One per customer. SITNB: Expires Tuesday morning, says Ryan: InBubbleWrap.
The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.
The same thing everyone else is having, but different.
A menu where the prices aren't all the same.
More attention than the person sitting next to them.
A slightly lower price than anyone else.
A new model, just moments before anyone else, but only if everyone else is really going to like it.
A seat at a sold out movie.
Access to the best customer service person in the shop, preferably the owner.
Being treated better, but not too much better.
Being noticed, but not too noticed.
From the back of the King of Shaves tube:
"MagnaGel MME (Micro Magnetically Enhanced) shaving gel sets the new standard for shaving software..."
The thing is, it really does make you want to go shave.
College dorm 1979, every kid had three dozen albums. You picked the one you wanted to listen to while you did your calculus homework (you knew them all by heart), took it out of the sleeve and played it. (small aside: every single woman I knew had: James Taylor, Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, Carly Simon and perhaps one other. Not sure why this is relevant, but there you go.)
Driving the car yesterday, I realized that I haven't listened to any of my Elvis Costello records in a while. The reason, it turns out, is that they hadn't been picked out for me by the magic of shuffle. I've got enough music on my hard disk that some of it has become invisible.
The same thing is true, times a million, with websites. Every blog, every site is invisible... until it comes up on shuffle. The shuffle of reddit or digg or a cross-reference in someone else's rss feed.
The page that Ron and I did was #1 on Digg and Delicious yesterday, at least for a little bit. And the traffic was huge. It really is like winning the attention lottery.
And that's what has happened to all of us. The local newspaper never had to worry about an attention lottery--everyone in town read the paper. Today, because it's become molecuralized, our attention flits around, shuffled by one automated (or handbuilt) editor or another.
Which brings us back to subscription. The only win I see in the long run is for the winner of today's attention lottery to earn a subscription (an RSS feed or an email sign up or a podcast subscription) that gives them a chance to be noticed tomorrow as well. Depending on the magic of shuffle for your success is too painful and too unpredictable.
There are thousands of web 2.0 companies out there, many started by just a handful of people. But which ones are getting traction? etsy vs. lulu? imvu vs. clusty?
[The list was out of date and is now gone. Sorry.]
When a director makes a movie, she can be pretty confident that the audience will see it from the beginning straight through to the end.
When I write a book, I have the same luxury. That’s usually the case when I give a speech as well. It’s awfully frustrating to be giving a talk to a dozen people and then have the head guy walk in ten minutes late... now what do I do? Do I start over and bore the people kind enough to be on time (though possibly succeed in my argument to the head guy) or do I press on? If the beginning wasn’t important, I wouldn’t have wasted all that time on it!
Major advertisers have the expectation that they don't need to keep reintroducing themselves. People know who Coke and Nike are. The new ads can pick up in the middle without explaining exactly what “Mountain Dew” is.
Unlike books and movies and speeches and sales pitches, it’s pretty obvious that blogs and websites don’t work that way. The traffic for almost all blogs is growing, in some cases quite quickly. Some websites double in traffic every month or two. My blogometer tells me that about half of the people who read my blog each week have never been here before.
Hence the dilemma.
Blog writing is different than almost any other sort of exposition. Some people have been with you for years. They understand your conventions, your shorthands and your biases. They know you’ve written a few books, appeared as a child actor in Star Trek or have a deep and abiding hatred for cats. You can drop a few hints and they get it.
The rest of your readers are left clueless.
Which leads to the squeaky wheel problem. Among your newbies are several people who won’t hesitate to send you an email, post a comment or leave in a huff. They don’t get it and they want you to know they don’t get it.
Your inclination, if you’re at all like me, is to have that person’s voice in the back of your head every time you post an entry or design a page. “But what about Fred, who just got here?” If you’re working in an organization, the voice will be even louder. Your peers will remind you of the Freds of the world every time they hear from them.
Starbucks doesn’t start over every time someone walks in, and neither does your church. Great websites don’t explain every little icon in big type--they give newbies a chance to figure it out and they let the regulars use a tool they enjoy.
Some of the most popular blogs and websites on the web are hard to understand the first time you get there. Not hard for hard’s sake, but hard because there’s a lot of power in a little space and explaining it all would actually make it work worse.
If I was always trying to catch people up, I’d end every post by pointing to my lens. But I won’t, because then you’d stop reading, wouldn’t you?
One opportunity that's underused is the idea of using cookies to treat returning visitors differently than newbies. It's more work at first, but it can offer two experiences to two different sorts of people.
Nothing grows forever, and no doubt, one day in the next decade the bulk of your readers will be caught up. But until then, the calculus of starting in the middle is always going to penalize--at least a little--the folks who just showed up, the folks who have been there for a while, or the writer. Just something to keep in mind when you are building your UI or writing your next missive.
Just in case you aren’t tired of me and my endless prattling on about my book, today is pub day, so I’ve got a laundry list of neat stuff for you. It actually makes me extremely uncomfortable to mention something twice on my blog, but I've found that if there's content or a gift involved, readers actually appreciate it. Forgive me if you don't, please. If, against all odds, you are tired of the endless flogging, feel free to click ahead to the next post.
Tom Peters is featuring a quick interview that you might enjoy. Thanks to Erik and Shelley for the hard work.
Typepad has chosen the book as their book of the month. Even better,they’re offering 10 free Typepad accounts (worth $150 each) and a hundred 15% off-for-life discounts (worth even more if you blog for 100 years as I expect to!) to randomly selected new users who write to them in the next week. The free accounts go to random entries from the first 100 correct entries received. (In order to win, they want you to put a seven letter brand name as the subject line of the email. The answer can be found here.)
800 CEO READ is offering very aggressive pricing on bulk orders (not just on my book, on just about any business book). Give them a call and ask.
And finally, if you want an autographed book plate, just send me a self addressed stamped envelope (Seth Godin, 3 West Main St, Irvington NY 10533) and let me know if you want me to sign my name or someone else’s (probably worth a lot more... I do a very good JD Salinger) and I’ll send it over.
PS I changed the rules for the Tiny Q&A session. It was getting to be a hassle for some people.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is the end of our promotional announcement. Look at the bright side...it’s better than pledge week on pubic TV. Well, not a lot better, but shorter.
Matthew Fried sends us to this site, designed to get McDonald's to pay attention.
At the same time, Matt McAllister points us to xcavator, a cool way to find certain types of images inside of Flickr. This site is going to get a ton of traffic, at least for a little while.
The challenge is to either deliver a message that causes change or to have a business model that scales after the initial flurry of interest moves on.