Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Online Publishing Strategy: What Robin Good Suggests

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Online publishing is in many respects the new frontier for those who have a voice, a business, a desire to communicate or change things for the better. It potentially enables any individual connected to the net to be a two-way communication hub capable of sending out information and equipped with technologies to listen and respond. But to transform such revolutionary opportunity into a truly effective marketing vehicle, or into a sustainable online business resource, takes a lot more than what we are told on blogs or on the many sites promoting how easy and fast it is to become a successful online publisher.

Photo credit: Robin Good

In reality, transforming the online publishing opportunity into something that one can leverage to reach and realize his own dreams, it is much more complex and hard than we are told.

It takes lots of efforts, time, resources, expertise and skills which are not part, for the most, of our typical background and scholastic preparation. It requires the use of approaches and methods which sometimes counter what we have unconsciously learned through traditional media and that command lots of dedicated work to produce any significant results.

But even the most fundamental, basic concepts of effective communication, sometimes seem to escape even those that command so well technology and new trends. It may be because some of us really never got to stop and study the mechanisms behind it, or simply because what we have been often seeing reported as professional communication has been nothing but the wrong approach to getting a message across and starting a true conversation.

In these two short excerpts from my Dicole OZ show, recorded in Helsinki, this past December, you can grasp a little more of what I think is really essential to know to become a great and effective web publisher.


Online Publishing Skills: Communicate Better By Learning How To Listen

Duration: 3' 10"

Full English Text Transcription

Robin Good: Skills required. People always ask me "What kind of skills do I need to be like you? Do I need to study..." No, do not study. Do things.

The skills are really be able to communicate. "I thought it was something more. What about the computer?" "Yes, the computer..." "Only communication?" "Yes, communication."

People think that communication is something ephemeral. Something like "You need to know how to talk". "I know how to talk".

But they do not realize how little each one of us has developed the skills to really communicate. You go to meetings, you go to parties, you meet somebody on the street they introduced to you. 85% of the times it goes like this: "Bkladsghkajdnvkamdnflkjflakjnadsmfn!" Your turn: "Attatatatatatatatata!" "Ah! mnmtbamnamnbnmt!"

It is kind of a competition on who has got the worst story, or the more interesting one. We call that a conversation, but we are not really picking up anything from the other. We are not really putting ourselves in their shoes or empathizing with them or trying to find out why.

I am exaggerating - I know - but look how many time when you talk is just noise filling the air in turns. My turn, your turn. Some people take long turns and that makes it more difficult...

That communication is something else. It is about understanding something that does not have to do with words and communicating. It has to do with reality. "What?". Yes, reality.

Communication is all about - in my little humble view - understanding that reality is an ephemeral thing. And that there are millions different realities.

There is no one single, tangible final thing that is there unmovable, everything moves, that you can count on. This, for example, escapes many people. Sometimes because they got too much into school, into Church or into something else, and they think that there is one ultimate way to look at things.

My belief is that, if you are going to be a communicator - even if you work for CBS or some other bad companies like that - still, you need to know that there are multiple realities, multiple viewpoints.

What are those great journalists and reporters doing - the ones that are acclaimed for something - they look at the news from different viewpoints. They do not sell themselves to one viewpoint. They do not stand only on one side, even if it looks like the good side. They always have the courage to go and look at the other side of things.

That ability to have empathy for who is in front of you and trying to understand what they are trying to communicate, or if they are going for a monologue because they just want feel great inside themselves - you need to develop those skills by listening. listening, listening, and really listening.

It is all about listening.


Online Publishing Skills: Think Strategy Before Technology

Duration: 2' 42"

Robin Good: The direction I think is really valuable for you to take as a reference - if you are going to have the courage to move out of the traditional business job - is to consider that the future is all about learning.

That means that most people in the future, increasingly, will want to learn something new, and they are going to go less and less inside traditional institutions to do that, because if you can teach me how to cook that sausage like you showed me before with a particular smell that I have never heard before, I would rather take a course with you online - if I can talk to you, if I can see you, if you show me all your secrets - than go in some nice cooking school in Rome that is maybe much closer.

Because we do not trust anymore the brands, the companies. We trust individual people. Whether or not they are part of companies. It is the person, specifically, that we go to.

The Internet has a tremendous failing item that makes people makes mistakes and that it is too easy to do stuff. You just click and it goes out. You blog, you type, you publish and it goes out. You make a video - YouTube - and it goes out.

People think that communicating and publishing is easy. By making that unconscious bridge in their head, they forget to ever stop and think how they want to use this technology. They stop and they do not reflect on building a strategy, a plan, having a road.

They start doing stuff, "let's put this... and this other plug-in... the layout... let's change this... another category of content... what the analytics say... let's change this..."

It is a busy life, you are a publisher, you are putting stuff all the time. It is like if music could be better by adding more notes, more instruments. "Let's all play." It does not get better, it gets noisy.

To make a good piece of music you need to orchestrate it and arrange it, and know the different instruments, and got your hands very dirty with it. The same happens with publishing and communicating online.

Unless you have built an appropriate strategy, you cannot really get anywhere.

Thinking and developing a plan, by questioning all that it is being told to you outside is the last point of my recipe - the so-called "Sharewood formula".

Video clip originally recorded by Teemu Arina for Dicole and originally published as "Robin Good - The Sharewood Formula".

Teemu Arina -
Reference: Dicole [ Read more ]
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posted by on Wednesday, March 10 2010, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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