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.
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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.
Why Does Blogging Seem Hard?
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The question of blogging questions.
Why does blogging seem hard?
Blogging in and of itself is not hard. Blogging is a concept. A blog is an inanimate object. It is neutral. It is not hard, tough or easy.
Human beings label their feelings with emotions. THIS is why blogging seems hard.
Doing the neutral activity of blogging feels scary, meaning you unearth and either resist or feel fears. Feeling the fears feels highly unpleasant. Especially if said fears feel deep, strong, and terrifying, depressing or anger-inducing.
But if you resist these deep fears, and refuse to feel them, and blog mainly from a dominant vibe of fear, you fully experience the feeling of blogging being super hard. Blogging is actually neutral but you refuse to feel deep fears that blogging has unearthed. You resisting fear leads to prolonged blogging failure, aka, not seeing much money and traffic, aka, blogging being really hard.
Real World Example
A few moments ago, I scanned one of my daily blogging income streams. I made a little less than I had been making for 1 of a billion reasons. 1 such reason may have been the internet crashing here last night. We experienced a few big, powerful thunderstorms.
Anyway, I noted the dollar amount being lower and felt fear arise in my body. Rather than resist the fear, I felt the anxiety, and my mind hurriedly racing ahead to next month’s paycheck, and then, after breathing deeply for a few moments and fully embracing the fear, I released it. I did not resist it. I felt it. The fear disappeared. I then blog from an abundant, relaxed, detached, generous energy, which helps me become more and more successful.
But the old me – and most bloggers – see a lesser dollar amount for daily earnings, feel an intense fear arise, panic, bury the fear versus feeling it, and run around like mad men and mad women with that DEEP FEAR DRIVING THEM, desperate and greedy, resisting the fear, being driven by fear, and of course, they do stupid stuff with a dominant fear energy guaranteeing their blogging failure. Then, these humans who refuse to face, embrace and feel fears, proclaim blogging to be hard. This is a lie. Blogging is neutral. But you refuse to face, embrace and release your fears, so blogging *feels* hard.
Feel fears when fears arise. Cry it out. Shout it out. Feel depressed or deflated. Do not resist fear. Then, after feeling fears, you will feel good, detached, relaxed and trusting. Feeling these dominant abundant energies, you will create, connect, trust, persist and blog from a relaxed, chill energy. Blogging from this calm, trusting, generous energy makes blogging easier and easier and easier. Money flows in easy. Traffic flows in easy.
Blogging went from hard to easy because you faced fears, felt fears, and progressively blogged from an abundant, generous, calm, detached vibe.
Tip for Feeling Fear
Engage in some energy management ritual that expands your awareness. I do deep yin yoga and power walk daily. Prayer and/or meditation may help. Breathing deeply helps. Do anything that expands your awareness so you can observe and feel fear versus resisting this destructive energy.
Some humans bury fear with busy-ness and jobs they hate. Other people turn to drugs or alcohol to bury fears. All of these folks are unhappy and depressed because you cannot feel good, abundant, relaxed and successful with oodles of fear buried deep inside of you.
Be with your fears. Be gentle with yourself. The blogger who feels and releases fear soon learns blogging gets easier and easier.
Do You Need to Respond to ALL Comments?
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One mistake holds back many bloggers who fail to scale. These folks obsess over responding to every single comment, every email, every message. Why? Pride. Obsession. Attachment to people. Fear of missing out on an opportunity. Fear of missing out on friendships.
Unfortunately, if you spend 14 hours daily responding to every single social request and chat and email and blog comment and message – even if it feels fun – you lose opportunities to scale through blog posts, guest posts, podcasts and doing interviews.
Please; if responding to virtually everything feels fun, do it. But 99% of bloggers BS themselves on this because they respond to EVERYONE from an energy of fear, pain, lack, resistance, force and hustle. Bad idea guys. Force negates. But, power attracts. Meaning if you are willing to use power, and love, and fun, to inject into your work, you quickly see: the cornerstone of massive scaling and persistent growth and freeing blogging success is writing, publishing and placing blog posts and guest posts.
Today, how do I have most fun growing my business, reaching more people, helping more people, and leveraging my blogging presence? Do I achieve these feats by spending 3 hours responding individually to every retweet, Like, blog comment, and so on, and so on? Nope. I spend those 3 hours effectively and efficiently by writing and publishing 3-6 blog posts and guest posts. Blog posts and guest posts scale. Blog posts and guest posts help me reach hundreds to thousands of targeted folks through each blog post and guest post.
Blog posts and guest posts never seem to be written by people who complain about having no time to blog post, and, guest post. Meanwhile, a hefty chunk of these humans spend 1, 2 or 3 hours responding to every Like on Facebook, from a strained, forced energy, fearing they miss out on traffic and bonds, not having fun doing it. But the wise move would be spending 10 minutes responding to comments on Facebook and maybe a few Likes, then, devoting 2-3 hours to writing and publishing blog posts and guest posts.
Think Scale Not Small Time
WAY too many bloggers play small, giving most of their attention and energy to building 1 to 1 bonds. Making friends is important but meeting new friends is even more important.
One lesson I learned from millionaire bloggers: scaling through blog posts and guest posts is the quickest way to reach more people, make more money and increase your blog traffic. Building 1 to 1 bonds by engaging commentors plays a role in succeeding online, but the top bloggers on earth are not running around, spending endless hours responding to Likes on Facebook.
Titans also build one to one bonds through engagement, but if you are not getting 1000 page views a day, something is wrong in the scaling department. Namely, you are playing it small, not thinking about scaling. Scale. Guest post. Post to your blog. Make this the focus of your day. Then, feel free to engage folks 1 to 1 in a limited time frame.
You need to let go responding to every single person all day long to genuinely scale, to reach an increasing number of folks and to do what matters most to your business.
People will buy your stuff without you engaging them. Guaranteed. Folks will find your blog, love your content and buy your course or eBooks. This is a simple, organic process that you muck up every time you believe you need to respond to and engage every single person who reaches out via all online channels.
Should You Aim for Blog Post Quality or Quantity?
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The human mind is silly. It thinks one or the other. It thinks you cannot have it all. You can have blog post quality and quantity but you need to make a clear decision on what you define to be a quality blog post.
Quality posts do not mean 2000 to 4000 word, pillar style masterpieces. A quality blog post answers the question you asked via title or delivers on the promise you made on the title.
I do understand how Google ranks 2000 word or longer, SEO-optimized posts requiring hours of work for even skilled bloggers to write, package and publish. But Google also ranks 600 words posts. 600 word posts are quality posts. Guess what? For the 30,000 bloggers out there asking the title question, I just wrote a quality blog post because they get a clear, concise, dead on answer.
Avoid Scarcity Thinking
Any time you FEAR posts are not quality because word length is 600 words, you think scarcity, or, not enough, or, not quality. But fear is not true. Fear is illusion. I can write 10, 600 word, quality posts today to make a massive impact and to help people IF I think abundance. But if I only believe I write quality, helpful posts in the 2000 word range, I stopped thinking abundance and began thinking scarcity. I chose fear over love and abundance. Naturally, all bloggers who think scarcity either struggle, fail and quit or work like beasts just to make end’s meet. Not good.
Go for quantity and quality. Some posts may span 800 or 1000 words but you can answer most questions and solve most problems in 600 words if you have immense clarity. Seth Godin answers most questions in 100 to 300 words. You have so much more to work with. So…work with it!
Think abundance. Blog abundance.
I have referenced Gary Vee many times recently and his 2000 video interviews on YouTube. Before he landed world famous speaking gig he had a pure abundance mindset, doing videos left and right, offering quality insights on a high quantity of channels. Blogging fools would try desperately to land an interview on a TV show, pitching, fearing, worrying, striving, and wasting months of time, thinking scarcity. Gary thought abundance, seized every opportunity through interview requests from some entrepreneurs who registered zero views per video, gained massive exposure organically, and, the dude became famous through his abundance mindset.
He thought quality and quantity. He did not hold back.
I am beginning to gain massive exposure through the 5-10 guest posts and blog posts published under my name daily. I do not turn down a microphone. I also know the easiest way to become well known is to focus heavily on quantity and quality, to share the wealth.
Many bloggers would obsess over a quality post being 2000 words, SEO-optimized and all that jazz, spending 4 hours to write said post on blogging tips. Meanwhile, I just wrote and published 8 quality, 600 word posts during those hours. I am being seen helping people in 8 spots. While you are on the sidelines. Even if that SEO’ed out, 2000 word post gains massive traffic over the long term, via Google, I am gaining even more massive traffic, being in 8-10 places daily via my posts and guest posts.
Think exponential increase. Imagine my 10 guest posts building up over 365 days. That is 3,650 guest posts, 3,650 spots where I am spotted online. That is a lotta spots!
See why it pays to think quality and quantity?
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