It’s a big story… and getting bigger.
When Jason Wiser called me this week — jumping up and down excited — I had to find out what had him so pumped.
The news was couched within a Twitter announcement. Others had missed the significance, but Jason and the Social Warfare team saw it right away.
I sifted through the info, sought technical advice, and wrote the article for the Social Warfare blog: What is Twitter Thinking?
Then, Michael Stelzner jumped in to help out by talking about the issue on a Social Media Examiner Blab episode.
I followed up with a call to arms in a Pulse article.
Then I said a prayer for the little bird and hit the sack at about 2 am.
Today… SME featured the story in their weekly wrap-up. Katie, bar the doors!
Those links have all the intrigue, speculation, and outrage outlined — either in the copy, in the audio, or in the comments.
I won’t reiterate the news here.
My personal take on Twitter’s move, internet marketing, and life in the fast lane
I’ve yet to take a private stance on the issues at hand. My job has been to report the news, not make the news. And most of the time, I like it like that. I’m not smart enough to know what should or shouldn’t happen.
I’m just a pilgrim on the Way. I see the world and the day’s events as a chance to learn and grow. A chance to give and serve. A chance to wake up and listen.
Yet, it’s not right to help light the fire on a grassroots movement — drawing light to an issue that will affect millions of people — without outlining where I stand. So, I’ll do that (briefly) here.
- Twitter is a business and has the right to charge for services
- The common opinion that FREE is the best online business model has reached the end of its trail
- There’s never been a free lunch — someone always has to work and someone always has to pay
That’s it. My internet marketing philosophy in a nutshell.
What it boils down to is this: LET’S GET REAL.
Here’s the thing I’m really sick of
The late Bill Hicks did an all-too-real stand-up comedy routine about marketing. Basically, he calls marketers “satan’s little helpers.” The language is rough, and the accusations are cutting… but Hicks made some valid points.
How can a person take advantage of others — even promote harmful products or actions — daily and still go home to the family and sleep like a baby?
I don’t propose that, by any means, as true of all marketers or all products and services — yet there’s enough of it going around to make just about everyone suspicious of a “salesman.”
Seems to me, though, it’s our own greed and selfishness (and one other thing I’ll mention later) that trips us up.
We want the lowest possible price. We demand manufacturers and retailers to cut profit to the bone.
Consequently, we get what we ask for:
- Offshore production
- Loss of jobs
- A huge gap between rich and poor
- Cheap products that break immediately
You KNOW that list could go on and on… and it is nowhere better portrayed than online.
That’s what we want. That’s what we crave. We won’t settle for anything that’s not free or so cheap it might as well be free.
Question: Can you really work for free?
But I get calls daily from people who expect me to match prices with writers from India and Pakistan — where the cost of living is way less than it is in Bend, Oregon, USA.
I want to help. I want to keep practicing my craft. I want to see small businesses and entrepreneurs succeed — but can I do that and watch my own family suffer?
Free and Cheap are tough rows to hoe.
So what does it all add up to?
I gotta tell you. I’m conflicted on this issue.
“Free” normally means “All but worthless.”
Not always. I know about Hootsuite, Facebook, and many other “Free” tools.
What I don’t know is how long they will last.
Twitter wants to make a profit.
Good for Twitter. The company deserves to get paid for the services it provides.
Yet, there are many other companies that depend on the data Twitter has thus far provided (freely). What about them? What about their employees? Many may have to close up shop.
And what about you?
If other online giants begin to erect a paywall, will you pony up the dollars to stay in the game?
What if the internet becomes the domain of giants?
What if the freemium ride is coming to an end?
Is that okay with you?
Bob Dylan hit the nail on the head: The times, they are a changing.
Wrapping it up: My two bits on the Twitter controversy
My current top of the stack pet peeve is articles with headlines that promise the world and deliver nothing of real value.
It’s all the rage now.
Companies employ headline specialists who spin out stuff like Viral! Secret Hacks! Crazy Easy! Traffic Armageddon! … but you get to the content and find it weak, redundant, and sterile.
Marketers go on social media to drop links and spam netizens with an endless string of more over-hyped calls to action.
Some sell ways to sell nothing but ways to get people to buy nothing so they can sell other people nothing (think about it… you know what I mean).
Our own greed is the worst enemy we have.
No, there’s one more enemy (I said I’d get back to this)… FEAR.
I’ve found that when I let go of worry and projection, stop trying to manipulate people and begin trying to be of service to them, when I daily aim to LIVE my beliefs instead of just talking about them… I gain peace and a taste of what it’s like to love and be loved.
For Christians, the command isn’t to “Go to church,” but to BE the Church… to take care of one another, to honor one another, to be of real value.
And I’m thinking that same philosophy can be enjoined online.
Tweet others the way you would be tweeted.
P.S. ::: Have I been guilty of hype? You bet. Do I have a tendency to get afraid and selfish? I sure do. The way to change the world is to begin with yourself. I’ve never been so determined (or desperate) to do that.