Yesterday, Google announced that it was ending development of Google Wave, bring an abrupt, but not wholly unexpected, end to what was one of the most anticipated products in the tech community for some time.
Despite a great deal of initial interest and hype, according to Google, user adoption has not been what they expected and Wave has never really gained traction. The innovative platform was supposed to replace email/IM and other methods of communication and collaboration but, despite a large number of accounts, has not been widely used.
Google Wave will, without a doubt, go down as one of the biggest “flame outs” in the industry. However, are there lessons we as bloggers and smaller content creators can learn from it? Without a doubt.
Without further ado, here are five lessons for the rest of us from Google Wave’s untimely death.
1. No Man is an Island
One of the major problems Google Wave had is that, while it was supposed to replace email and IM, it didn’t interact with any of those platforms, even Google’s own Gmail and Talk services.
Many hypothesize that it was this “second inbox” syndrome that limited the uptake of Wave. You had to use Wave along side of or instead of more common technologies. Most people didn’t want to do that and simply let Wave slide.
Lesson: No one is an island unto themselves, especially on the Web. Network with blogs in your field, link and quote them and leave comments on them. “Interfacing” with other sites encourages people to read yours as they read others. In short, by working with new and existing sites in your field, you’ll gain more traction with readers than if you try to go it alone.
2. Let the People In
Others have said that the way Wave was unveiled, in small “waves” of invites, greatly hurt its ability to find a niche. Since it is a collaboration tool, it only works well if everyone know you know is using it. Since invites were scarce and few knew others on the service, the use of Wave was limited and, by the time it went public, the enthusiasm had died down.
In short, when Google Wave had its buzz (this is becoming an article filled with bad Google puns) it wasn’t very useful and, by the time it was open enough to really use, no one was really interested in trying it.
Lesson: Don’t turn people away, open the door to conversation and participation. This is especially true in comments. The fewer barriers you place to a particular action, the more people who will take it. Open your doors wide and welcome all of those who want to visit.
3. State Your Purpose
One of the major problems Google Wave had was that, while the technology is impressive, few understood what it was supposed to do or what it was ideal for. Most of the description of Wave was buzzwords and specific, limited scenarios. People simply didn’t “get” Google Wave and didn’t bother learning more about it other than tinkering with it.
This, in turn, made Wave a really cool piece of technology without a real problem to solve and that meant users were impressed by it but really didn’t have a place for it.
Lesson: Explain what your site is about and do so very clearly. Put it in the domain if you can or, at the very least, make it the first thing your readers see. Tell them what need you will fill and then fill it very well.
4. Speed Matters
One of the more common complaints about Google Wave was that it moved slow, especially in certain browsers, and didn’t feel snappy or responsive. This made Wave a chore to use and made people reluctant to turn to it for new projects.
Truth be told, much of this slowness was likely unavoidable due to the script-heavy nature of Wave and part of it was also likely mere perception, but it was a perception that stuck and one that won’t be going away before the service is shuttered.
Lesson: Focus on speed. Do a good speed test on your site, put it on a diet and make it as fast as possible. A fast site gives people a good impression and that is an impression that lasts a long time.
5. Marketing, Marketing, Marketing
Finally, one of the larger issues Wave faced was that, after its initial launch and feeding frenzy, not a lot was done to really promote or push the service. Most barely even noticed when Wave was opened up to the public in May and few knew what Wave was beyond those who got caught up in the initial hype.
Wave was essentially stranded in the middle of the ocean after its launch, forgotten by Google, which had moved on to Buzz and other projects. It’s no wonder there wasn’t a greater uptick in adoption.
Lesson: Never stop promoting or marketing, you have to do it even if it is just to maintain momentum, let alone increase it. Always stay on top of your marketing game and be trying new things, never rest on your laurels.
While only history will tell if Wave will be deemed a true “failure”, it is very clear it did not live up to its earlier expectations. Email and IM are still very much safe and Wave itself is shutting down sometime at the end of the year.
In the end, every site has to work hard to avoid the same fate and, in doing so, can learn more than a few lessons from Google Wave’s now-famous flame out.
After all, what Google Wave has shown is that it is not enough to have a good, innovative offering, there is a lot else that goes into making such a product successful and that appears to be where Google Wave was lacking.
Hopefully, Wave’s technology will find new, more productive, homes in other Google products and the rest of us can learn something from the situation.
4 Ways to Become More Detached from Blogging Outcomes
See that throwback featured image of me in Phuket, Thailand?
I became a globe trotting pro blogger in part through the power of detachment.
Blogging outcomes weigh you down and slow your blogging growth, if you are not careful.
Many bloggers mean well but are so obsessed with every view, Like, comment, share and dollar that they either struggle horribly or hold back stunning blogging success. How could I write over 100 eBooks if I obsessed with sales from my first eBook? How could I write 600 posts on Blogging Tips alone if I obsessed over metrics?
Eye-popping success finds largely detached, generous bloggers.
Follow these tips to become more detached from blogging outcomes.
1: Help More Ask Less
If you want blog comments, comment on other blogs.
Want blog traffic? Promote other bloggers.
Help bloggers to detach from your needs and to see greater success. Ask less and less for shares, comments and views, to detach from outcomes. Success finds generous bloggers.
2: Mention 2-5 Successful Bloggers Via All Posts
I recall focusing heavily on blogging profits early during my career. I linked to an ad or affiliate product once per post and linked to nothing else, obsessing over sales, attaching to outcomes. I gradually promoted other bloggers over years. Now I promote 2 to 5 bloggers virtually every post. I think more of helping them and less of helping me.
3: Manage Your Energy
Attachment is fear. Managing your energy helps you:
- face fear
- feel fear
- release fear
- dissolve attachments
I do 80 minutes of deep yin yoga daily. Plus I jog or walk for 45-60 minutes daily. Meditating helps too.
Managing your energy rocks because so many bloggers cling deeply to fear-attachments, to stats and money and to clients and blogging buddies, and need a daily ritual to unearth and release these attachments. I strongly suggest deep yin yoga because it helps you become comfortable. Big time quality developed by all generous, pretty darn detached, bloggers.
4: BE with Your Fear
I vividly recall sitting and BEING with my fear each time I checked my blogging inbox. I felt a general not enough energy pervade my being. Panic then ran through my body. Anger. Pain. Grief, at time lost. All fears reflected heavy attachments to:
- list subscribers
I totally believed I should have been further along at these points during my blogging career. Turns out, I was at the perfect place and time to feel deep fears, to dissolve attachments and to proceed from a generous, genuine, pretty detached, patient and persistent space.
Fighting fear only makes attachments grow. Not checking email for weeks because you feel terrified to check email makes the fear and attachment grow. But checking email hourly because you feel terrified that you:
- will miss out on clients
- are not making enough money, and need to check and see if you are making any aka enough money, yet
reflects your attachment to you. Ya know; “How am I doing-itis.” Check stats, check email, all the time, because you fear to see how you are doing.
Feel fear behind any strategy driven by fear. Let the fear go. Dissolve the attachment.
I check email here and there, never being attached to it. Email is not the source of my blogging success.
Treat blogging outcomes like mile markers on a highway, when you whiz by at 80 MPH. Note the stat for a few seconds and either move in a different direction or charge forward, based on how you feel about the stat, and what the feeling suggests to you.
How to View the Relationship Between Your Blog and Social Media
Alonzo Pichardo says it best.
“Buy your own domain and hosting and make that your own main hub. Social media is a branch of the marketing tree. That’s all.”
He shared my video on Instagram. Video registered 3,926 views. Here it is:
I filmed the video because I spent 20 minutes clicking profile links of folks who Liked my updates. I found a few self-hosted WordPress blogs, read and commented on these blogs. Relationships established. But most Instagram users:
- had no blog to speak of
- linked to YouTube
- linked to Facebook
For the heck of it, I spent a good 3 minutes looking for one user’s blog. I found an obituary (he was young and alive but shared a common name) and a collection of spammy “look up his information sites.” He claimed to be a blogger via his Instagram bio but he is no more a blogger than I am a werewolf.
Think about Alonzo’s advice; the blog is your main hub, or root, or base of your tree, and social media acts like branches. Offshoots, nothing more.
Instagram owns Instagram. Instagram:
- can kick that kid off of Instagram for 1 of a billion reasons, in a heartbeat
- WILL change their algorithm, soon enough, forcing the kid to change his strategy, uprooting his online world
- forces the kid to make his brand, Instagram’s brand
Not investing is a domain and hosting is about the biggest mistake you can make online because not owning your site hands your power, your decision making, your branding potential and your monetizing potential to someone else.
Social media is a branch. Spend most of your time daily working on your blog and networking with other bloggers who own their self-hosted, WordPress blogs. Unless they change their values or quit blogging, this is the most sound, intelligent approach to blogging.
Use social media for a little bit daily to:
- tag bloggers you mention on your blog
- help bloggers in groups related to your niche
- share your blog posts
- share other blogger’s blog posts
You are a blogger. Not an Instagrammer. You are a blogger. Not a Facebook-er. Spend most of your day on blogs. Not social media.
Marios Tofarides runs an authority blog on eBooks. Not in a billion years could he make his social media profiles look anything like his branded, self-hosted blog. Paula at Contented Traveler runs a first class travel blog. She could never re-create her blog’s branding, style and voice on social media. Sarah Arrow built a well known brand and thriving business by making her blog stand out, through creating, through connecting and through smart blog branding. Impossible to do this, through social media alone.
Pay Up to Play Up
I can mention your blog on Blogging From Paradise, a DA 47 blog read by many influencers.
I can mention your blog on Blogging Tips, a DA 48 blog read by many blogging influencers.
But I never link to free platform blogs because no influencer or experienced reader trusts information on free platforms. If you cannot invest $3 a month, you carry too much of a fear-lack-poverty conscious energy, that seasoned readers and top bloggers know to avoid.
I never link to a social media profile because….social media is not a blog!
Pay up to play up.
Invest in a domain and hosting. Move up in blogging circles. See social media as branches, using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as secondary or even tertiary means for helping people. Spend most of your time on your self-hosted, WordPress blog and networking on other self-hosted, WordPress blogs.
1 Failure Conscious Tendency That Makes Blogging Tougher
Some bloggers cannot accept a good thing when they get it.
I have linked to tens of thousands of bloggers over my decade online. I love my friends. I take care of my friends.
99.999999% of bloggers are beyond grateful to get a backlink from an established, pro blogger like myself for many reasons:
- Blogging From Paradise has a DA of 47; that’s some backlink juice!
- Blogging Tips has an even higher DA; 48 I believe, meaning more backlink juice
- you bond more deeply with me, and forming a deeper friendship allows me to open doors for you, via guest posts, more backlink mentions, interviews, prospering partnerships
- greater blog traffic through exposure
- greater blog profits through exposure
- greater brand awareness through exposure, and also, your blog and brand aligns with Virgin, Forbes and Fox News, sites I have appeared on, creating greater trust
I could go on for 45 minutes. The list of benefits are endless. There are absolutely no downsides to being mentioned by me, on my blog or via guest post. Yet, some folks, because of their own fears, cannot accept these gifts freely and gratefully. Hey guys; I luv ya’s. This is not a rant, but a lesson in seeing good (versus fear/downside), expressing genuine gratitude and learning how to move up in blogging circles, by being fully grateful to receive the above gifts and by purging any fears or lack of gratitude you feel, when a world renowned blogger links to you.
Virtually all bloggers are grateful for receiving the above list of benefits. Donna Merrill is a blogging high roller and she responds to virtually all my tags and mentions. I would never expect her to do so because we are great friends, and she is so busy, but that is heart-filled blogging.
But a few bloggers clinging to deep fears have responded to my generous backlinks a few different ways:
- some fear the linking structure is not neat and orderly
- some fear they are not getting enough link juice via Google, and ask me to log into search console and make changes or whatever
- some fear they are not getting enough links to a specific site or permalink, and ask me to edit the post, to change the link
All above motivators are fear, and fear is not real, so if you honor these fears and react-respond in the above fashion, you judge things or make a request from an illusory, untrue, false, totally not real energy of loss, lack, limitation.
That fear has 100% to do with you, and nothing to do with me. I will keep being generous with my blogging buddies, but I seek out loving buddies, not those weighed down a bit too heavy by fear, so fear-bloggers gotta go, along with their links, going forward. Nothing personal, as I love and respect these folks. Just an energy thing.
We See the World as We See Ourselves
You see the world, you see other bloggers and you see their linking strategies as you see yourself.
If someone fears they won’t get enough traffic or clicks or Google juice through my linking strategy, that has nothing to do with the guy featured on billionaires’s blogs, and living his dream, circling the globe. That has to do 100% with you, your fear of loss, your fear of not enough, your trust issues, and other deep, fear based energies, begging to be unearthed and felt.
I am the mirror. You are the source. You are cause, and effect.
Picture break! Me during my trip to Fiji with my friend Olivia.
My dear friend Alonzo Pichardo sent me a Message months ago. He was deeply grateful I had linked to him 50 plus times on Blogging Tips alone. He is grateful! Does it surprise you that the guy runs a highly prospering business and leads a huge, loyal following?
David Boozer routinely sends me Messages sharing how grateful he is for my eBooks, courses, content and mentions, writing from the heart. More gratitude! Does it surprise you that one of his YouTube channels has registered millions of plays, alone?
Alonzo and David do not ask me to change links or put stuff into Google console or to change my linking style; they know a gift when they see it.
Vishwajeet Kumar feels incredibly grateful for each backlink I give to his helpful blogging resource, and expresses his gratitude on social media.
This is how you move higher in blogging circles, to see more success, versus moving lower, through fear-based lack of gratitude, and, losing link mentions.
Guys; see the blessing in a coveted backlink. Be grateful. See the good. Move up in the blog-0-sphere. Experience increased blogging success.
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