Like it or not ~ The Net is changing. Many will curse and blame it on Amazon, Google, Apple, Al Gore ;) and an unending litany of players...
But the simple truth is... the power and the motivation behind the changes is YOU... the readers that give all us "Writers/Bloggers" OUR motivation.
Plain and simple, over the coming months and maybe years, many of the sites and blogs you've come to visit and value are going to disappear. It's a commercial reality.
I'm hoping that I'm not one of those dinosaurs that fades into the dust of history... at least not for a lil' while.
The current "Cause" for alarm? Smartphones and tablets.
Sure, Google, Apple, Microsoft, HP... and a bundle of other movers and shakers have danced around the issue a bit. They're trying to keep the thing that has their guts squirming and turning their corporate insides upside down... kinda low key. They can't be silent about it, but at the same time, they fear creating a firestorm on the issue.
Here's the deal. The Net, like it or not, is not FREE. It takes expensive hardware and much, much time to operate. Entertaining, informing, educating, debating, communicating websites and blogs take much time and effort. For the people expending that effort there HAS to be a compensation, or the motivation to continue evaporates.
For some, that compensation comes in the form of the back and forth communication alone. For many, as this writer, economics dictates that beyond that spiritual/emotional compensation that is highly valued, and a requisite piece of this puzzle, exists the NEED to make a living as well.
Social Intercourse alone will not feed us... It's a balancing act. We either find a way to feed ourselves with our writings... or that time is going to have to be invested in something that Will feed us. I'm not being greedy or mercenary here... just expressing one of the realities of life.
The problem has arisen with the advent of and the rapid transition of people to the small and convenient smartphone and tablet devices.
What's the problem? It's simple. It's one word... Advertising. While the feedback and loyalty of our readers is the Breath in our "Writing Lungs"... The lifeblood of many websites and blogs is advertising.
A couple of years back when we stepped off my websites and blogs were a smaller piece of our economic puzzle. As our situation has evolved and gotten ever tighter, they are now a critical piece. Without that income, or if that income degenerates further... We is in Deep Kim Chee!
As the Reader Traffic to my sites has grown significantly over the last two years, initially income grew with it. But for the past year and a bit... as the sale of smartphones and tablets exploded... and computer/laptop sales declined... so has my (and other publishers) site income.
The problems presented to "publishers" (the web writers like me) by the new compact/cellular devices from my perspective are these;
1. The advertising "systems" have as yet been unsuccessful in figuring out how to present advertising in a usable, workable fashion on Smartphones and tablets.
and #2, the built in part of that, which I believe is THE 900 lb. gorilla in the cornier that no one seems to be talking about is...
People who are paying high dollar to send and receive "Data" over their devices are Reticent (and rightly so) to access Ads on their devices... and use up expensive and precious minutes and data plans no matter HOW interested they might be in the product presented.
I'm not even sure they realize it... it's kind of an automatic, unspoken, built in thing. "I only have so much time I can afford to buy so I must be careful with my use..." It is an unspoken thought floating around in the back of their minds.
It's not like sitting at their computer or laptop with broadband...
The Consequence? Though it is NOT the readers fault... the failure of the "Old" advertising system is putting heavy pressure on publishers. Many are, sadly, by force of economics, going to be forced to pursue other endeavors.
Though my traffic is at newly "High" levels... the highest ever, considering the time of year... income is down significantly. I can only attribute that to the move to the portable and convenient devices, and my perception of the "problems" inherent in that move.
So... as Google, Microsoft, Apple, HP and all the other "Big Guys" struggle to adjust to the new world that is evolving... lil' guys like me have to scramble and adjust too.
Life in the West...
I think that fellas like me are going to have to find new ways to present Value to our Readers if we are to survive. We are going to need to redouble our labors and test our ingenuity if we are to survive. Only if we can conceive of something useful and valuable to present to our readers can we justify our compensation...
Our readers are not here for our convenience. We publishers, are here for the benefit of the reader. It is that enlightened self-interest that provides our purpose and value.
... and we must find the way to present that value... through the medium of Smartphones and Tablets...
Which... for a Cowboy Biker... stumbling in confusion through a techy world... is a genuine, un-adulterated, double-rectified, box full up straight up Bust Head! ;)
With My Nose to the Grindstone...
Hunting Up Ways to Stay Useful