Archive for the ‘race’ tag
We don’t celebrate our differences enough.
It’s somewhat ironic, sad and true. If you look at the news, there is always somebody, somewhere doing their best to push their values and beliefs on others. We could be talking about race, religion, gender, sexual preference and more. It’s a strange world we live in. These ideologies go back a long time. Long before most of us were born. Long before we had education systems, believed in equality and stopped being scared of people who didn’t look or act like we do.
The only thing we have to fear…
As a marketing professional, my job can be defined in simplistic terms: take a brand that sells something similar to another company and position them to be unique. Unique can be in price, quality, experience and more. But, in the end, it is about making them unique. Making them stand out. As much as we say we want these unique things, when it comes to human beings, our neighbors and our communities, it turns out that there is a big segment of our global population that want everyone to be like they are. To act like them, to pray like them, to feel like them and believe what they believe in.
There are angels among us. Those who will adopt the children that nobody wants in other parts of the world. Those who will care for the elderly that they are not even related to. Those who will teach our children for the parents who have issues of their own. Those who will defend the rights of others even if they, themselves, are not those people. It amazes me that marketers spend the vast majority of their time creating messages for media outlets that are covering a world that seems to be increasingly marginalizing people, while trying to put messaging alongside of it that is unique and different.
We need to rise above. We need to appreciate and respect the beliefs and customs of others. It may not be how we chose to live our own lives, but it doesn’t make it wrong or immoral. No matter what a book or religion tells us. I’m no preacher. I’m no scholar. I’m just a human being – like you – that is trying to do the right thing. A person that is trying to instill in others a belief that we should encourage and better understand those who are not like us. Why? Because, in the end, we all wind up the same way…
Appreciate others. Understand others. Try to see how the others live. Because to those people, you are the others. And, in the end, if you are in business and if you are trying to take your professional development to another level, it will be how you define and demonstrate what makes you different, unique and special in a world where people still seem to think that it’s better to have a whole lot of people who believe, act and all follow the exact same thing. That seems bland.
Embrace the others.
I’ve always shied away from writing about race because I wanted to be recognized for my passion instead of my skin color or where I come from. That’s become completely unavoidable now. Race has moved to the forefront of what’s become one of the most important topics about the future of technology: inclusion. I’m reminded of a blog I wrote to Susan Mernit a few years ago. Susan pointed … Continue reading
This year’s Olympics is putting Twitter to the test. In a partnership with NBC, they’re the most visible social network of the games and it’s led them to some huge highs and some deep, deep lows. And we’re only 3 days in.
It began on Friday, when nearly 10 million people Tweeted about the start of the Olympics. Or 5 million, depending on who you want to believe. The lower number comes from Bluefin. They’re putting together excellent infographics for each day outlining the Twitter numbers and highlighting the highs and lows of the social graph.
The difference in the first day numbers is probably semantics. Bluefin appears to be counting only Opening Ceremony Tweets where Twitter UK is counting all Olympic mentions for the day. (Feel free to correct me if that’s wrong.)
Either way, Twitter is winning but NBC, not so much. Viewers have been sending angry posts under the hashtag #nbcfail. Most of the complaints were related to NBC’s decision to air the top events on a tape delay. They did this to capitalize on the number of viewers in prime time. One problem, we live in a world where news travels around the globe in seconds, so there is no way to keep event results a secret, especially when the athletes themselves are Tweeting about their wins.
The ire of #nbcfail was stoked Sunday when Vivian Schiller, NBC’s recently hired chief digital officer, retweeted a message that said “the medal for most Olympic whining goes to everyone complaining about what happens every 4 yrs., tape delay.”
Not smart to bite the hand that feeds you. And seriously, NBC’s chief digital officer didn’t know enough not to get involved in social media mud slinging? Right or wrong, NBC and all of its employees need to step away from the keyboard when the crowd gets ugly.
Now, a journalist is accusing Twitter of shutting down his account because he was critical of NBC and their handling of the Olympics. Turns out he was shut down because he Tweeted an NBC exec’s email address.
Then there’s this crazy headline: Don’t tweet if you want TV, London fans told. Apparently, rampant live Tweeting during the men’s cycling road race interfered with the GPS the newscasters use to track the race. A spokesman for the IOC told fans,
“Of course, if you want to send something, we are not going to say ‘Don’t, you can’t do it’, and we would certainly never prevent people. It’s just – if it’s not an urgent, urgent one, please kind of take it easy.”
Let’s end on an up note, Bluefins social graph of the Tweets during the opening ceremonies:
Honestly, the poor folks at Twitter are going to need a vacation when this is over.
Race fans, start your engines!
Today marks the start of the Red Bull US Grand Prix – the first stop in the US of the MotoGP series – at the world renowned Laguna Seca raceway. For those unfamiliar, MotoGP is the pinnacle of motorcycle racing and the equivalent of F1 but on two wheels.
By now you’re probably wondering why a racing series – much less a motorcycle racing series – is on TechCrunch, right? For starters, the prototype motorbikes racing in MotoGP are purpose-built and the technology used in these bikes eventually make there way down to production bikes that you and I can purchase. More importantly, the technology (fuel efficiency, anti-wheelie, etc.) that’s being refined by the likes of Honda, Yamaha and Ducati make the bikes we purchase safer and more reliable. Not quite the technology we normally cover on TechCrunch but important nonetheless.
While MotoGP is obviously more popular in Europe and the rest of the world, the premiere class has its fair share of Americans, including 2006 world champion Nicky Hayden (Ducati), 2009 Superbike World Champion Ben Spies, and two-time Superbike World Champion (2000, 2002) Colin Edwards.
So how can you follow along this weekend if you don’t have cable (Speed Channel) like me? As you’d expect there’s an app for that. The 2012 MotoGP Live Experience ($18.99) app for iOS and Android (24-hour free trial) is your cheapest way to follow along from free practice 1 to the race on Sunday.
Despite the poor reviews, the app now includes live audio commentary which was stripped at the beginning of the season and has since been reimplemented. And if you’re new to the sport there’s also an app chronicling the history of the sport spanning from 2002 until last season. (Grand Prix motorcycle racing first began in 1949, a year before F1 making it the oldest ongoing premiere racing series. “MotoGP” is just the latest iteration of the series.)
MotoGP Live Experience Full [App Store]
MotoGP Live Experience [Google Play]
MotoGP History [App Store]
PS – Here’s some slo-mo motorcycle porn and a better understanding of what the world’s best motorcycle racers are capable of doing on these machines.
The 2012 Olympics in London are just around the corner and, while the athletes are getting ready to complete, brands are already going neck and neck in what social video advertising platform Unruly is calling the “race for social video gold.” Unruly has put together an awesome interactive infographic tracking the number of shares that each Olympic sponsor’s video content receives across Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere, leading up to and through the Olympic games.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
Nielsen released another of their periodic looks at the U.S. smartphone market today, and aside from the revelation that two-thirds of U.S. phone purchasers went for smartphones in Q2 2012, the results are as you’d expect.
Android still leads the pack in terms of pure penetration — as of this past June, it accounts for 51.8% of smartphones in use (up from 50.4% in Q1 2012) with Apple’s iOS right behind it at 34%. Don’t feel too bad for Apple though, as they still have the highest manufacturer share by far (34% in Q2), with Samsung at a distant second.
That those two platforms still hold first and second place shouldn’t come as surprise, and their slight gains come at a cost. Nielsen has RIM still clinging to third place despite another quarterly drop, as it now accounts for 8.1% of smartphones in use. Meanwhile, the rest of the competition languishes below 5% as of Q2 2012.
It’s that part of the market that seems the most interesting right now, as there’s still plenty of room in the market for a third strong mobile ecosystem to emerge while Apple and Google continue to slug it out. The question though is what that third platform will be, and there are no clear indicators to be found in Nielsen’s data.
RIM looks like a possibility, considering it has managed to hold on to a its tenuous third, though it’s tough to say how their recent performance will affect this figure going forward. CEO Thorsten Heins noted during the company’s somewhat contentious shareholders meeting that their current and forthcoming BlackBerry 7 devices would comprise the company’s low and mid-range product tiers until it can push out a full slate of BB10 hardware next year.
Still, RIM had best gird itself for a long(er) transition period, as its split focus between platforms may not do it any favors. The process of shifting users from older devices to new ones will take a considerable amount of time, especially as the company focuses on getting existing BlackBerry users to upgrade right now.
Of course, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 is set to make its official debut this fall, putting it well ahead of RIM’s nascent “computing platform.” That’s not to say a head start is all that it takes to win in a race like this — there’s something to be said for how well a company can capture new customers (or upgrade older ones), and Microsoft seems to have had some issues with that. Nielsen’s data still puts Microsoft’s aging Windows Mobile platform (3% of the market as of Q2 2012) ahead of the much-newer Windows Phone (1.3%). With any luck, Microsoft has learned a few things and garnered enough developer support to put Windows Phone 8 higher up in the rankings, but only time will tell whether or not either of these companies has the savvy to make real contenders of their forthcoming mobile operating systems.
So now it has become a financial imperative for traditional game companies to make the leap to digital — before the all-digital companies gain too much of an upper hand in the emerging markets of social, mobile, and online games. Crossing over from an existing market to an emerging one is what our GameBeat 2012 conference is all about.
Looking back and forward
A year ago, we wrote about The Road Ahead in Mobile Games and a follow-up piece after our conference. The conference was all about the wide-open battle for control of the emerging mobile gaming market. A year later, this trend is still strong. Mobile gaming companies are still raising the most money, according to game investment bank Digi-Capital. But the battle has really spilled beyond all borders within the game market. This is, as our theme indicates, the Crossover Era. Companies are crossing over into other markets in a kind of giant street brawl. At our conference, we have more than 80 of the industry’s top minds focused on the evolution of games.
Zynga’s presence is from social to mobile. Electronic Arts is expanding to numerous digital platforms, including social and mobile. Activision Publishing is moving into mobile. Microsoft has expanded into free-to-play online games. Sony enters cloud gaming with the purchase of Gaikai. China’s Tencent is moving into the West with investments in Riot Games (makers of popular multiplayer online battle arena game League of Legends) and Epic Games (crafters of top-rated third-person shooter Gears of War and groundbreaking iPhone series Infinity Blade). Headlines from recent months explain why game acquisitions are up: Game industry acquisitions grew dramatically in the second quarter, putting 2012 on track to break records for game M&A deals, according to investment bank Digi-Capital.
In many ways, this is one of the best times for the game business. More than 72 percent of people in the U.S. play games now, according to Zynga. That means it’s not so crazy for Mark Pincus, the chief executive of Zynga and our opening fireside chat speaker at MobileBeat/GamesBeat, to dream of a billion people playing games. The opportunity for play is enormous. The worldwide game industry is expected to grow from $52 billion in 2011 to $70 billion in 2017, DFC Intelligence reports.
Just six months into the year, games M&A is already at 88 percent of the transaction value for all of 2011, which was the previous record year. In the first six months of the year, Digi-Capital has tracked 51 transactions worth $3 billion in value. The average value of each transaction was $59 million. The firm tracked 113 transactions in 2011 worth $3.4 billion, with an average value of $30 million. That means we’re seeing fewer transactions, but the values are higher.
The state of the game market remains mixed and difficult to read. Longtime publisher THQ has seen its stock price wither as it closed studios and exited a number of game categories due to slow sales. Year-to-date physical retail game sales are down 25 percent, according to NPD. But digital content sales are up 10 percent.
Likewise, investment in game startups has cooled off from 2011′s pace. In the first six months of 2012, there were 73 investments in game companies that generated $481 million in transaction value at an average of $7 million, according to Digi-Capital.
In 2011, there were 152 game investment transactions worth $2 billion at an average investment of $13 million. The transaction volume is down by 4 percent, and the transaction value is down 51 percent. If this trend persists, then the game investment level for 2012 might return to the respectable level of 2010, the second-highest year on record.
Investment into mobile games is still strong, but money going into social games is tapering off. That suggests that many may believe that Zynga has locked up the casual games market on social network Facebook. And Facebook itself has seen slowing of its growth, enough so that its own IPO turned out to be mixed.
Social casino games
Despite the downturn in social game investments, there is a category of social that is on fire. Social casino games have rocketed this year in a couple of ways. In 2012, social casino game players now account for 13 percent of all of the players on Facebook, compared to just 8 percent in 2011 and 6 percent in 2010, according to analytics firm Kontagent. That’s a significant switch in consumer tastes, away from casual simulations such as FarmVille.
And social casino game startups have become a hot market for investors. In December, the Justice Department kicked off this frenzy when it announced that online gambling could become legal in the U.S., so long as each state passed laws allowing it. Nevada has done so, and Delaware will likely do it soon. More states will likely pass bills doing the same, since it means more tax revenues.
That in turn could bring down the barrier between social casino games and real-money online gambling. This might be a shifting of the bubble, from one market segment to another. But it certainly seems like a bubble, since the old guard casino gambling companies are moving into the market. IGT to acquire social casino game maker Double Down Interactive, a firm with just 70 employees, in January for $500 million. Many companies are in a race to create vertically integrated gambling companies, with social casino games, real-money online gambling, and land-based casinos.
They all want to create a big funnel, according to Brock Pierce (the managing director of the Clearstone Global Gaming Fund and moderator of our panel on social casino games at GamesBeat 2012), with social games feeding players into online gambling and the casinos. But they might very well run into fierce competition from Zynga. I can imagine one day seeing a real Zynga casino on the Las Vegas Strip. If social casino game companies can get access to real gamblers, they could see their average revenue per paying user go from $2 a month to hundreds of dollars a month, according to an entrepreneur who will unveil a new startup at GamesBeat 2012.
These companies are all positioning against big companies like Zynga, but they clearly believe that innovation and entrepreneurship will pay off.
Mobile game race
Money is also flowing into mobile games. The mobile game market seemed “frothy” last year to Tim Chang, who is now a partner at the venture-capital fund Mayfield Fund. But it continued to gather steam in part because of the growth of mobile devices, with more than 550 million iOS and Android users now. That amounts to just 8 percent of the world population, so there is plenty of room to grow. And in the U.S., games account for 88 percent of the top grossing app rankings on the Apple App Store.
There are also big international mobile app markets, new devices such as Apple’s latest iPad, and the entry of new players such as Japan’s DeNA (which bought Ngmoco) and Gree (which bought both OpenFeint and Funzio).
Gree grew rapidly in Japan as its mobile social network took off. Naoki Aoyagi (pictured above), the chief executive of Gree International and a speaker at GamesBeat 2012, told us recently that he thinks that the mobile gaming market will play out in the next 18 months. Just as you saw Zynga move to dominance in social games, somebody will move to dominance in mobile games.
As with casino games, it’s another race. It’s not just mobile-focused companies that are running this race. It’s big companies like Activision Publishing, whose mobile leader Greg Canessa will speak at GamesBeat, and Electronic Arts, whose digital chief Kristian Segerstrale is talking at GamesBeat.
The tough thing about the mobile market is that it makes sense to invest a lot in it now, but mostly on the basis of future revenues, not current revenues. If you poured $10 million into a mobile game company now, it might be tough to get a $50 million return.
At some point, it could be doable. But that’s a risky proposition now. Has the market hit its stride yet? There are still tough issues such as fragmentation, discovery, and distribution.
Tablets über alles
The ultimate game market may prove to be tablets, which are at the center of the convergence of multiple trends. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) this year, the tablet meme was out in force. Sony pitched its dedicated touchscreen PlayStation Vita handhelds as living room companions for the console. Nintendo integrated its own tablet controller into the Wii U, and Microsoft launched its SmartGlass tablet companion technology for the Xbox 360. And Microsoft is also launching its very own Surface tablet (pictured above).
The aim is to fend off the threat of the iPad, which has sold more than 60 million units, or likely more than all of the Xbox 360 game consoles that have been sold to date. GameStop is getting into the act by preparing to sell Google’s Nexus 7 tablet in its retail stores, in recognition of the “hybrid gamer” trend where players spend as much time and money with digital games as they do with traditional games.
By 2016, the tablet market is expected to surpass the notebook market in size, according to NPD. It’s no surprise then that seasoned game developers such as Jason Citron, the founder of OpenFeint and a speaker at MobileBeat 2012, now want to go back to game development and target tablet games as their primary platforms.
The mammals still thrive
Yet as much as some market leaders would love to lock up the market, there are always a lot of startups that live in the shadow of giants and find ways to coexist, cut a new path, and even disrupt the big guys.
Indie game developers accounted for 68 percent of the game sessions on iOS and Android in the first quarter, according to Flurry. A year earlier, indies accounted for only 56 percent of game sessions, versus established companies.
King.com and Wooga moved ahead of EA into the top positions in Facebook games, below only market leader Zynga. They were late entrants, but they still managed to tap interest in tournament and short, arcade-like games.
And Kixeye, a maker of hardcore games on social networks, is thriving even though it has only 4.8 million monthly active users on Facebook. Will Harbin (pictured above), the chief executive of Kixeye and a speaker in a fireside chat at GamesBeat 2012, insists that the competition “is totally not a race.”
Rather, it is all about the creation of high-quality games. Kixeye’s users spend 20 times as much as the typical social gamer, meaning it can be highly profitable on a lot fewer users than its rivals. Harbin believes that cool games with great 3D graphics are totally doable on the web browser, with no download necessary, and we’ll see proof of that in a matter of weeks or months. When that happens, the browser-based, free-to-play online game business will hit the consoles like a ton of bricks. Disruption is just getting started in that sense, Harbin said.
Platform owners can still make life easy or difficult for everyone. Apple has created a wonderful platform with the iPhone and paid out more than $5 billion to developers. But it can also be a tough platform owner that sets the rules for developers. If they stray from what Apple says, they can face a pretty fierce banhammer. And developers must always pay 30 percent of their proceeds to somebody, it seems.
Trip Hawkins (pictured above), speaking at last year’s GamesBeat, wanted nothing more to do with platform owners. He complained that the industry was caught in the “dark age” where it is enslaved by platform owners. But out on the open web, he promised that the “browser will make you free.” Hawkins is out of a job this year, as he recently resigned from Digital Chocolate.
But the appeal of making royalty-free games hasn’t been lost on everyone. Zynga has created its own Zynga.com website to host games for social networking fans who are really interested in games. It has also created its own platform, with networking infrastructure and analytics, so that it can be its own platform and publish games for other developers. Faced with its own challenges, Zynga is crossing over barriers and doing what many have done before it: creating its own platform. And if Facebook and Apple get too aggressive with their platform policies, there’s always someone like Google offering an alternative platform as relief.
The existing platform owners are aware of this, and they’re changing with the times. Sony demonstrated this when it acquired Gaikai, a cloud-gaming startup, for $380 million. Sony’s Jack Buser, the head of digital platforms for Sony PlayStation, will talk about Sony’s own crossover strategy at our event.
New business models
The free-to-play game business is sweeping through the game industry. Sony Online Entertainment is converting its massively multiplayer online games into free-to-play titles.
But there are more business models awaiting. What if, rather than having gamers pay for games, you could turn that upside down and pay gamers to play games?
Brian Wong, the chief executive of Kiip, and Dennis Fong (pictured above), the CEO of Raptr, talk about this in a fireside chat at GamesBeat 2012 with Wired Game Life editor Chris Kohler. Both companies have reward programs where brands enthusiastically reward gamers for hitting achievements in certain kinds of games. In those cases, the rewards pile up high enough so that you could really interpret them as being paid to play.
That sounds crazy. But what if the customers come back and become loyal high rollers, spending a lot of money on a company’s brands? Rewards companies could be laughing all the way to the bank.
Red ocean or blue ocean?
Zynga recently showed off a bunch of new games at its Unleashed event, only to see its stock price fall. Evidently, investors weren’t that impressed with its lineup, which seemed targeted at the “red ocean” to me.
From what I saw at the event, Zynga is charging head-on at its rivals, fighting for market share with the sharks as they go after the meat (in this case, Facebook players) in the bloody red ocean. The concept here was chronicled in 2005 in the book “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. In a red ocean battle, the market share is fixed, and competitors fight each other for it in a zero-sum game. But in the blue ocean, where there are no competitors, a company can be successful by expanding the size of the market. Zynga’s battle with EA is a case in point. EA creates The Sims Social; Zynga counters with The Ville. Zynga launches CityVille, and EA counters that with SimCity Social.
Mark Pincus (pictured above), the chief executive of Zynga, believes very much in the blue ocean strategy. We’ll see if his company can continue to expand the games market. We’ll ask him about it at our opening fireside chat on Tuesday morning.
The golden age of gaming
Bing Gordon (pictured left), a partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, made headlines in early 2011 when he declared — in a poem — that we were in a “golden age of gaming.” Gordon was an early pioneer in games and spent more than 25 years at Electronic Arts. Now, in his second career, he has scored big with investments in Ngmoco and Zynga. His own personal reinvention is something that everyone is going through. And so our theme isn’t just about the Crossover Era as it relates to companies. It’s about the personal journeys that people in the game business are making every day as they move from one part of their careers to another.
Gordon is back for a fireside chat. Gaming’s success is “more than we imagined, as much as we hoped,” he said. Gordon remains an inveterate optimist about the industry that he has been in for more than 30 years. We hope you join us to figure out where it’s going next.
[Photo credits: Dean Takahashi, Matthew Lynley]
GamesBeat 2012 is VentureBeat’s fourth annual conference on disruption in the video game market. This year we’re calling on speakers from the hottest mobile, social, PC, and console companies to debate new ways to stay on pace with changing consumer tastes and platforms. Join 500+ execs, investors, analysts, entrepreneurs, and press as we explore the gaming industry’s latest trends and newest monetization opportunities. The event takes place July 10-11 in San Francisco, and you can get your tickets here.
A bunch of well-known geeks — like Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick and Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, have teamed up to produce a short film for the upcoming Course of the Force charity run that’ll run on the Nerdist YouTube channel.
If you’re expecting lots of Star Wars references, then you’d be correct. As VentureBeat previously reported, the Course of the Force event has Nerdist Industries, Octagon, Machinima, Lucasfilm, and others teaming up for a charity run worthy of the ancient Jedi Order. Participants (lesser-known geeks) can buy themselves a leg of the race with a $500 donation for a quarter-mile section of the run, with all proceeds being donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Each runner will carry a lightsaber and hand it off to the next runner. Sponsors will have prize giveaways along the way at Star Wars-themed parties. The race kicks off July 7 and continues through July 11, one day before the 2012 Comic-Con International in San Diego.
As for the short film, not only does it promote the charity event, but its part of all that original content push that YouTube is pushing through its premium content partners (like Nerdist). The video itself takes place at Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) and features plenty of Star Wars references, such as R2D2, Tuskin Raiders, Boba Fett, Ewoks, etc. It’s worth noting that Nerdist CEO Peter Levin assures me that the Ewoks will be genuine and (I’m assuming) not some cheap CGI Alf-looking knock-offs.
We’ve taken the liberty of embedding the video below. Let us know in the comment section if you plan on participating in the event.
How to know whether you are writing the right content, centered on the right keyword, for optimal exposure, and some search engine love?
Because knowing you are actually doing that can act upon how much you are passionate about that exact content, how work you invest in the whole procedure, how serious you are about that link building strategy and that marketing thing in general.
And being reluctant to think about this aspect of content can represent the difference between having the mindset to create a great content, or to just push another filler stuff on the shelf.
You have already chosen your niche, and there is no turning round, for better or for worse. The question however, you should be asking yourself right now is whether you are choosing the right material to fill that niche, ergo your blog. And that question ladies and gentleman is not that easy to answer.
I’ve been right there on the line asking myself whether that the material I’m about to produce is going to be worth the time invested in it. And to make long story short and cut right to the case, here is how I can almost always come with the answer that allows me to start typing and sleep sound at night, knowing that it wasn’t all for nothing (well, not nothing, but at least time bad spent when elaborating about the whole investment-profit scenario, of course not just regarding the materialistic aspect that is).
And without further ado, here are a couple of ways to find out, and couple of questions you have to be asking yourself:
Five things that make your content pass the test of time
1. Go to Google Keywords tool. There you will find more than just numbers. It’s what that numbers mean, and also what this tool is suggesting you to write. The numbers mean one thing – how many people are searching for the term you are inquiring about.
Knowing this you can make your equation upfront, and decide whether you are willing to trade hours for whatever that is that you want to achieve. The numbers show something more – and that is competition. You can see how competitive a term is, and judging by that make a logical and informed decision about whether you are going to step in.
The next thing that this tool shows is the related terms that people are searching as well. Being in the niche, and reading a lot, you should already know couple of related terms, so this is always a good test to see where you are standing in your niche.
By reading these terms you are not only seeing what is searched out there, but you are also learning the lingo within your own niche too.
And that’s always a plus. For example when we were preparing a series of posts about a 5k run, we found out that what people wanted to learn about the most was how to get from couch to a good shape for the race.
And how did we learn this? Well, statistic showed that the term “couch to 5k” was the most searched term related to this thing. So by knowing this you can choose towards where to continue.
But, have also in mind that this tool is not the absolute truth, nor it’s the only tool worth checking. Always try to do a little dirty work yourself, like checking the SERPs for that particular term and try to find out if anything is missing that you could fill out and provide a missing value to the niche.
2. Another useful tool that also comes from our favorite Google is “Google trends”. Just go there and write a query. What you are about to see is gold in terms of knowing the future of the content you are about to write. Google trends show you the popularity in terms of searches for that exact query for quite some time in the past. And by that you can see whether the interest in this thing you are about to write is increasing over time, and how much is that growth when taken to a certain time frame.
And while knowing this you can’t tell the exact numbers it will generate in five or six months, you will for sure be able to make quite better assumption compared to most people out there. You can also put two terms, and see how they compare to each other as well.
3. Guess things based on the offline world. How’s that going to work? Simple, actually. I will again take the running 5k post we wrote for example. By talking to lot of people, and by witnessing how running became more and more popular, I figured that this subject is only about to grow in the near future. Also, I came to realize that people would get into it more and more, therefore becoming more serious and specific.
So posts like training schedule for the 5k race, and best tips for running the 5k race seamed very logical, since the interest for this is only about to grow. Another thing is your personal experience, or the experience of other people. What do I mean by that?
Well, If you start running (again taking the same example), you will start to see what matters more, and what is not that important. You will maybe even face some injury, and see the importance of preventing injuries yourself.
Going through all of this, you will have the picture of what is the most likely thing people will be looking for. And then you swoop in with your post and targeted keyword and give them what they are looking for. If there is a more complex thing involved, you can always look for communities and circles in which you can find more about what you are about to write. You will know the lingo, the phrases, the demand.
Try and ask yourself- is this going to be talked about a year from now? Are people catching to it ? The answer should be a positive one.
4. Follow the questions. See whether the thing you are about to cover is having some popularity on communities like Yahoo Answers or Quora. If so, you are off to a good start. Maybe even follow your peer bloggers. Forward an e-mail to some of them out there in your niche, and ask them whether it’s ok to maybe write a guest post for them on that topic in the future. You will see how they are feeling about the subject.
5. Writing the post alone is not going to be enough. With the post you’re only trying to answer the need for the subject on the market. You must answer this need without a question.
If you are writing a post about the tips on how to run a 5k race, then you better deliver them in the post. If you are writing about the best way to prevent injuries, then you must stay up to your promise. If you like your material to stay out there and to rank high in the engines, promoting it isn’t enough. You have to make it so that it will promote itself. And that can be achieved only if you are satisfying the need of the readers with your content. Then you have social sharing, linking to your content, and the material gets the attention it deserved.
Composing the right material is crucial if you want a future for your blog. And while the filler and non-evergreen material that you are about to compose will not be so innocuous with regards to the survival of your site, it will for sure make so that your site never reaches its potential, and you never start making it for the long run – and if you are in this seriously, the long run should always be on your mind. Producing the material that gets talked about for ages to come, sure makes a difference with your blogging efforts.
Writing this post I didn’t went to Google trends, or Google Keywords Tool, but being in blogging and experiencing this whole thing, as well as seeing the need of answering this question, I know that this material is going to be valuable to readers, and more so it would hopefully only gets more popular over time. So there you go – another example of how your experience will help you a lot. And that experience comes with time and patience.
Slavko Desik is a freelance writer and editor at Lifestyle Updated where he takes his passion for living full time and combines it with his knowledge of blogging and internet marketing.
Original Post: 5 Things That Make Sure Your Content Pass The Test Of Time
How much does it cost to go to a movie?
Okay, now what’s your answer if I told you that while the movie is taking place, you have to miss the final debate in the school board election, in a race where you’re tied for first?
Clearly, the stuff you miss has a cost.
Freelancers are very good at having an innate sense of opportunity cost. They realize, for example, that taking on a friend at a discount might be very expensive if it means that other, better paying work is going to have to be turned down.
Now that just about everyone is in the business of selling their time in some form, it’s important to be aware that even if something doesn’t cost you cash out of your wallet, the opportunity cost is not only real, it’s just as valuable. Not only does it cost money to say ‘no’, it costs money to say ‘yes’.