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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Hunting down niche audiences

December 31st, 2007

Here are the basic steps towards identifying an audience within a niche:

Look for publications and services that target people with specific interests: Magazines and journals targeted at a specific group of people indicate an active niche with commercial potential. Magic magazines told me a lot about what kind of audience was out there for my content.
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Your audience is a group of people in your niche that you want to market products and services to. Rather than trying to identify potential customers out of a random pool of people, it’s easier to find them by letting them identify themselves. My audience was people interested in magic who were willing to spend money on books and tricks. This is the same demographic that buys magic magazines. By flipping through those magazines I could get an idea of what people were buying and how much they were willing to pay for those items. By looking at the circulation of the top magic magazines I was able to get an idea of my potential market size. This is a very important number to know. I’ve known many first time authors try to approach a niche and expect sales twice the size of the number of people in it.
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