Ultra Spectra

Archive for July 17th, 2009

Zunnurain FacebookStarting today (four hours ago as I write this), you can set your Facebook username.

Do it now!

Previously, Facebook URLs were a series of random numbers. Now you can have a username and provide friends an easy to remember URL. This is an important component of personal branding.

I set my Facebook username to be the same as my Twitter username. So now I just tell people to go to Facebook.com/UltraSpectra and Twitter.com/zunnurain

Here is the URL to get your username.

Here is more information from Facebook.

Stop reading this damn blog and get your username! Do it right now! Today! 🙂

If you don’t do it, you’ll end up with some AOL-like name like SmithJohn4562

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PRI recently heard a client describe Public Relations as “the softening of the beachhead” for his Sales effort.  That struck me as an apt analogy.

Public Relations is not Sales.  PR can absolutely help guide the prospect toward a purchase decision, in a measurable way.  PR can surround the prospect with thoughtful, candid, compelling conversations and content and references until they think, “Wow, okay, I’ve got to check these guys out.”

But when the prospect gets to the website or picks up the phone or shoots over an email: PR’s work is done.

If the website features a glitchy 1990–style template; if the telesales agent is unintelligible; if the sales rep takes too long to respond to the inquiry — if the sale is lost — that’s not a “quantity/quality of leads” problem; that’s not a PR problem — that’s a Sales problem.

Similarly, the PR team is not the official spokesperson. If the PR agency has set up a slate of dreamy editorial meetings, their “pitches” have worked.  It’s now up to the official spokesperson to swing for the home-run articles.  If the spokesperson doesn’t bring the customer references they promised, or the product demo flatlines; if they turn green from nerves; if they ignore the PR pro’s advice on how-to improve — if the article is lost — that’s not a PR problem — that’s a problem that the client brought to the field.

PR can set you up for success.  It cannot make you a success.

Why use Internet?

It’s almost the hottest of all the summers and at this time I’m itching to start new web ventures both for fun and profit. I usually do up a list of possible startup and site ideas and narrow them down into those with the highest potential. But success depends on execution and not just plans so I tend not to be too hung up about having a complete vision of what I want.

A little vagueness won’t hurt. I can always muddle through and change things up in response to market conditions or personal interest. No need to be perfect from the start.

I looked at many websites to study their methods, to learn what made them a success. I started planning what specific niche I wanted to explore and suddenly realized that I was thinking about the whole thing in a roundabout way.

There’s really no need to think hard about having the perfect idea. The foundations of popular and profitable websites/services are deeply related to the basic reasons why people get online and use the internet. Let’s do some reverse engineering from that perspective.

So, why do people worldwide use the internet?

  1. To communicate and socialize
  2. This is very much a fundamental human need. People like to meet and talk to other people through the internet. They use it to maintain new or existing relationships. They want to communicate ideas and find solidarity with others who share similar interests. So do something which facilitates communication. Hyper-local or cross-border communities, social networks, virtual worlds, apps or services built on existing communication/social protocols and services. Bring human social activities onto the internet grid. Socialize existing web functions, emphasize on connecting people.

  3. To find information, learn new things and be entertained
  4. The internet is a massive archive of new and old information. It is also a source of pleasure, giving immediate gratification in the form of images, sound and interactivity. As an educational tool, the web is essential for people who are seeking to learn.

    People want to find things online. So help them. Create a system which provides information or filters existing content. Monetize the flow of data. Blogs, training courses, social news, aggregated news, paid membership sites, online journals, one-stop entertainment portals, video, image and game hubs with a specific focus.

  5. To do work, generate income and run a business
  6. People use the internet to make a living. It is essential to many businesses that want to increase brand exposure or sell a product/service. They also use the web to help them work better. There is a market of webmasters, entrepreneurs and small/big businesses out there who are willing to pay to boost their revenue. Consultancies, design firms, freelancers, enterprise software, business-specific tools/apps and services. Think of ways to help people work smarter and more efficiently online.

And of course, there’s the e-commerce industry and the buying/selling of products. There’s really a lot more specific reasons why people get online. Everyone of them is an idea for a product/service/website. Most likely there’s already someone out there in the same niche doing the same thing. The question is not how many competitors are there but how saturated and fulfilled are each web user’s reasons/needs.

Differentiate by presenting alternate solutions. Or stand on the shoulders of giants and improve existing services/websites even more. Learn to do some clever marketing and you should do fine. Cut your losses early by quitting when you’ve lost the passion or will to work hard. Because one rarely gets profitable or influential without interest or perseverance.

Just some thoughts I had. I wrote them down as a reminder and decided to share. ^_^


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