Monday, December 31, 2012

Division of Labor, Talent and Journalistic Branding

A clear divide exists between generic labor and talent in media companies and it is now increasingly dividing journalists. The divide initially appeared in the motion picture industry and moved into broadcasting as competition led companies to vie for the talented people—or at least those who could generate the largest audiences and revenue for media companies.

The talent concept moved into journalism with the development of television news and salaries for news presenters and leading correspondents that were far above those of average television reporters.   In print journalism, talent initially involved columnists and then encompassed a few well-known reporters.
Today, the appearances of journalists at events and on talk shows, individually-authored digital news sites, and the increasing uses of blogs and social media by journalists is transforming many into individual brands that are being using to improve their social standing and connections with audiences. This journalistic branding no longer primarily supports employers’ interests for audience creation and retention. Instead, it creates an individual brand that increases the demand for the services of the branded journalist. This, of course, can be translated in higher wages, better employment opportunities, or self employment via the digital media.

The fact that individual journalists are finding ways to increase their value isn’t a problem, but journalists need to thinking about the point where branding transforms them into celebrity—thus moving them from being an observer to a participant in the news they report.
The development of talent—whether as journalists, investment managers, sports personalities, and even publicly recognized scholars—represents a significant shift in capital-labor relations.  In industrial society, capital had disproportionate power because it controlled factories and labor had few ways to counteract that power outside of collective bargaining. In post-industrial society, however, power is shifting toward talent because these branded professionals are a new class of personnel who are crucial for companies—but talent doesn't fall into the traditional capital or labor categories.

One of the downsides of this shift, according to Roger Martin, dean of Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto, is that it is creates two classes of labor: generic labour and talent. The first is often undervalued and the second sometimes overvalued.  The process is creating disproportionate incomes, opportunities, and mobility for the latter group and there is growing animosity between generic labour and talent because they do not share similar experiences or have a common identity.
What talent will mean to the future of journalism is uncertain, but digital communications are clearly making it possible for some journalists to separate themselves from others and to move into the talent category. It is something we should be watching.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy New Year, Happy Freebie, and Happy Giveaway!

Happy New Year, bloggy friends!  Not sure what your 2012 was like, but mine was full of surprises.  Some fantastic ones, some rough ones, some interesting ones, and some incredibly fun ones!   More than anything, I find myself THANKFUL and BLESSED for my family, friends, faith, job, health, and keeps life interesting. 

Happy Freebie!  Here's a New Year's Resolution FREEBIE for your students!  Teach them what a resolution is, challenge them to set a goal for 2013 and think about what steps it will take to get there, as well as celebrate their successes for 2012!  Click the image to download.  

Happy Giveaway!  I'm so excited to start 2013 off with 600+ followers on my blog.  What a better way to celebrate than to give a few things away?!  If you're like me, shopping on TpT is one of my favorite hobbies!  Maybe the $30.00 will help you grab some great products for the New Year!  In addition to that I'm throwing in 6 items of your choice from my TpT or TN store...anything goes!  :-)   There are LOTS of ways to enter and lots of chances to win!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveawayBananas for New Year's Fun,

Friday, December 28, 2012

Coffee is bad

What does Ramamritham have against coffee ? I would have thought the caricature of Ramaritham included a cup of coffee and The Hindu. Yet here's this venerable gentleman having an angst against coffee . Why ?

I am referring to IKEA's application to open retail stores across India. You may recall that the move to allow foreign owned retailers to set up shop in India is a recent one (Didi notwithstanding).  IKEA has been one of the first to submit their proposal, willing to bring it no less than Rs 10,000 crores of investment. You would have thought that they would be welcomed with open arms  - it is difficult to see boxed furniture being a threat to national sovereignty. But what they got was not a red carpet - instead they were treated with the full attention of Ramamritham. (in the guise of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board - FIPB)

I am no fan of IKEA stores. If you've been to one, they are all predictably the same format. You are forced to walk along one km of winding corridors that entirely destroy your sense of direction. You have to gaze at their full force of merchandise even if you want to buy a safety pin. After all those wanderings you are dying to sit down and rest your aching legs. Dutifully at the end of the trail you can buy a cup of coffee. Their format world over is the same.

Its the cup of coffee that has aroused Ramamritham's ire. Believe it or not, Ramamritham has turned down IKEA's application saying that they could not have a coffee shop - it appears that would become multi brand retail as the coffee is not IKEA branded coffee and hence would fall foul of the rules. Never mind the Rs 10,000 crores investment. FIPB is disallowing the proposal objecting to the coffee shop.

Finally the Commerce Minister had to intervene and suggest to Ramamritham that this is utterly nonsensical. He has asked IKEA to submit their proposal again and has promised them that he is partial to coffee.

Long long ago, when P Chidambaram was still a starry eyed reformer , he summoned a character called the Controller of Imports and Exports ( a terror those days) and asked him what he did. The worthy launched an impassioned plea as to how important and onerous his role was. PC's riposte was that he could perhaps understand that he had a role to play regarding imports, but pray, what was he doing trying to control exports ?? Within a few months he simply abolished the post.

I suggest he does a similar hatchet job on the FIPB. They perform no useful role. Open up investment in every sector barring maybe defence (even there there are arguments to  opening up for investment). Remember opening up for foreign investment does not mean that they can violate the law of the land. That provides the country ample protection against misbehaviour.

The only way to deal with nonsensical behaviour of objecting to the coffee shop is to abolish Ramamritham entirely.  Can Anand Sharma, the Commerce Minister, take a leaf out of his old predecessor and abolish the FIPB ?

PS :Newcomers to this blog who may not have been introduced to Ramamritham may get acquainted here.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bye Bye New York Stock Exchange

OK - the title is pure hyperbole. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is going nowhere. But the company that owns NYSE is just being bought over. The curious part of the story is that the acquirer does not really want the NYSE, but it comes as part of the package- so he has to take it !

Here's the deal. NYSE is part of a conglomerate called NYSE Euronext. The conglomerate consists of NYSE itself, Euronext, which is a combination of three European stock exchanges and Liffe which is a London based derivatives exchange. NYSE and Euronext are ugly spinsters nobody wants. The beauty amongst the beasts is Liffe. For it is the sexy new hottie - a derivatives exchange.

And therein lies the story. In the modern day casino , that is finance , equity exchanges like NYSE are worthless as businesses. Margins are supposedly low. Stock exchanges are the places where almost all companies that require capital list and that's where investors channel their savings into productive investment. One would have thought that  the raison d'être for financial markets was to fulfill that objective, but obviously I am an old foggie.

In today's world, the money is all in running commodities exchanges,  derivatives markets etc - not boring old equity. The acquirer is a company called ICE that did not exist before 2000 (for the record NYSE was founded in 1817). ICE purely handles derivatives trading. The career of Jeffrey Sprecher, the CEO of ICE says it all. He started his career building power plants.  But he realised that there was more money (in facts tons more money) playing on financial contracts relating to power than in generating power itself. So he started ICE , obscurely in Atlanta, in 2000. See where he has got to in 12 years.

We've now come to a stage where even the NYSE is an unattractive prize - in fact positively repellant. Given a choice Mr Sprecher would probably spin off NYSE, or sell it off somewhere or simply forget about it. Unfortunately that is politically simply unthinkable. So he has to live with it and make pious noises of how important it is.

Its a symptom of where the world is going.  This post is one sided and biased (whoever said that a blog has to be objective !). Derivatives markets are not all evil and equity markets are not all saints. Both serve useful economic purposes. But you can see where this is headed. Esoteric, ununderstandable financial structures are getting to be more important than the underlying asset itself. That's why, a wise old fox from Omaha, back then in 2003, called derivatives a weapon of mass destruction.

Many years ago, when the world was a simpler place and when this blogger was a young man (!), he went to 11 Wall Street, entered the visitors gallery of NYSE and gazed at the trading floor in awe.  Little did he know that not in the too distant future, this lovely lady was going to be thrown out into the street as an ugly old crone.

Business Jazz - 21st December 2012 - Customers and Community

If we learned anything from Instagram's misstep in the past week it's that businesses struggle to understand the concept of community - even those who are in the social media space.

Making yourself attractive in business is about being able to respect the community you serve.

Chris Brogan talks about the difference between customers and community in his latest podcast and newsletter. He discusses why not all of the people who come to your shop have to buy. The fact that they are bringing their communities into contact with you is already enough. Treat them well and rewards will follow.

Paul and Roger discuss what this approach means in the real world of business. Can the concierge experience be used to improve the sales process?

To serve them well, you need information about your clients and customers. Yet blatant interrogation can be off putting. How do you elicit information and still remain attractive to the customer?

You can listen to this week's podcast using the player at the top of the post or download it directly here: Business Jazz - 21st December 2012.

We're also in iTunes. We'd love it if you subscribed.

You can be part of Chris' community

If you'd like to subscribe to Chris' emails yourself (the ones we discuss here), you'll find a place to sign up on his website. 
They'll come straight to your smart device - or your laptop/desktop, if that's where you are comfortable.

If you're interested in The Impact Equation, the book he recently published with Julien Smith, you can find it on Amazon US and Amazon UK. 

Business Jazz Players

This podcast is a collaboration of people dotted around the world. Most of us have never met each other. It's quite a story and it's still evolving. 
If you'd like to read what's happened so far, you'll find it here: Our Story


Would you like to hear more? Immediately after each recording of the podcast proper, Paul gets out his iPhone and we record an Audioboo with additional thoughts.

Here is this week's:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Business December 19th 2012, The "Life Is Excellent" Edition


We will, we will rock you. Rock you.

Well, more specifically, we are more than happy to welcome Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggets to rock you!!

Bobby Joe Ebola and The Children MacNuggits began in 1995, in a trash-strewn fast-food parking lot in Pinole, CA. Guitarist Dan Abbott and singer Corbett Redford rose from humble circumstances as a satiric folk rock band that played for friends to their current majestic heights with hilarious and sometimes frightening acoustic performances. The MacNuggits have gathered loyal legions of fans with their infamous combination of searing social satire, soaring harmonies, outlandish and shocking truths, and poop jokes. The songs draw upon a variety of pop culture, of global crises, of interpersonal labyrinths, of nightmares and daydreams, skewering them on a rusty spit for the world to see. With a nod to social satirists like Lenny Bruce and George Carlin, and musical influences ranging from Slick Rick to They Might Be Giants, Bobby Joe Ebola is the vaudeville routine for your personal apocalypse.

Bobby Joe Ebola will be CELEBRATING the release of their brand new new CD/LP, TRAINWRECK TO NARNIA on Rooftop Comedy Productions & Dirt Cult Records! Come pick up a copy!
We are also pleased to have Kevin Hawkins joining us. The internet says: “Kevin Hawkins has worked as a teacher, principal, school head, and social worker in the UK, Africa, and Europe. He brings to education a holistic understanding of children and young people from his lifelong work with adolescents, and he strives to support the development of young minds through enhancing students’ self-awareness and emotional intelligence. “ but I’m pretty sure that’s a different Kevin Hawkins, and our guest this week is just a cool funny dude up from LA.

Your regulars will be there “Alex Reflux” Koll, Bucky “SARSnister”, Caitlin “Rhinovirus” Gill, Sean “Croup” Keane, and Mike “Diphtheria” Drucker.

The show is just $5! If you want to bring a friend, bring em for free!!  Print out you your 2-for-1 coupon from above!!!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Round the world for one day

How would you like to chuck it all and travel around the world ? Tempting isn't it ?? Well that's exactly what two wonderful persons I know are doing right now. They blog about it here - follow it if you are interested in traveling ; its a gripping account of far away lands. If you fancy yourself on the road from Rangoon to Mandalay or on the Silk Road between Bukhara and Samarkand, then this is the travelogue for you.

I happened to be in Spain and voila, discovered that they were in Spain too  - Ah the wonders of the internet. I was in Madrid and they were in Granada, so emailed them to meet at Seville which is where I spent a magical day today with them.

No doubt they'll get to updating their blog on this day in Seville. Their blog is still in Turkey, whilst they have physically moved on to Greece and onwards to Spain. They'll write about the Catedral de Santa María de la Sede (Seville Cathedral), an imposing and awesome structure where we stood reverentially in front of the bones of Christopher Columbus interred there. And about the Reales Alcázares de Sevilla (Alcazar) - the palace where you could feel the legend of 100 virgins a year demanded by the Moors from the Christians.  Or the bullring, the oldest in Spain - this being off season, thankfully there were no bullfights. There was the rain in Spain, but it was the gentle variety that added to the charm and mystique of the place.

Its their call to write on the place. Mine to write on the experience with them. Wanderlust is always an instinct of man; and those who wander have a treasure trove of experience. Travel broadens the mind and travelers make wonderful company. If they are as nice as M and V, the time with them transcends words. It was only a day, but to me it seemed that I had somehow partaken of their entire adventure. I had walked with them, had shared the sights, had felt the tug of the journeyers. It was a very special day. As we sat in the station sipping a cup of coffee waiting for the train to take me back, I couldn't but think a wee bit of chucking it all and following in their trail ! Gracias M & V for the magic.

While I come back home to India, they go onwards to Morocco, to Mauritania and wherever else the road beckons. Good luck M &V. May you have many more wonderful experiences and the joys of visiting many a land. 

For me, I am thankful, that for a day, just a day, I trod the path with you. Round the world, at least for one day.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Business Jazz - 14th December 2012 - Introducing The Flapp

It's an oft-quoted trend: smartphone and tablet sales are outstripping those of laptop and desktop computers.

There is another way of reading that: our social media experience is becoming mobile.

Or how about this interpretation? The window to our online experience is getting smaller. That is: the screens we use are getting smaller.

All that has an impact on our online experience, says Chris Brogan.

Most companies tailor their online presence towards viewers with a large screen. That doesn't provide a great experience for those of us reaching out to them from mobile devices.

Paul and Roger take this to the extreme. Will websites make way for apps produced by individuals, companies and collectives?

What does that mean for Google's powerhouse search engine? Will your app store become your search engine instead?

What about apps themselves? Let us introduce you to the Fluid App (Flapp). Perhaps, we'll all be flapping in the future. You heard it hear first.

You can listen to this week's podcast using the player at the top of the post or download it directly here: Business Jazz - 14th December 2012.

We're also in iTunes. We'd love it if you subscribed.

Connect by Mobile with Chris every week

If you'd like to subscribe to Chris' emails yourself (the ones we discuss here), you'll find a place to sign up on his website. 
They'll come straight to your smart device - or your laptop/desktop, if that's where you are comfortable.

If you're interested in The Impact Equation, the book he recently published with Julien Smith, you can find it on Amazon US and Amazon UK. 

Business Jazz Players

This podcast is a collaboration of people dotted around the world. Most of us have never met each other. It's quite a story and it's still evolving. 
If you'd like to read what's happened so far, you'll find it here: Our Story


Would you like to hear more? Immediately after each recording of the podcast proper, Paul gets out his iPhone and we record an Audioboo with additional thoughts.

There is one for this week, but the production elf who recorded it is out of the country right now and hasn't published it on Audioboo yet.

Instead, here's a brief chat about an idea to produce a rolling list of the people mentioned in the podcast.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Which Best Practice Is Ruining Your Business?

For many decades, newspapers were big; printed on the so-called broadsheet format. However, it was not cheaper to print on such large sheets of paper  – that was not the reason for their exorbitant size – in fact, it was more expensive, in comparison to the so-called tabloid size. So why did newspaper companies insist on printing the news on such impractical, large sheets of paper? Why not print it on smaller paper? Newspaper companies, en masse, assumed that “customers would not want it”; “quality newspapers are broadsheet”.

When finally, in 2004, the United Kingdom’s Independent switched to the denounced tabloid size, it saw its circulation surge. Other newspapers in the UK and other countries followed suit, boosting their circulation too. Customers did want it; the newspaper companies had been wrong in their assumptions.

When I looked into where the practice had come from – to print newspapers on impractically large sheets of paper – it appeared its roots lay in England. In 1712, the English government started taxing newspapers based on the number of pages that they printed. In response, companies made their newspapers big, so that they could print them on fewer pages. Although this tax was abolished in 1855, companies everywhere continued to print on the impractical large sheets of paper. They had grown so accustomed to the size of their product that they thought it could not be done any other way. But they were wrong. In fact, the practice had been holding their business back for many years.

Everybody does it
Most companies follow “best practices”. Often, these are practices that most firms in their line of business have been following for many years, leading people in the industry to assume that it is simply the best way of doing things. Or, as one senior executive declared to me when I queried one of his company’s practices: “everybody in our business does it this way, and everybody has always been doing it this way. If it wasn’t the best way of doing things, I am sure it would have disappeared by now”.

But, no matter how intuitively appealing this may sound, the assumption is wrong. Of course, well-intended managers think they are implementing best practices but, in fact, unknowingly, sometimes the practice does more harm than good.
One reason why a practice’s inefficiency may be difficult to spot is because when it came into existence, it was beneficial – like broadsheet newspapers once made sense. But when circumstances have changed and it has become inefficient, nobody remembers, and because everybody is now doing it, it is difficult to spot that doing it differently would in fact be better.

The short term trap
Some bad practices may also come into existence being bad, but the harmful effects only materialize years after their implementation. And firms implement them because its short-term consequences are quite positive.

For example, in a project with Mihaela Stan from University College London, we examined the success rate of fertility clinics in the UK. A number of years ago, various clinics began to test, select, and only admit patients for their IVF treatment who were “easy cases”; young patients with a relatively uncomplicated medical background. Indeed, treating only easy patients boosted the clinics’ success rates – in terms of the number of pregnancies resulting from treatment – which is why more and more firms started doing it. However, our research on the long-term consequences of this practice clearly showed that selecting only easy patients made them all but unable to learn and improve their treatment and success rate further. Clinics that did do a fair proportion of difficult cases learnt so much from them that after a number of years their success rates became much higher – in spite of treating a lot of difficult patients – than the clinics following the selection practice. Unknown to the clinics’ management, the seemingly clever practice put them on the back foot in the long run.
What this example shows is that the long-term negative consequences of a seemingly “best practice” can sometimes greatly outweigh its short-term benefits. But the problem is that, where managers can see the beneficial short-term effects, they often are unable to understand, when after a number of years their competitive position starts plummeting, that this is due to this “best practice” they implemented years ago. Therefore, the practice persists, and may even spread further to other organizations in the same line of business.

Self-perpetuating myths
What makes some seemingly best practices even more difficult to uncover as harmful is that they can become self-perpetuating. Take the film industry. Film distributors have preconceived ideas about which films will be successful. For example, it is generally expected that films with a larger number of stars in them, actors with ample prior successes, and an experienced production team will do better at the box office.

Sure enough, usually those films have higher attendance numbers. However, professors Olav Sorenson from Yale and David Waguespack from the University of Maryland discovered that, because of their beliefs, film distributors assign a much bigger proportion of their marketing budget and other resources to those films. Once they acknowledged this factor in their statistical models, it became evident that those films, by themselves, did not do any better at all. The distributors' beliefs were a complete myth, which they subsequently made come true through their own actions. However, the film distributors would have been better off had they assigned their scarce resources differently.

Most experienced executives have strong beliefs about what works and not, and logically they assign more resources and put more effort into the things they are confident about, eager not to waste it on activities with less of a chance of success. As a result, they make their own beliefs come true. The good box office results of the films distributors expected to do well reaffirmed their prior – yet erroneous – beliefs.  This reinforced the myth of the best practice, and stimulated it to spread and persist.
Hence, with all the best intentions, executives often implement what is considered a “best practice” in their industry. What they do not know, is that some of these practices are bad habits, masquerading as efficiency boosters, because their real consequences lay hidden. Yet, questioning and uncovering such practices may significantly boost a firm’s competitive advantage, to the benefit of the firm and, eventually, us all.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Business December 12th 2012, The "The Cartoonist and the Cartoon" Edition

This Wednesday night is gonna feel like a Saturday morning. The Business is bringing you a talented cartoonist, as well as a human who may very well be a cartoon.

Michael Capozzola has contributed to Mad Magazine, The New York Times and National Lampoon. Each year, Michael produces and hosts the Cartoon Art Museum’s annual “Comics for Comix” comedy fundraiser which he conceived as well. He has been in a bunch of commercials, you can see his broadcast/ TV reel at Born and rais
ed in New Rochelle, NY Michael subsisted on comic books and chocolate until he took up comedy and caffeine. He created his own comedy studies major while at Ithaca College. (NERD.)

Dr. Foxmeat is half warewolf, half cotton candy. He is part liger, part tigon. He is carbon based and also plays bass for The Carbons. He is always a true pleasure to have as a guest. Come experience him.

Your regulars will be there as well: Mike Daffy Drucker, Bugs Sinister, Yosemite Sean Keane, Alex Foghorn Leg-Kol” and Wile. E Caitlin Gill.

This whole show is just $5! You can even bring a friend for free! Just grab a 2 for 1 coupon here!
WE SELL OUT. Get there early so you can get a seat.

BYOBurrito. I still get carnitas, even though it means “That’s all folks” for a Porky.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The strange case of John McAfee

Do you use McAfee anti virus software ? Chances are you probably do. If so, or even if not, you may be interested in the strange story of John McAfee. I'm not sure if its comic or tragic - decide for yourself. In any case its a prime candidate for the script of Gils' soon to be shot Blockbuster from Chollywood  ! (If you want to know what Chollywood is, it is a pun on that stunning  "centre of the world"  where the said blogger now lives and has become completely enamored of )

John McAfee is not your  typical geek. Firstly he was born in 1946 (now which geek can claim that !). While he was working in Lockheed , his computer got infected with one of the first viruses that ever came to prominence - Brain. Readers of my vintage might remember that this originated from Pakistan. which prompted lots of hand wringing in India about loss of software primacy !  McAfee got so pissed that he started writing software to combat viruses. In due course he founded McAfee Associates, the antivirus company which he took public in 1992. In 1994 he quit, cashing in all his stocks and reportedly made some $100 m. So far , very typical of software entrepreneurs. But from now on, his life has been anything but typical.

He retired to the back of beyond in Colorado (where ?)  and became a yoga guru. He established a yoga retreat there and penned a book on yoga. He introduced all sorts of new concepts including "observational yoga" where , I believe, you relax on an easy chair, munch snacks and watch others doing yoga.

In 2008, when the financial crisis hit, apparently he lost a lot of money. He then sold everything in the US and moved lock stock and barrel to Belize (double where ?) He started doing research on herbal medicines in heavily armed compounds. He acquired a reputation as a mad scientist and that led to raids suspecting drug production. He frolicked around with young women, justifying that as an example of trickle down theory - by arguing that parents in Belize constantly promote their daughters to men with money, and he was only obliging thereby increasing family incomes.

But over the last couple of months, his story went even wilder. He got into an argument with his neighbour who complained of his dogs barking. McAfee then claimed that his dogs had been poisoned and therefore he had to shoot them. Shortly afterwards, the neighbour was found murdered. When the Belize authorities wanted to question him, he claimed he was being framed and went into hiding leading the authorities on a wild chase and taunting them through tweeting and blogging constantly. Suddenly he surfaced in Guatemala  claiming political asylum. Guatemala would have none of it and is currently going to deport him back to Belize. The Belize Prime Minister has called him "extremely paranoid; even bonkers".

He blogs at In true spirit, his start page is whacky - but don't worry; it is safe.

Spare a thought for Intel, which now owns McAfee Anti virus suite of products. What an advertisement for your brand .........

Friday, December 7, 2012

Business Jazz - 7th December 2012 - The World is within Reach of Your Couch

Could you imagine changing your life and transporting yourself from your living room couch to a luncheon table with a princess?

Does that seem like too big a leap to contemplate?

For many of us, it does. We are held back by our imagination. And even if we have the imagination to imagine such ambitions, we lack the belief that we can achieve them. We decide they are beyond us.

Not so, says Chris Brogan. He should know. He has made the journey from 9-5 wage slave seeking evening solace in front of the TV to having lunch with Sheika Mariam of Abu Dhabi.

In his latest email, he urges you to paint the picture of your life with bolder, bigger brush strokes. He also offers some tools to help you achieve that.

Paul and Roger add their views to the mix.

You can listen to this week's podcast using the player at the top of the post or download it directly here: Business Jazz - 7th December 2012.

We're also in iTunes. We'd love it if you subscribed.

Get brush strokes from Chris every week

If you'd like to subscribe to Chris' emails yourself (the ones we discuss here), you'll find a place to sign up on his website. 
If you're interested in The Impact Equation, the book he recently published with Julien Smith, you can find it on Amazon US and Amazon UK. 

Business Jazz Players

This podcast is a collaboration of people dotted around the world. Most of us have never met each other. It's quite a story and it's still evolving. 
If you'd like to read what's happened so far, you'll find it here: Our Story

Today we are going to add two more people to the band. We haven't asked them, but they have been so wonderful we would be sad if they weren't included.

First, the super Martin Daniel, a listener in Chennai in India, who has made us smile on many occasions with his support on Twitter. To think our band of heroes has reached that far from home gives us so much pleasure.

We get equal pleasure from the connection we have made with Roger's motherland via Maaike van Dijk-Bokkers. Maaike too has been a lovely Twitter advocate to have in recent months as the podcast grows.


Would you like to hear more? Immediately after each recording of the podcast proper, Paul gets out his iPhone and we record an Audioboo with additional thoughts.

Here's this week's: (Well, the first bit of it. A tragedy befell the recording...)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Business December 5th 2012, The "D&D" Edition

Gather your dice with many sides and prepare yourselves for a magical adventure of the imagination! Let The Business be your Dungeon Master for this tournament of champions featuring our own D&D, Derek Sheen and Dave Thomason.

A cuddly mess of insecurities; Derek Sheen enjoys over-sharing about his personal failures and the most intimate details of his secret thoughts. He likes turning over rocks and talking about the squishy things that live underneath and loves making audiences laugh, even when they
feel like they shouldn't. He has been killed in several movies and cartoons! Most recently in the Funny or Die series “Adventure Buddies”; the voice of E.T. in the gay porn/animated favorite “E.T. 2:Dark Territory". His album "Holy Drivel" is available from Lindy West of has called him "A Human Hug".

Dave Thomason is a stand-up comedian who was born in San Francisco and now tells jokes there. He recently won Rooftop Comedy’s Silver Nail Award recognizing the best up-and-coming comedians in the nation. Dave has performed at a bunch of neat-o festivals across the country, including the SF Sketchfest, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, and the Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival. His stand-up has been featured on NPR’s “Snap Judgment”. You can catch him regularly at the Punch Line in San Francisco.

Plus a visit from one of our favorite guests, Nato Green, writer for Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell on FX.

All your regulars will be assembled, Bucky "Strength" Sinister, Caitlin "Constitution" Gill, Alex "Wisdom" Koll, Mike "Dexterity" Drucker and Sean "Charisma" Keane.

Tickets are just $5! We sell out! Get there early for a seat.

BYOBurrito or you will lose hit points.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Transcription - 30th November 2012

Wow! (Again)

Listener Nick Holloway has again transcribed an entire episode. Our minds are reeling at such industry and generosity. A gift from Nick to us and to those of you who prefer to read rather than listen.

You can read the transcription for the episode of 30th November 2012 after the jump.

Business Jazz 30.11.12


Welcome to Business Jazz with Paul O'Mahony and Roger Overall.

The podcast about "How to be genuinely attractive in business today."


Roger : And we are running! Sounds like liftoff at NASA, doesn't it? All engines are running. Welcome to the Blackrock Castle Observatory here in Cork in Ireland, my name is Roger Overall .

Paul : And my name is Paul O'Mahony

Roger : And this is BusinessJazz. It is a crisp almost Arctic morning hear in Cork.

Paul : To put it mildly it's bitter, freezing bloody cold, it was not nice out there.

Roger : You've still got your coat on and we're sitting by the fire.

Paul : We have lots of logs, we have a whole big basket of logs here. So, in the middle of this podcast Roger I might even get up and put an extra log on the fire.

Roger : It's nice to be doing this by a fire on a day like this, and it's one of those really crisp blue sky days as well, the kind of winter day I like.

Paul : You know how we usually talk about Chris Brogan here, well, Chris Brogan is off in Dubai as we speak, in warm sun, so I bet you he's not cold.


Paul : Who's the guy whose email you have open in front of you? What's he called?

Roger : AJ Leon

Paul : Who's he? Who's AJ Leon?

Roger : Well, he's the world's biggest misfit, I don't know if he is the biggest misfit, he is married to a misfit as well.

Paul : He is also pretty unusual since, somewhere in this particular email we're looking at, he says you can go into a cafe where he has been and he has left behind a free copy for the customers of the cafe to enjoy, that you can go into that cafe and steal it.

Roger : Yes, he is encouraging theft, he is encouraging theft of his own magazine, AJ Leon is part designer and part "world engineer change person".

Paul : He's revolutionary.

Roger : AJ Leon has stolen a march on his competitors. He has a design company, design agency and he's published a magazine, or his company Misfits-Inc have published a magazine. Their own Misfit quarterly creative publishing project and it exists in several formats. It exists in a format that you can download, as PDF, and it will exist as a hard copy that he will leave behind in cafes that you can steal, or if you're more honest you can actually get hold of that, you can buy a copy.

Paul : How did you find out about this Misfits Inc quarterly publication?

Roger : He emailed me telling me it was out, but he's been talking about the project for a long time.

Paul : Why did he email you? How did he know you'd be interested in getting this?

Roger : I signed up to his email list for his blog.

Paul : So you went on to AJ Leon's blog and there you signed up to get his email?

Roger : Yes.

Paul : So, that's how come you got it. I know he actually put out information about this quarterly publication months ago and I missed it because it actually called for contributions and one of the things the Misfits Inc quarterly does is, it's going to showcase the work of poets and I'm very, very cheesed off with myself.
I missed an opportunity to throw my hat in the ring getting a poem in the Misfits Inc publication.

Roger : It is a quarterly Paul.

Paul : How did I miss that Roger?

Roger : I don't know, I don't know, maybe you just weren't following it as attentively as you are now. See, this is interesting isn't it? You become aware of somebody, you go through a process don't you? I mean my process of Chris Brogan and AJ, getting to know them, to the point now where I can exchange an email, or send an email and there is a very high probability I will get an answer back that is meaningful, in that I have a relatively meaningful relationship online, not very deep, but is meaningful. You go through this process of, I suppose you're introduced, somehow, to somebody online, but the introduction doesn't mean you'll necessarily do anything and then you become, I suppose, a bit more aware of what they're about, you get drawn in and then you get drawn in more and more. But along the way there is, I think, a tipping point where you suddenly really start to pay attention. Now, you're asking, well, why didn't I know AJ was doing this project? Maybe you hadn't reached the tipping point yet.

Paul : For me, it's another thing which is  - both AJ Leon & Chris Brogan produce a large amount of content. I cannot spend my entire life paying attention to other people's content, I actually have to create some myself. So I rely on other people, some of whom I don't even know, sending me a Tweet saying, "by the way, have you seen this latest thing from, you know, Brogan or AJ Leon, or even from Roger Overall". I can't even follow your stuff, you produce loads and loads of content.

Roger : Isn't that just the way people get introduced to new people? "Have you seen this thing?" It's a very powerful thing, I think it's probably the most powerful introduction is when somebody you trust comes along and say "Have you...?"
 - oh, the air-conditioning has been switched off, it's gone very quiet.

Paul : They're drawing moisture out of the air here, they do that every single morning here, they do, the man is taking away the...  what do you call it? Not a condenser-

Roger : A de-humidifier.

Paul : A dehumidifier.

Roger : The dehumidifier. So, if you can suddenly hear us, that's what's happened!

Paul : Your words were dehumidified Roger.

Roger : My words were dehumidified, all the wet soppiness was taken out, they were dry and crisp.

Paul : No, they will be dry and crisp.

Roger : Anyway, isn't that just the most powerful way of being introduced to somebody, because if somebody who you trust says "have you seen the latest thing by this person?" That's just wonderful, that's how I got introduced to AJ.
I've just seen a note there, you've written down "deep and meaningful".

Paul : They were words you made.

Roger : Yes, but let me make the distinction for you. A deep relationship, as I see it, is a really very strong link, a very personal connection. A meaningful correspondence, it means something, it doesn't have to be a very deep thing, it doesn't have to be that I know Chris Brogan's intimate secrets or that AJ is confiding in me, his innermost thoughts. But it is meaningful to me when they reply and I get useful content from them or useful information in return, that's what I mean, that's why I made that distinction.

Paul : Well I think there's a book on the distinction between deep & meaningful Roger which we will not deal with.
Can we actually move back on to AJ Leon for a minute because he's produced this quarterly magazine. Now, what I really want to connect this with is an email, not the publication itself, but you got it by email. Does the email do anything more than simply tell me AJ Leon has produced this very, very sexy publication? Is there any call to action in the latest AJ Leon email?

Roger : Well, there is a call to action,  in so far as a you can download it, please go and download it. But, if you want to, you can also help in the production of the hard copy. You can signup and become an honorary Misfit -  and you put money towards the project. You become an investor if you like, in the publication of the hard copy of the magazine.

Paul : See -  that's the bit that interests me because I've funded a couple of things through Kickstarter and on each of them I actually spent some of my time,  not only giving them a miniscule amount of money but,  spreading the message that, hey, this App which is called JoyceWays, all about Ulysses, a wonderful, wonderful, App by the way, it's out there and you can buy it and all that sort of thing: but basically as soon as I funded them, even the smallest amount, I felt myself to part of the team.
So similarly I want to give a bit of money to AJ Leon -  so he could definitely produce something I can tactilely hold in my hand, that I can see in front of me and that, to be blunt, I can write all over it and make marks on its and convert it from being an object of admiration, convert it into a useful tool.
I can't actually very easily do that with a PDF.

Roger : There is that thing with electronic content: you can't scribble in the margins. Well, you can if you use certain programs. You can make notes, but is not as easy I find. I find it almost detached, because if you take a book, imagine a pristine book and it's lovely and it's there in the print is gorgeous and you take a pen...
Paul is now reaching for a book.

Paul : I'm reaching for a book to just kind of relate this.

Roger : Well, you've done this in pencil which is a copout… but I know you've done this in pen...

Paul : ...that's a bloody accident! Here we are, highlighting pencils, pens...

Roger : You've got highlighters, pens. Now, the fact that you take a pen because it's almost, we have this sense of sacrilege, this is a poem which is being read out for AJ Leon that I'm being shown now.

Paul : Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
and sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
and looked down one as far as I could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;

Paul : Some people might know what poem that is, that's one of the most powerful American poems ever written. [Robert Frost 'The Road Not Taken']

Roger : One of the most ambiguous poems.

Paul : Back to AJ Leon.

Roger : Back to AJ Leon. Because I just want to make the point that, when you take a pen and you physically start scribbling in a book you've bought in a bookshop, it enhances your engagement with that book no end -  because it's indelible, particularly the way you do it. If you do it on an electronic document, you can scrub out your comments. You can get rid of it, you're not touching the pristiness of the document because actually the document doesn't exist, it's very ethereal. Whereas the real physical thing, where you've written something in there, there's no backing out, it's there. Now, I think that it enhances the engagement.

Paul : I want all the AJ Leon emails and I want all the Chris Brogan emails in a book -  so I can write all over them.

Roger : If you were Chris and AJ wouldn't you do that? Wouldn't you publish your 100 or 200 most powerful emails in a book?

Paul : I am guilty of not having done that. I've been writing a blog since 2005 Roger. I have yet to produce a book of my blog posts. The closest thing I got to it was a book about mental health at one stage, where I got very, very far down the track, including had a publisher.
Ah! I have a book which was produced from blog posts, "Irish Epic Poem in 33 Cantos" was first published in blog posts. It went from the Moleskine Notebook to 72 blog posts to a self-published (gone now, limited edition copy, all gone) and it's now in the Kindle Store. Right? So that kind of journey.  But, on the way, there was a book which I could write all over.

Roger : Wonderful. Back to AJ's email. I think there's something else very special about his project. Now, he's a designer and his company Misfits-Inc have produced a magazine, but what does the magazine contain? It contains art, poetry, photography, but not from AJ Leon, not from Melissa his wife.

Paul : Oh, yes it does. Oh, yes it does.

Roger : Now, but, have they filled the magazine with their stuff?

Paul : Yes. I tell you why. Because they presented all the work -  but they've actually designed the experience, the collection of choices that they have made about how they will present the painting, the imagery, the poetry, whatever, is with them.
The whole thing is a crafted, artistic presentation of other people's work. Now, of course the other people's work is a delight to behold, let's say, but it has been put in context, it has been put into a PDF, and what are we talking about? A book on vellum parchment? Is it going to be produced on the same sort of stuff as The Book of Kells is produced on? Is this an illuminated manuscript AJ Leon is trying to produce?

Roger : It doesn't say so, as far as I… I signed up and maybe I'll get advance warning.

Paul : But it did say something about if you want to get yourself a beautiful, physical copy. He didn't use such abstract words. The key thing is that the call to action in that email is "Put up some money to enable me to produce that book."

Roger : Or,  put up some money so you can have a hard copy of the magazine. There is a trade off, there is a trade off, you get something in return. But anyway I want to come back to your point there. Have all these people who willingly fell over themselves to provide AJ and Melissa with content, have they been suckered in then? Have they been suckered into the biggest con in the history of design because they've provided AJ and Melissa with a platform for themselves? Surely not.

Paul : Look, that's a bit like asking the person who first commissioned the Christian Bible whether they'd been suckered by the people who presented the Bible through The Book of Kells. Ever since human beings have existed, they have existed within collaborations, their work has been helped by another person to reach a wider audience, the individual painter paints away, but how do they reach a wider audience? They have to hang it on a wall, who does the wall belong to? The wall belongs to somebody else, right? Somebody hangs the exhibition, that's all AJ Leon is doing, he is hanging an exhibition of other people's work.

Roger : But I think, that for me is the key point, because what he's done is given other people a platform. He's actually given, in many respects, his competitors a platform, if you want to use the phrase "competing designers", a platform for their work. But I don't think he operates that way.

Paul : You know, if you're a one-off, you have no competition, right?

Roger : That's kind of where I'm heading, but also this is a reflection of their personality- join us, together we will build this platform, we will curate it, you will provide the building bricks, and together we will build something that didn't exist before, which will reach an audience together and will benefit all of us. But in doing so -  and actually therein lies I think a connection with Chris Brogan's email this week -  he's stolen a march on his competitors.
You know, which other design agency has gone out of their way to go and ask competitors to join them in an endeavour like this? I think it's a very, very clever thing to do and I don't even probably think he would have done it from a competing point of view. They've done it because this is what they're like - they like putting out new content.
But Chris Brogan has a great email I think about stealing a march on your competitors, about doing things differently.

Paul : It's the one that's entitled "The last month of the year". Chris Brogan begins the email with reference to Diwali, so Thanksgiving has been had, Diwali is being celebrated at the same time and Chris Brogan is talking from tea in Dubai, so it's very much global.
I want to know which bit of Chris Brogan's latest email captured your fancy most?

Roger : Well, what captured my fancy most was the fact that he… Well, he describes what happens after Thanksgiving, what happens in the run-up to Christmas? Well, we all switch off don't we? We all start winding down, a mini hibernation.

Paul : Well, I don't. I get winding up.

Roger : Well, but you're special.

Paul : Because I have got bloody Chri- I didn't really mean that, "bloody Christmas", but I've got Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer - that might be where the blood image comes from - but basically it's wind-up time as far as I'm concerned. It's trying to get all of the things I have hanging over me to happen.

Roger : Have we had the Rudolph the red nose reindeer and mushrooms conversation? …and urine drinking...?

Paul : That will take too long to tell, can you stick with the point of winding down. Do they wind down in the United States? Do you wind down between Thanksgiving and Christmas?

Roger : Mentally, for my business, I have in the past wound down. I think most people do, you're an exception, but I think most people see it as having reached the end of the year, having reached another deadline, the race is run for 2012, so we're going to start winding down for the year.

Paul : Do you know about two years ago, at least two years ago, perhaps three, I would swear that Chris Brogan produced a blog post about this very topic which basically said to people you will get a competitive advantage if you work during the run-up to Christmas - and even over the Christmas period -  when everybody else has gone to sleep and have gone out carousing and drinking and all that sort of thing.

Roger : Daley Thompson, who was a great British Olympic athlete, he always said "On Christmas Day I train twice because I know my competitors don't train at all".

Paul : Really? That's a good one.

Roger : To tie this in with something you once said, this is why my thinking has changed this year - and Chris has just strengthened it with this email by saying, hang on a minute, don't start switching off in December, actually really start to engage more in December.
You said -  and I think you're actually said it this year -  you said in July "It is July therefore this year is gone, I need to start thinking about next year".

Paul : Yeah, I suppose it comes from, I usually think the year begins in September, that you have the summer holiday and you then start off, and the year starts in September and runs the whole way through, that's just why, because the school year -  psychologically that's where I'm at.

Roger : But I still think it's a good thing, even if you're used January to December, or January to January, in July realising you've actually passed the halfway mark -  and any plans you have for things to accomplish this year, well you'd either better get your skates on, or you should really start thinking, okay 2013 is coming up pretty quickly, because after seven months, that leaves you five months of the year, if you're going to start doing new things, to plan and implement and do.
I don't think it's a bad thing at all, it's quite an interesting way of looking at it.

Paul : I used to do corporate budgeting in September, September/October was the period in which we prepared budgets for the financial year beginning in April. So, the period in the autumn and at this stage,  you were really fighting your corner to preserve or expand your budget in November - it was all signed off by Christmas basically, so that would be another thing about it.

Roger : You were asking in AJ Leon's email is there a call to action? There is, in a way. But Chris makes his call-to-action in one of his subheadings, which is "Make the last month of the year your best one".

Paul : Give us a couple of quotes from Chris Brogan that you like.

Roger : "This is an opportunity to get ahead to plan some more, to refocus your efforts with an eye towards the larger marketplaces you serve. It's a great opportunity to send out heartfelt thanks to some of the people who have enriched your world".
Now, he gives a suggestion for doing that, which I really love particularly in the modern world that we live in. He suggests you write a handwritten note, he has something in there I am sure about handwriting somebody a letter. When was the last time… Well, I'm not going to ask you, you'll say, last week you handwrote a letter.

Paul : I handwrite letters to myself, I fill my Moleskine Notebook with handwriting Roger.

Roger : But isn't it lovely when you get a handwritten letter? I think that's a very, very, very powerful thing and it does reconnect you with… It's not just only about reconnecting with people, you can sit down and start thinking about the next year.

Paul : Okay, let me just remind you of something that Chris said in another place. He said that it's very useful thing to have three words which will be your orientation towards the year ahead.
So, there's one job to be done at this time of the year, which is to determine what are the key words, the three key words, and only three, that you will use to guide yourself through the coming year.
I connect that with the three book diet, the idea that Chris Brogan has already put forward, but in a different context, is that we each have three books - and only three books -  that we return to time and time again during the coming year.
But he's also then put together a collection of very specific action points which I would actually like us to summarise during this conversation for what to be doing now.

Roger : Let's do so, add value.

Paul : Okay, here's one of the points, that

  • you have to decide where your market is, is your market global or is your market local? This particular email gives some very specific suggestions, it doesn't tell you that you should be local or that you should be global, but it actually says that if you are looking at an international market you can do one of three things. You can ignore the fact that you actually have international people interested in you and you can write totally out of your own local community, that can actually make you very attractive to people in other parts of the world. So, that's why for example we could write a lot about Glanmire and for example, Becky McCray in Oklahoma who has written a book about this, "Small Town Rules", could actually empathise with it. We could connect up with her in a tiny small community out there in Oklahoma, I'm talking about, what is it 2000 people, or 200 people, having something to say which would be of global interest, so that's the first thing, you can actually ignore your international context. 
  • secondly, you can actually try to whitewash what you're writing, to recall Chris's phrase, so you really don't acknowledge -  or in any way show -  that you're aware of anything to do with locality. Now, I find that very unattractive myself as an option, that you entirely delete from your writing anything that would give reference to locality. For example, when I find somebody's Twitter profile and I can't actually find out where they live, I get a bit peed off.

Roger : I hate it when people don't have a profile, I intensely dislike it when they have a profile photograph that doesn't show their face because they've got something in front of it, and I'm also not very keen on it when people have an online name like, I don't know like, Slartibartfast27.

Paul : Do you care about locality, where the person is from?

Roger : I find it interesting, but locality won't make me not follow somebody, it won't make me follow somebody, but I do find it interesting, I do find it humanises the person. There may be an occasion where I go "Holy cow! That's a fantastic location! You're just up the road from..."

Paul : Well, I don't mind saying it straight, and I'll say it here, I'm looking for more and more contacts in Japan, I want to get BusinessJazz, this podcast, into Japan, I want to get it shared by people in Japan, not just this podcast but I want more contacts in Japan, right? Someday I want to go there, ever since I read Shogun by James Clavell, that extraordinary novel. 1976, the year of the hot summer, I was a bus conductor in London hanging off, openneck shirt, off the back of the 31 bus from Camden Town to Kings Road, and I shouldn't have been doing it according to the company, reading Shogun. Ever since then I want to go to Japan. I'm a sucker for locality Roger.

Roger : I think you want to know who you're following, you have to have an identity online.

Paul : Now Chris says that

  • point number three is you can mix it up and you can acknowledge various international happenings and occasionally write from a nonlocal perspective, use nonlocal names for example and generally work from an "I see you" point of view. Those three things, ignoring the international, write from Boston alone, keep all locality out of your stuff or mixing it up, Chris Brogan says, "Guess which one I like the most?" That's about him, right? So it gives you, within the email, an opportunity to say which is his style. But then he says, but that's me, that's a choice.

Roger : Just on the idea of location, I mean we're very location specific about this podcast. We have an iconic, we hope, location.

Paul : Well, we have deliberately told people time and time again that we're in the Blackrock Castle Observatory in the cafe of it, called Castle Café

Roger : By the fire.

Paul : By a fire, were not just in it, were in a specific location.

Roger : Absolutely, if you walk through the door, don't turn left turn right, that's where you'll find us.

Paul : I'm also terribly conscious of the number of people who can't see, who have visual impairments, or are blind, who are listening to this podcast, and there are quite number of them, like Robert Johnson,  rjnet for example in the UK, @BrailleSnail, various other people, there's a whole community of people out there for whom the more vivid you can be in your podcasting the more successful you will be. That's what @Documentally does so well.

Roger : I'm glad you raise this point because I had a thought. You know you have a thought and you think that's the best thing I've ever thought, then you forget it, that's how good it was.
I had a thought about audio the other day while I was listening to Christian, @Documentally, and it's this.
Audio is a  fabulous bottleneck, by which I mean the entry point is very narrow and then it goes very broad, because we're all going mobile, okay? So, we're looking at things on our mobile devices. And if we're looking at a blog post and it's all scrunched up, if you've got an iPhone then you in hell almost compared to an android device, it's teeny, it's tiny, it's minute and it's hard to engage with, it's getting hard to engage with blogs on your mobile phone.
So, the actual entry point is confusing and it's big and you can't really get to grip with it.
But audio -  that's why I kind of use the bottleneck thing -  is one single entry point and when you go through that it all expands, but it expands in your mind, it expands in your head.
So, when you're listening to someone, you make a small step because it's very easy to hit that play button, it's a teeny play button on a screen. That's all you need to hit to hear the audio -  and then the world opens up.
Whereas if you're a visual person, like I am  and you're looking at a teeny horrible screen, the world becomes narrow and horrid.
And that's what I like about audio, it has a very narrow entry point, it's very easy to get into its, but my goodness because it's in your head, wow! I think it's excellent medium.

Paul : Have I got time to slip in reference to the experiment that Chris Brogan has done this week in his email?

Roger : No, no, but do it anyway.

Paul : Okay, a really quick one
He says he's going to do an experiment over the next few weeks. He's going to put a load of, and he's done it, a load of social sharing buttons.  This is "you can send this out via Facebook, via Twitter and a few other things", and he wants to see what will happen.
So he very specifically has said to us, receivers of his email, will you please help me with this? When you press share would you just simply add a bit of a covering note to it and send it out.
He wants to then see what's happening. He presents it as an experiment, and I love that. This is not simply urging us to do something. He's saying:  let's engage in a joint experiment because we'll discover something together which might be of benefit to a lot more people than Chris Brogan.

Roger : Well, we'll only discover it if he actually tells us the results, but I'm sure he will.

Paul : Well, of course he'll tell us the results. Good God, you shock me by saying that he isn't going to tell the results. You know, he's going to bring Dan Zarrella into the picture, and he's going to present the data in the way that Dan presents scientific research about the use of social media.

Roger : I realise I've just blackmailed Chris Brogan into revealing the results. Now I'm actually trying to Tweet straight away from an iPad but it seems to have crashed or stopped or whatever. I'll reveal the results of this particular experiment in the show notes.
Paul we need to wrap it up.

Paul : Lead us into the ending Roger.

Roger : I'm being scalded, I feel I should go into a corner, with a naughty hat on.

Paul : As a child my mother used to say things like, "Paul we need to make sure you come in on time" and I said to myself "No, you need to make sure I come in on time, I don't need to be in on time".
Lead us into the ending.

Roger : You've been listening to me Roger Overall, you can find me on or - Paul O'Mahony where can people engage with you?

Paul : You can find me under, that's my company, you can find me on Twitter as @omaniblog, and if you put in "Paul O'Mahony Cork" on Google you'll definitely find me.

Roger : You can find Chris Brogan at where you can also subscribe to the emails that we've been talking about. If you would like to engage with AJ Leon he is with a company called Misfits-Inc

Paul : Put in "pursuit of everything" and it will get you, just put in "nomad revolutionary" and you'll probably get him these days.

Roger : I would have thought so, or you could just Google "AJ Leon".

Paul : Special thanks to Mark Cotton and special huge, huge thanks to the man who got Business Jazz on Belgrade Internet radio this week.
Anywhere in the world that wants to put BusinessJazz Podcast on Internet radio for your local community, ask and you shall be supplied with all the permissions.

Roger : David Bailey, MBE, thank you very, very much for doing that. We will link to Belgrade live on the show notes. You can find the show notes at you can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and we've added the RSS feed so you can put that into your favourite podcatcher as well, so if you want find out more,

Paul : To all our listeners in the Netherlands and India we wish you a very, very happy time until we're back with you again this time next week.

Roger : If you're in Holland enjoy Sinterklaas. Thank you to you the listener for listening to us, please join us again next week.

Paul : End of story.


What we now know about news and news revenue in the digital world

There has now been enough experience and research to draw conclusions about how news is transitioning to the digital world and what it means for news companies. If one objectively views the developments, one sees that the current developments are is neither as bleak as some journalists portray them nor as rosy as some digerati frame them. Instead, we have reached a point where digital news is becoming workable in commercial terms, but is not yet mature enough to erase the industry's business challenges.
News consumption in the digital environment is significant and audience reach is now 5 to 10 times larger across digital platforms than for print editions of most newspapers.  Many large news organizations are now generating 15-25 percent of their revenue from online, tablet, and smartphone platforms and benefits are starting to appear for some mid-sized players as well.

If we look at what has occurred in the past decade, there are some important lessons to embrace about news businesses in the digital environment:
  • Commoditized news does not create economic value; you have to provide something unique if you are going to get the public to pay for it
  • Consumer payments are becoming a more important revenue source than advertising and success come through creating more sources of revenue than merely audience sales and advertising sales
  • Paid apps for news on smartphones and tablets are gaining better acceptance than general online payments, and
  • new partners, networks, and value configurations are needed in the digital world.
When it comes to payment issues we now know that:
  • Willingness to pay is affected by the platform used (partly because of expectations and traditions and partly because of better payment interfaces), as well as the number of free digital competitors in the market
  • Willingness to pay ranges from about 4 to 12 percent of the public in markets that have been studied
  • Larger legacy news players seem to have advantages when seeking digital payments because of their offline size and resources and the strengths of their brands
  • Instituting a paywall reduces website traffic between 85-95 percent
  • Metered ( freemium) models provide brand and marketing advantages and reduce traffic loss somewhat
  • Cooperative paywalls involving multiple newspapers are beginning to work in some locations and provide economies of scale and transaction cost saving that are useful for smaller organizations
  • Public affairs magazines are finding it easier to get the public to pay than newspapers, especially on tablets. This may be due to differences in how they approach and present content.
It is also apparent that users expect more from digital environments than the print environment and that they are more willing to use and pay for news if it offers a better experience (convenience, simplicity, ease of reading/viewing, enjoyment), if they can influence the presentation and consumption and interact with content and other users, if content includes more analysis and access to additional material, if it includes audio-visual material, and if it offers various usability tools. Those factors mean that news organizations have to offer digital content that differs from the print newspaper in many ways.

We have learned that to make money from news in the digital world companies have to focus on customer needs (not the needs of the news organization), must be realistic about financial expectations (you won’t make as much money as in the 1990s and growth won’t be highly rapid), and that you cannot just transfer the same content among platforms because each platform requires different types of presentations, story forms and navigation.
Some news organizations are making good progress in getting things right and the public is increasingly seeing value provided by news on digital platforms and evidencing increased willingness to pay. Most news enterprises still have a long way to go, but we have no reason to be  highly pessimistic about the future of news in the digital world.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Holiday E Book is here!

YAY! If you weren't already in the holiday mood with the growing number of Christmas lights appearing, trees going up, Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers, then maybe this will do it for you. :-) The Holiday E book on TpT is ready! I should say E BOOKS, because there are 3 this year! There's a 1-2 version, 3-6 version, and 7-12 version to suit your needs. The E books are each filled with 50, yes 50 holiday FREEBIES from some of TpT's finest!  The E book can be downloaded at the following TpT stores...

1-2 Holiday Freebies

3-6 Holiday Freebies

7-12 Holiday Freebies

I was SO HAPPY to be able to contribute TWO FREEBIES to one of the E books this year!  I hope you can use and ENJOY this holiday season.  :-)

Bananas for the HOLIDAY SEASON!  *Maybe, just maybe I'll get my own tree and lights up this weekend!  ;-)