Directories and guides are often nothing more than the product of someone taking the time to organize information. Often all the information is out there waiting for someone to find it. Directories of people and companies that hire special professional services are valuable to people in those professions. Entertainers including comedians, musicians and magicians will pay for up-to-date guides that list information about venues along with contact information. You might think that there would be more of these guides, but often the only people who go through the trouble of putting them together are the entertainers themselves, and they keep them a secret. Anyone can put together a guide like that. All it takes is a computer, a telephone and a list of questions. The venues are usually very happy to provide you with information on what price range they pay and what the working conditions are like.
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Fan generated content

January 24th, 2008

Fans not only love to get information about the objects of their adulation, they also like to discuss it and create content. Many publications are comprised of articles by writers who aren’t paid for their submissions. Articles in most niche magazines are written by fans and enthusiasts. They don’t do it for the money; they do it for the love of it. Pick a niche, and you’ll find tons of people who want to tell other people what they think about it.
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Jeff Bezos on Charlie Rose

January 21st, 2008

Here’s an in-depth interview with one of the most successful web 1.0 entrepreneurs he keeps Wall Street guessing and making money.

Found content

January 16th, 2008

Sometimes content just happens. Found content is something you can go out and find and turn into useable media without much modification. Web cams are a form of found content. You can sit at home and look at theme parks, weather conditions, and hotspots and ask yourself why you’re being such a shut in.
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Steve Jobs at Stanford

January 15th, 2008

One of the most inspirational and anti-establishment speeches ever given by a CEO.

You don’t have to be an expert to write a good book or produce an interesting audio CD. Lots of content is produced by people who find experts with specialized knowledge about a subject. Within the magic business there are several companies that produce teaching videos. What the producers do is bring in recognized magicians to a studio and have them give a lecture to an audience. They record the lecture and produce a video based on it. The lecturer is either paid a flat fee and given a number of videos to sell, or they get a cut of the total sales. What I like about that model is that it can be applied to lots of other niches. I’ve seen entire adult education courses that were basically filmed lectures of college professors. Whenever you see people market packaged workshops or seminars they’re often recordings of presentations given to live audiences.
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Facebook circa 2005

January 8th, 2008

Here’s an interesting podcast featuring Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook back when they were just another scrappy little social networking platform. What a difference 3 years makes! Courtesy of the Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders forum.


From Harvard to the Facebook

Producing content you made yourself isn’t that difficult if you look at it the right way. Most forms of non-fiction content can be broken down into a series of questions. From biographies of famous historical figures to videos on getting perfect abs, this content can be created by answering questions customers are likely to have.

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Mining Content

January 5th, 2008

There’s a lot of content out there waiting to be rediscovered. Ted Turner built an empire by buying up old television shows and movies. My generation grew up watching The Little Rascals on syndicated television. As a kid I knew they were old, I didn’t realize that they first appeared before television. Turner made money off content other people had written off. He not only got kids like me to watch black and white films from the 1930’s, he was able to turn that property into new content including cartoons and feature films, not to mention kitsch merchandise.
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