For a hundred years, the world has been consumed with mass — manufacturing and advertising. We’re in a new revolution – the connection revolution. Your chance to change the world has never been greater. Let’s look at the mass and how it is moving toward connection . . . and how you can become connected.
1. Embrace unique.
Unlike ever before we can follow our passions, interests and dreams. We can connect with people who are like us, but may not be geographically accessible. This is the most incredible development of the connection revolution.
2. No choice vs. full choice.
How often have you purchased something because “it’s the next thing”? Have you gone Christmas shopping to find that one gift your child (grandchild) had to have? This is big business at its worst – creating an artificial demand to drive purchasing decisions.
Do a search online for things you are interested in. Find small businesses that provide what the large ones cannot. These are “niche” businesses. While many “mass” businesses are struggling, these small businesses are thriving. Did you find any niches that were underrepresented? Can you picture yourself supporting or starting a niche business?
3. The music industry.
The music industry was controlled by corporations and middlemen with the actual artist not maintaining copyright to his / her music and usually making very little money. Compare it with music today. Many musicians can record their music themselves, eliminating the cost of the “mass” and doing what they truly want. Today’s musicians connect with people interested in their music and have to sell a lot less to support themselves. Find a musician online that has a small following that you might like to purchase music from. You might even choose to make your own music.
4. The publishing industry — newspapers.
Why purchase a newspaper when you can have the news sent to you or shared by those people you follow? You can also decide what news interests you so you’re not overwhelmed by the media hand-picking what they want you to digest. The decline in newspapers started before the Internet. How do you get your news? Compare how much you get from newspapers, television, the Web and mobile devices.
5. The publishing industry — books.
Amazon’s Kindle, GoodReader, Apple’s iBooks and other ebook readers are fueling the move from expensive print books to lower cost (and more easily stored) eBooks. In fact, studies show that we read more now that information on our interests are more accessible. Check out the Domino Project for a new take on publishing.
If you’re a writer, you can self-publish with sites like CreateSpace, IngramSparks, Lulu, Smashwords . . . well, you get the idea. With everyone able to self-publish, the quality of books may go down. However, you can choose not to follow those who do not strive for a great read. Check out a few self-publishing sites and see if this is something you might be interested in doing.
SOPA was just one way big business tried to keep control, to keep the world the way it was, to keep “mass”. Explore other ways the government and big business are trying to maintain control of our lives. Also, look at the people and organizations that strive to support a free sharing of ideas and knowledge.
Etsy is a marketplace for handmade, unique items. In the mass marketplace, it couldn’t exist. Today, anyone can start their own business. Look through some of the businesses on Etsy see if any of these fit your own interests.
Don’t want to work with Etsy? Check out other marketplaces such as eBay, Creative Market, Sellfy and Gumroad.
Advertising used to come to us over television, radio and magazines. It was designed to fit a demographic. Now, the web is providing it as well and doing it better. Your interests are tracked by Google, Amazon, Facebook and a slew of other sites that allow them to advertise directly to you. Even if we do not support a business with purchases, we can share information about it, forward freebies and more.
Look back over your communications online. How many times have you looked at a small business on the word of your online friends? How often do you share information about businesses and entrepreneurs you find online?
Is Facebook the look of the future? Instead of targeting millions of households because you can afford to spend millions of dollars, Facebook allows advertisers to target those individuals interested in the items they are offering by using your likes, profile, etc. For a week, watch the advertising that comes up when you log into Facebook. How many of these ads interest you?
10. Far reaching.
The way businesses, individuals and advertising connects to you is more intrusive than ever before. Some of the connections may be welcome, while some may not. Look at other ways marketers find ways to connect with you. Be aware of how much they actually know about you and your interests.
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