Monday, February 22, 2010

Innovation Function=Fame Function

I’m in an entrepreneur class this semester and we visit local entrepreneurs and hear their story. During class on Monday we heard this quote

“The function of innovation is a step function, output is not proportional to input, but steady input is required to get to the next step” –Jeff Bohanan.

That’s not the real quote but it has the same meaning.

A step function is a function in math where the output values will be constant for a while and then they will all of a sudden jump to the next value. (graph in the picture above)

So innovation (and really business) comes in bulks, not a steady flow. I think this same idea can be applied to social media and Internet fame.

No one gets famous overnight and those that do lose their fame overnight. It’s a tough road to gain a following. With my experience attention comes in steps, just like the function described. Four new followers one day and none for the rest of the week.

Sound familiar?

The key is in the end of the quote, “steady input is required to get to the next step.”

Keep going and you’ll get there.

I am writing this post as much for me as for you. I sometimes get down because I don’t see too much activity on this blog or my twitter. I also sometimes forget that input is required for output.

Keep posting and making friends! Remember rewards come in steps.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Internet Newspeak

In the book 1984 by George Orwell the government, Big Brother, has mandated the number of words be cut down. Government loyalists pride themselves on having a smaller “Newspeak” dictionary each year.

By limiting the number of words to only what is essential to barely communicate. This method is used to limit the feelings and emotions of the population, because you cannot express your feelings if you do not have the words to express yourself.

Now, the Internet is bringing people together from across the world, and in each place everyone has their own way of speaking. Words used in the northern states in America are very different form those used in the southern states. (pop and coke for example, both describe soft drinks)

On the Internet everyone has settled into a common language, because to appear on search engines you need your material to be written in the words people are most likely to use when searching.

Our language is not getting smaller but people are using less meaningful ways of expressing their emotions. You know that friend that has to use all caps and five exclamation points to feel like they have fully expressed their surprise when they found five dollars in their pocket.

The Internet is full of acronyms and emoticons. People today cannot really share their feelings with words so they have to make small faces with the characters on the keyboard.

So what?

It means that like in 1984 we are losing the means to express ourselves and we are losing the definitions of important words. Words are still powerful and we need to understand them to use their power and more importantly not be persuaded to do something we never intended to do.

I’ll bring politics into it for just a second. Now there is a lot of political confusion in America. Both sides are saying fascism and communism belong to the other side of the aisle naturally because both words have negative connotations in America.

But what are the definitions of both words and which side is supporting policies that would lead to one of those outcomes? (Keep in mind that this is only the example I have at had. Others are definitely out there.)

Honestly I would have to use a dictionary to tell you the difference between both ways of governing, because I am like the rest of twitter. I use emoticons and exclamation points to express myself.

The key is to get back to using words instead of pictures. I know this may be hard to do, but it will really help.

Look in the thesaurus for you next tweet.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Effectively Reaching Your Audience

Just wanted to do a quick update. As you may or may not know I post new content to the Internet at around 11(eastern time) in the morning. I have read many other blogs to determine that this is the best time for east coast people to tweet.

At #blogchat on Sunday (if your not in the conversation join in! Sundays @ 9 but next 2 weeks will be on Monday) one of the topics was when and how many times to tweet new material.

Most people agreed that 2-4 times per day is a good amount to tweet the same post. This helps make sure that followers around the world see your content. (you don’t want to forget your followers on the other side of the world!)

This Monday when I tweeted a new post and new art I scheduled a second round of tweets to send in the early morning (eastern time), and my click count doubled!

Don’t send your followers a barrage of tweets every hour but choose key time to repeat your message. Times like lunchtime, after work but before dinner, & during the night. Scheduling tweets really helps with this.

Remember to use analytic sites like, hootsuite, and Google analytics to asses how effective you are at reaching your audience!

Monday, February 1, 2010


“Practice makes perfect.”

oldest adage?

Maybe not but one of the most annoying.

Nobody wants to practice but everyone wants the rewards and in today’s society its easy to get by without doing much work.

Everyone wants to be Warren Buffet but most people do not want to take that first risky step & invest in that first company.

With the Internet small scale operations have sprung up everywhere making it easy to jump in the game. The Internet reduces start up costs by eliminating the need for a store & in some cases a physical product (think iphone apps or entertainment media)

Warren Buffet started by buying stock ($228 investment) then he moves on to real estate ($1,200 investment) and next to pinball machines ($25 investment).

Of these three investments the best entry point is the $25 pinball investment. This is an example of an inexpensive learning opportunity.

Look for a hole in the market, somewhere you can make money doing something small. Putting pinball machines around town. Buying things on sale locally & marking them up to full price online. Selling goodwill clothes online. (im a college student so I wont spend more that $35 on a fun test but set your limit)

These are all small investment opportunities that will help you see if you like it without the risk of your life savings.

My point is start investing small & see where it goes.

Start with $20 & shoot to sell it for $23. Its not much, but then the first steps never are.