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Tech Scales And You Don’t

I know it’s pretty and fancy and sexy and very Web 2.0 to make your self available to anyone at any time and any place in the spirit of the whole thing.

Problem … it don’t scale. It never did. It never will. Don’t do this to your business. Don't do this to yourself.

It’s a great idea – but great ideas that don’t scale aren’t really worth that much. The best of intentions implausible do more damage than good.

They’re actually kinda of dangerous.

Insert Congress passing the Health Care Bill joke here.

I’ve shuddered at gurus who proudly announce to the world that they’re 100% approachable.

It doesn’t scale.

You just can’t return all those emails, Tweets, Blog comments, DMs, phone calls, etc.

I applaud the recent Blog posting by Chris Brogan for admitting this fact. Read it, accept it, and applaud it. I actually respect Chris now more than I ever did.

Here’s what I want to suggest. I know it sounds great to be everything to everyone on account of our iPhones but … here’s the approach we all should embrace:

Let’s use tech to be considerably more approachable than ever. Let’s do what we can but … let’s be realistic and speak of that realism.

Sound fair?

By the way, I’m betting my career on the idea that they’ll respect you for it more than they ever did when you made those promises you simply couldn’t keep.

And I’m betting that Chris just extended his career considerably by doing the right thing too.

What say you?

Oprah Doesn’t Need CBS – Do You?

CBS is scared. They heard the rumor (I'm sure you did too) that Oprah might be moving from them to her “OWN” network (perfect name) and, well, the offers should get really interesting.

Sit back for a second and move past the inevitable bidding war that is about to happen. Ponder this simple fact:

Oprah doesn't need CBS anymore.

A few days ago I wanted to catch the online replay of “V.” I couldn't, for the life of me, remember (or care) what network it was on. A flagship major play during sweeps month for a network and I couldn't associate one with the other. Is ABC the winner, or is “V?” I think we know the answer. Yes, I had to look up the association to write this piece.

And, of course, with Hulu, 3 of the 4 networks are there so I jumped over and found my fix. You know my feelings on the future of that little site but while she lasts, I'll continue to enjoy the ride. At this point, Hulu matters more than ABC, NBC, or FOX.

If you took the top 20 new media entities on the planet and offered them a gig at a “real” media company, I predict, sadly, that 18 of them would take the job. Now at the pay some of them are getting I understand the initial reaction, but the facts are simple: they don't need “real” media to get somewhere.

You don't need CBS either.

Based on the recommendation of Lynn Terry during last week's Internet Marketing This Week, I picked up Socialnomics (affiliate link) on my Kindle (amazing book, review to come). In the book, @equalman examines the social media efforts of a number of huge brands: Coke, Jet Blue, ESPN, CC Chapman, etc.

CC Chapman – a “huge” brand?

He gets equal play in the book.

He deserves equal play in the book.

He's as important to the story as is ESPN.

He is the (new) media.

So are you.

The shows and people and characters I love in this space can all be found with this little site called “Google.” Heck, most of them can even be found on another site called “Bing.” I don't need an aggregator or network or commercial series to remind me that Cali Lewis is going to keep me up to date with geek news or that Chris Brogan might have something interesting to say. They're bookmarked, I follow them in my reader, and if for any reason a site went down or a feed died (“or they jumped to another network”) it wouldn't be hard at all to figure out where they went.

If Oprah leaves CBS (please do, Oprah), she has this little billboard in every stinking grocery store called “O Magazine” that would make it very easy to tell others where she went. Oh yeah, I bet you Google (and possibly even Bing) might serve the purpose as well. Oprah is the story, not CBS.

You are the story.

You are the media.

Oprah doesn't need CBS.

Neither do you.

So what Paul?

Yeah, but Paul, I'm not Oprah!

Neither am I.

Neither is CC Chapman.

Neither are the other 4 point whatever billion people on the planet.

We are in an exciting new era where the good stuff rises to the top, without the need for a network to promote it. That's why I love this space so much – and I hope why you read this blog.

You spend your time on creating content that rises to the top and, one day soon, you'll be able to turn down CBS's offer.

Just like Oprah.