The Magic of Creativity

Perseverance and determination are two key attributes to have when you plan on building yourself a place online. Faith comes in handy too ;). But I also think it’s important to sit quietly and listen to your gut and pay attention to what it’s saying. If you’re sluggish and uninspired, there’s a reason.

We are bombarded relentlessly with silly gimmicks, promises of ‘top secret secrets revealed’ and fortune-ista hype-type chain yanking from pro marketing personalities. It can distract us and direct us to paths that leave us unfulfilled–in more ways than one. Financially as well as creatively.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m starving creatively, I just don’t produce. At least not at the level I’m capable of. I flounder, I’m uninspired and each step forward is like trying to walk in a tar pit. But when I’m “on”, it’s AWWWWWWWWWN.

I’ve recently started a few test blogs I mentioned here once or twice before, and one of them I’ve grown really attached to. It’s touching a place that has always drawn an interest in me. I’m inspired, I’m consumed, I’m dedicated to it. And I haven’t felt that way about an online project in a very long time (most of this year, if not all of it).

When your creativity gets tickled, magic happens. I’m popping out ideas all over the place, not only for that particular blog–but for some of my current web properties as well as ideas for new projects. Not only ideas–but the motivation and the drive to actually produce and act on those ideas.

Ideas are like…well you know…everyone has them. But they’re only going to produce if they’re implemented and acted on. And you need motivation to do that.

This time of year is ideal to revisit and look back at what we’ve done this past year, where we’re going, and how we’re getting there. If your trudging through your own mile wide tar pit, ask yourself why. You may find you’re not on the right path for *you*.

Enjoy your week :).

Quick note: Right now it’s CRAZY busy for all of us, so I expect posts here on SuperAff to be few and far between until after the new year. Stay tuned …

Good Read: Content Businesses Don’t Scale Anymore

Heads up on a great read over at publishing2.com:

Content Businesses Don’t Scale Anymore

Can anyone think of a content business — meaning a company that produces original content — that has scaled dramatically in recent years? I can’t. Look at the businesses that have scaled — Google, MySpace, YouTube — all platforms for content, but not producers of content. Compare those to original content businesses like Weblogs, Inc., Gawker, TechCrunch, Paid Content — they are successful at their scale, but that scale is still tiny compared to the scale of the aggregation businesses. Even portals like AOL and Yahoo are much more aggregators of content than original producers of content.

For those of us content with mom and pop web businesses, there is still promise:

The comparison to the middle class is exactly right — content businesses will have a share of the welath, but they will never scale to be “wealthy” like the aggregators.

So does that mean that content creation will forever be a small business? Likely, yes, unless you can aggregate your way up to scale — this is what Weblogs Inc attempted, realizing that none of its blogs would ever be a big business unto itself — aggregation also enables an internal network effect that gooses the scale. But even Weblogs is still dwarfed by the aggregator businesses, even after it was acquired by one (AOL).

Basically, if you’re looking for a Google-Type-Fortune on the web, look at doing what Google does: Mash up other peoples content in a useful visitor served way or go MySpace/YouTube-Style and explode with user generated content.

But there’s still some smaller pots of gold for the rest of us ;).

WordPress And Canonical Index.php Fix

How surprised was I to see a newer blog of mine has two identical pages indexed in google:

newblog.com

and

newblog.com/index.php

I have no idea how goog scooped up the index.php since I have nothing pointing to it, but there it was. Up all night, couldn’t find a fix that worked in .htaccess (bork bork bork), but did find a plugin to fix the prob: Permalink Redirect WordPress Plugin

A WordPress plugin that replies a 301 permanent redirect, if requested URI is different from entry’s (or archive’s) permalink. It is used to ensure that there is only one URL associated with each blog entry.

You still need to fix the www and non-www in .htaccess, but this takes care of the /index.php prob. It simply redirects the index page to the root.

Plugin is a simple upload and activate in admin area and all is well :).

To see if you need the plugin, check your domain.com vs. domain.com/index.php. If index.php sticks–you’ll want that fixed to prevent potential duplicate content issues.

G’nite.

CNET Editor & Family Missing

CNET editor James Kim, family missing:

CNET senior editor and Crave blogger James Kim and his family are missing.

The 36-year-old Kim, his wife Kati and daughters Penelope (4 years) and Sabine (7 months) left their home in San Francisco last week on a road trip to the Pacific Northwest. They were last seen on Saturday, November 25, in Seattle, according to the San Francisco Police Department, which has opened a missing persons’ investigation. They were driving a 2005 silver Saab station wagon with the personalized California license plate “DOESF.”

Those with information about the Kim family’s whereabouts are asked to contact San Francisco police immediately at 415-558-5508 during normal business hours and at 415-553-1071 after-hours. Portland police can be reached at 503-823-4000.

Such a beautiful young family, I sure hope everything turns out ok for them. Found via: engadget: CNET’s James Kim and family missing — have you seen them?

Focus: Value First – And Then Money. Whaaaa?

I seem to have stumbled across a kindred spirit on my prowls through the blogosphere: Enough With The Adsense!

I really really don’t see the allure of Adsense. Aside from a few of the most popular blogs, I doubt many of you are making very much from it, probably not even enough to pay for your webhosting, assuming you even *need* to pay for webhosting. Who actually clicks on the ads? Several web browsers come with a plugin where you can turn off third-party scripts, and that includes Adsense, of course. Most of the bloggers who post their monthly Adsense revenues earn less than $20/month. Some people seem to think that more ads = more money, and one can scarcely find their content for all the ads, reminiscent of an about.com page.

I LOL’d at the about.com page reference. Really Loud. Cause it’s so damn true :lol:.

I’m not a superfan of Adsense. Anyone who’s followed SuperAff for any length of time knows that. But I don’t begrudge anyone trying to earn a buck or two or million for themselves online. If someone feels Adsense is their Holy Answer, rock on.

However if Adsense isn’t used respectfully and a webmaster or blogger insists on shoving the ads in my face for their better return rather than my better experience–I just don’t come back. I view adsense as an updated version of the popup ad when it’s done In-Your-Face style. And I think if blog readers and visitors feel the same way I do, they really need to back out and not revisit. That’s the only way the silliness stops. Hurt the wallets.

But this post isn’t going to be about all that–I’m interested in a juicy reference she pointed to: On greed and speed from the “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” blog. At first I thought it was going to be some lame internet marketing super guru type blog. And how refreshing and suprising that it isn’t like that at all! It’s an AWESOME blog! Added to my feed reader ;).

Here’s a pattern I see a lot:

1. Somebody launches something
2. He tries to make money
3. Then he tries to make it valuable and useful

What a funny way of doing things.

I don’t think he’s talking about the typical bait & switch technique (fill a site with value–then drown with monetization once it takes off). But Ramit is saying something we forget about sometimes:

Focus On Providing Value–NOT Making Money

Everybody seems to be in a big fat hurry to make money. I call this greedy, but not in the traditional sense of the word. It’s greedy because I don’t think it should be the first thing on anybody’s mind. This kind of thinking is short-sighted, often self-defeating, and ultimately results in less money.

Hmmm. That’s a bit contrary to what a lot of the pros and gurus advice is saying (and selling) isn’t it. He discusses Adsense and blogging:

Second, I knew that once I put ads up, I’d focus on optimizing the ads rather than creating content. In other words, I’d focus more on trying to make money than actually improving the site.

Nails it IMO.

(Incidentally, the dirty secret of bloggers and AdSense (or other ad solutions) is that most bloggers are making very, very little.)

And then:

Make the right long-term decisions, not the ones that give you $10 and some gummi bears
Next time you have some opportunity, STOP THINKING ABOUT HOW TO MAKE MONEY OFF IT IMMEDIATELY. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

Actually I could c&p his entire post. How about you check it out yourself: On greed and speed – I Will Teach You To Be Rich

Think Long Term: Adding Value to the Web. Am I doing that and how can I do it?

Interesting concept isn’t it ;).