Monday, December 3, 2012

A Bit of Mercenary Hopefully Enlightened Self-Interest Cogitating...

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...

 DATA PLANS.

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
Brian


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't know where they get there numbers from but all i have seen across the country is really high unemployment! I think most have felt the bite by now...is this our new norm? Boondocking still beats that. BiLL

Brian said...

Bill; I hope it isn't. I keep hoping that common sense will prevail...

...but when it's been chosen to hide reality behind propagandized and politicized numbers... it's difficult to see the truth some times... especially if your only "knowledge" comes from some media "Journalist"... and I use THAT term loosely.

People have to stop reading "Google" and go out and look at the world with their own eyes.

The "Numbers" you speak of don't include the ones whose "unemployment" checks have run out, or the emotionally exhausted who have quit looking... and a few other "Exclusions"...

I guess the abscence of a job to find means you actually aren't un-employed. Kinda gives true meaning to the old saying; "Figures don't lie but liars sure figure" don't it?

I'm hoping to keep my "self-employment" feeding me. But what's happening to the good people of this land has a direct and heavy impact on those such as me.

A rising sea may lift all boats... but just as surely; a sinking sea also GROUNDS all boats. :(

Pleinguy said...

Blogger has a feature that can automatically create an alternate mobile size version of your blog; but you have to select that option.

Even desktop and laptop users are paying for data, so I doubt there is a great difference in the type of device to access the internet. I think you're correct that the ad model for mobile is more problematic.

I tend to think the general downturn in the economy is mostly to blame for lack of click through.

I think getting more books out there will benefit you in the long run. And, your photography is pretty good, so you might be able to make something from that somehow.

Keep at it Brian, and you'll figure out the right combo.

Unknown said...

Well, sir - not so sure that's the whole picture. Let me suggest two additional factors.
- Having subscribed, I now get "pushed" the posts and they show up in my In Box in the RSS folder. So, now I mostly read your posts as an email piece rather than opening up the "real" page in my browser. Note I said "mostly" as I will still go to the well for the water - maybe once a week. Not hitting the home page, I am not presented with "click through" opportunities.

- When I do go to the well, as I did after reading this post, I find that the ads presented this visit have zero interest for me, not even the opportunity to get a smokin' deal on a foreclosed (shouldn't that be repossessed?) RV.

So, let me ask you this about that - how's about putting up a straight-forward "Support the page" or Contribute button? I started to say "subscribe" but I already to that, for no cash out of pocket, as it is.

I'm sure that suggestion rankles you a bit - cowboy up, tote your own ruck, and all that. Still and all, I would gladly make a voluntary (And goodness knows, MODEST!) ante now and then to be a "supporter" or "sustainer" or "subscriber" or what other name might be more palatable and less likely to stick in your craw.

I've been reading you for more years than I can figure out without doing more mental gymnastics than interests me; I place a value on what I've learned from here, I enjoy most of the posts, and ogle the photos. Shucks! I even copied your idea for making better use of the space under the bed and also put Allure flooring in my rig a couple of years ago. Why? Because I learned of it here.

Thanks,
Steven from Monument

BamaGurl said...

Common sense????? Talk about an extinct dinosaur. lol Love ur posts and hope they continue. It's good to know there are still some folks out there who actually use their brain.

Brian said...

PleinGuy; I do have the blogs set up for the "Mobile" version. But that in itself seems maybe part of the problem. Any ads are pretty much pushed up where their covered most of the time. and then, the advertisers haven't yet decided if "Mobile ads" do the job so they pay significantly less for 'em. What you said about the computer/laptop access is in there too. Been so long since I had a landline access I don't know what they're payin' any more! ;) I do know the "ads" that.

Thanks for the words about my photography... I do keep eyeing that, wondering if there's a way to put them to work beyond their first purpose of being an "Attractive" part of the outfit! ;)

Bottom line is, like always, I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other till the music stops! :)

Steven; Haven't heard from you in quite a while! :) I've thought of that too... Somehow, after all my railing on the "Deadbeats" standing with their hands out, a "Donation/subscription" button comes too close to being a "Gimme" button for my sensitive ego. :)

I understand the argument that I provide information/entertainment and so it's not a something for nothing proposition... I'm just not comfortable with that.

Probably, the best work for me to invest my energy in, besides simply trying to keep the blogs/websites growing and relevant is my BOOKS! Long term, having a deeper list of good yarns is likely my best bet. ;)

It's nice to have options though. I wish good fortune to all the other "Bloggers/writers" out there... and Hope for a Rising Sea...

Hey! Maybe Global Warming ain't so bad after all!! ;)

Bama Girl; There's no plan or fear on the horizon just yet that I might suddenly get "tongue tied" ;) and there's lots of folks still using their brains. You don't hear about 'em a lot 'cause they're too busy trying to make a living! Instead of running around squawkin' like the headless chickens that run this show! :)

Many Thanks to ALL my loyal readers. a VERY MANY THANKS

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your blog. In timeframe you mention, ad auction companies have heavily tracked and valuated the viewer's ad clicking. Leading advertisors to pay more or less on the auction as it now incorporates not only site info but readers potential buying.

Even though I visit your blog several times a week, I doubt anyone would pay much for my advertising clicks (mostly mistakes).

Maybe a blog for shiny new RV gadgets. :'( Jay