Growth

Rich and Co.

Digital Is Dominant — Why Blogs Will Rule the Professional Services Markets

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This is a good issues identification discussion of the challenges facing all professionals, thought leaders and solutions providers in our digitally dominated age.  Our comments are in {bold}

Bottomline

“Audiences increasingly expect digital content to be free. …How can a person {or company or professional} get paid for being brilliant?  This has become an increasingly difficult question to answer.”

Take Aways

  • The future of the written word is (mostly or entirely) digital.
  • {Blog’s Now Rule:  Because they are the most direct and efficient access to specific problem-solving content and solutions, ideas.}
  • I can count on one finger the number of places where it is still obviously better for me to publish than on my own blog—the opinion page of The New York Times.
  • Change in my view of the world {This is our goal I all professional work – to change our prospect’s and client’s world-views}

The Future of the Book — Sam Harris (excerpted) SEPT. 26, 2011

Writers, artists, and public intellectuals are nearing some sort of precipice: Their audiences increasingly expect digital content to be free. …How can a person {or company or professional} get paid for being brilliant?  This has become an increasingly difficult question to answer.

Where publishing is concerned, the Internet is both midwife and executioner.

  • It has never been easier to reach large numbers of readers
  • but readers {along with clients and prospects and peers!} have never felt more entitled to be informed and entertained or free.

The market for books is continually shifting beneath our feet, and nobody knows what the business of publishing will look like a decade from now. {The same is true of offering professional advice and solutions.}

When I published in 2004, I created this website as an afterthought. In fact, I remember feeling silly asking my publisher to put the web address on the dust jacket, not knowing if there was any point in doing so. While my website has since become the hub of everything I have accomplished as an author, it took me years to understand its utility, and I only began blogging a few months ago.  But many other authors are still pretending that the Internet doesn’t exist. Some will surely see their careers suffer as a result. One fact now seems undeniable: The future of the written word is (mostly or entirely) digital.

Journalism was the first casualty of this transformation. How can newspapers and magazines continue to make a profit? Online ads don’t generate enough revenue and paywalls are intolerable

If your content is behind a paywall, I will get my news elsewhere:

I subscribe to the print edition of The New Yorker, but when I want to read one of its articles online, I find it galling to have to login and wrestle with its proprietary e-readerThe result is that I read and reference New Yorker articles far less frequently than I otherwise would. I’ve been a subscriber for 25 years, but The New Yorker is about to lose me. What can they do? I don’t know. The truth is, I now expect their content to be free.

… I used to view this as a wonderful synergy—digital enables print; print points back to digital; and both thrive.  I now consider it the death knell for traditional publishing.

{Blog’s Now Rule:  Because they are the most direct and efficient access to specific problem-solving content and solutions, ideas.}

And this brings us back to the problem of money: Apart from my occasional use of a webmaster and a graphic designer, my blog employs no one—not even me. Where is all this heading?  I can count on one finger the number of places where it is still obviously better for me to publish than on my own blog—the opinion page of The New York Times. But it’s not so much better that I’ve been tempted to send them an article in the last few months. Is this just the hubris of the blogosphere? Maybe—but not for everyone and not for long.

Most books are too long, and I now hesitate before buying the next big one.  

When shopping for books, I’ve suddenly become acutely sensitive to the opportunity costs of reading any one of themIf your book {or intellectual content or solution} is 600 pages long, you are demanding more of my time than I feel free to giveAnd if I could accomplish the same change in my view of the world {This is our goal I all professional work – to change our prospect’s and client’s world-views} by reading a 60-page version of your argument, why didn’t you just publish a book this length instead?

{Most} believe that they can just jump on YouTube and watch the author speak at a conference, or skim his blog, and they will have absorbed most of what he has to say on a given subject. In some cases this is true and suggests an enduring problem for the business of publishing. In other cases it clearly isn’t true and suggests an enduring problem

These intersecting concerns have now led me to stratify my written work: I am currently:

  • writing a traditional, printed book for my mainstream publisher
  • At the other extreme, I do a lot of writing for free, almost entirely on my blog
  • In between working for free and working for my publisher, I’ve begun to experiment with self publishing short ebooks.

One thing is certain: writers and public intellectuals {and professionals} must find a way to get paid for what they do—and the opportunities to do this are changing quickly. My current solution is to write longer books for a traditional press and publish short ebooks myself on Amazon. If anyone has any better ideas, please publish them somewhere—perhaps on a blog—and then send me a link. And I hope you get paid.

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Written by Rich and Co.

September 27, 2011 at 6:43 pm

One Response

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  1. […] Digital Is Dominant – Why Blogs Will Rule the Professional Services Markets (richandco.wordpress.com) […]


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