gregarious or outgoing”

Introverted means: “Marked by interest in or preoccupation with oneself or one’s own thoughts as opposed to others or the environment; shy or reserved.”

I will now give you the WWWWWH Ammunition. This is your arsenal. WWWWWH stands for: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. For the sake of this tutorial, I’m going to assume we are talking to females.

  • Who – Your “mark” for lack of a better word.
  • What – “What” do you want to do? Likely, you want to introduce yourself or confess your love.
  • When – “When” is the best time to do “what” you want to do?
  • Where – Plan ahead, even if you’re not good at it. It is always a good thing to be in a comfortable place.
  • Why – “Why” do you like her? Is she beautiful, smart, funny, or a combination of all three? This will be needed.
  • How – Combine “What” and “Why” to form a plan of action. Sending her roses with a note, or maybe just walk up to her. “How” are you going to do it?

Don’t make yourself into a “player”. This is supposed to be about being extroverted and outgoing. If you use this information only to “score” ladies, then you will inherent a title such as player. Be sociable with every gender, race, and age. Not only will you appear to be friendly, but you may find, as I do, that people are interesting.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “If I get nervous how am I suppose to talk to people?” This is my favorite part, and it’s something that (I hope) I came up with. I call them stress objects or items.

You know that female that you sat and watched… afraid to talk to her because you did not want to be rejected?

How about that the cool guy on the motorcycle that you wanted to say “Hi” too but you were afraid of looking too geeky?

Stress items are the key. What are stress items? They are something that you have that inspires confidence. Stress items give you that extra push. This allows you to tell yourself that you can, in fact, approach anyone.

A stress item can be anything you have at home that reminds you of how amazing you are. I’ll give you a example of my two stress items.

  • Bracelets -I have Rubber Bracelets, with the year 2007 imprinted on them. Why does this bring me confidence? I was homeschooled. I studied & worked extremely hard. I was able to finish school by 2007 instead of 2009. These bracelets remind me that I can do anything. So whenever I’m about to do something that makes me nervous, I put them on just in case I need that boost.
  • Gum -My other stress item is gum. I love gum, and can chew through a whole pack in about a day. This has given me strong teeth. Gum is my ultimate calm down item. Whenever I’m feeling nervous, all I have to do is pop a piece in my mouth. Why does this bring me confidence? Well, my mother is a smoker, and my dad is a chewer. I despise drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. I’m extremely proud of myself for going outside the box and chewing gum instead of doing those above.

The biggest piece of advice I can give you, even though I want you to try my tricks, is to just be yourself. Have fun and enjoy things you like with people that like the same.

Anyway, I really really hope you enjoyed this enough to make a comment. Thanks for your time.

The Deal with Twitter

Okay, I got bored – and now you can learn about my boredom any time I care to tell you about my boring life! Seems silly to do, but… I’m a silly guy. Silly people know me, too (as evidenced by today’s twitterpations):

  • Kitta Not really amazed that Anna Nicole Smith is dead, she was pretty much a walking talking pharmacy and a bad soap opera all-in-one 6 minutes ago from web
  • bbrooks IMAP + RDP + backed UP PST FTW 7 minutes ago from web
  • P_Dilly back from lunch, logging into Second Life to check out an idea I had. 8 minutes ago from web
  • NickStarr @Shooby Is it fast enough to support ReadyBoost? If so, I say take it. 8 minutes ago from im
  • Bwana Forgetting how to embed quicktime movies 9 minutes ago from web
  • rael Moving offices… Yay! 14 minutes ago from im
  • fraying At dinner with the museum folks. There is much French. 19 minutes ago from mobile
  • cvp putting together a temp site for the design firm.. until our backend is done anyway 19 minutes ago from twitterrific
  • wisequark Merlin on TWiT? Wow, Dvorak might go wackadoo…er 25 minutes ago from twitterrific
  • arstechnica [Infinite Loop] MacTech to publish “VBA to AppleScript” guide for Office developers – http://tinyurl.com/22m9w5 25 minutes ago from web
  • leolaporte TWiT This Week: Dvorak, Wil Harris, Tom Merritt, and Merlin Mann 26 minutes ago from im

Have you been twitterpated? It’s the non-sequitur social center of the universe! I’ll be your random friend, sure.

My Own MySpace Music

MySpace just got a little bit weirder for me:

don’t ask me why…but i wrote a song about you…i didn’t even know you were real… it’s just that some blogger was ranting about you and i thought it was funny. I hope you don’t mind, but when I saw you on myspace i had to at least say Hi. so “Hi” – steve aka sisthek

At first, I figured it was another piece of MySpace spam. I asked where the song was sitting, not bothering to check sisthek’s own MySpace profile:

Hey Chris, the song is on my page. it’s been creatively named chris pirillo.

It’s surreal – to have a song written about you, posted to MySpace, and knowing that the artist thought you were a completely fictional character. I’m going to see if I can get him to send me an MP3 in exchange a bit of promotional consideration. Are there any other songs about me that I don’t know of yet?!