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January 21, 2010, 11:27 AM
Wow... it's been a long time since I visited the board.

A lot has changed for me over the last couple of years.

Just want to make a couple of comments.

The first is about how I ended up back on SOWPUB this morning, and suggest a tip that might be helpful for y'all.

First tip...

Set up a "Google Alert" for, at the minimum... your name.

I recently set up a Google Alert for my name as well as my offline business, and the comment from Ankesh that had my name in it popped up this morning due to the fact that he mentioned me, and my Google Alert caught it.

I clicked on the link that the alert provided, and found this thread and the discussion that Marty had started.

The Google Alerts are free, and you never know what might come of them... like this morning.

Since I set up my alert, I have been reading them everyday... thinking about the power of the alerts... and pondering how they might be leveraged into money making opportunities.

I have only been using them for a few weeks, so let me state right upfront, the following comment is just theory as of today (Jan 21, 2010) since I am just venturing into and experimenting with them and how they might be used.

But here's one possibility.

Let's say you have your own product, service, or even an affiliate product that you wanted to market.

If you created a number of Google Alerts that contained keyword phrases for your product, service, etc., then whenever a post was made in a blog or discussion group like this one, you might be able to capitalize on it and, using some "stealth marketing", make a post with a link to a squeeze page and make a few bucks.

I'm sure that with all the brainpower on this board, there may be other ways to use the alerts, so if you have a few ideas, maybe a separate thread might be in order... if not... no big deal!

Again, I'm just seeing the power of the alerts, so I may be way behind with my "new found cyber-toy"... there may already be folks that have developed the concept to a much higher degree, so I don't mean to imply anything other than the fact that there seems to be some possibilities with using the alerts to create some income opportunities.

Now, having said that, I will try and explain how this post relates to Marty's question and a few of the responses to him.

The movement of the comments and suggestions for Marty gravitated towards online video.

But I think that the "video" discussion sort of misses a bigger picture.

The bigger picture is what actually spurred on the reason I even set up my Google Alerts in the first place, and that is the whole movement... into social media and the new marketing models it is forcing local businesses to take, video being ONE of the new models.

A few weeks ago, I responded to an email from one of my local telecom suppliers (I have an offline phone system installation business) to attend a 2 hour session on "Social Media For Small Businesses".

The email wasn't full of hype, the 2 hour session was free, so I thought... what the heck... I'll sign up.

I thought there might be 25 people attend, as it was on a workday (a Tuesday), and was from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

I really didn't think it would be very well attended, and I almost skipped it... but decided to attend at the last minute.

Boy... what a surprise.

I walked into the place, and was SHOCKED!!!

Over 400 people responded!!!

The speaker was really good, but more than that, I was fascinated by the "hungry crowd".

The presentation was for an hour and a half, then they opened it up for 30 minutes of questions and answers.

Then the second shock wave hit me... and that was the enormous "haven't got a clue" questions that the attendees began asking.

Being a person who loves observing, analyzing, and poking around for opportunities, I immediately saw some BIG potentials.

Here were hundreds of business owners, obviously acutely aware of something they needed, and... based on their questions and comments of what THEY needed, they were looking for a leader... for someone who could help them navigate their "business boat" through the rough waters of an approaching storm that threatens to push them into the rocks and sink their business.

It wasn't an issue of how to thrive... but how to SURVIVE in the new social media frontier!

So Marty, don't just look at an online video scenario.

Grasp the fact that the bigger picture is... how can you position yourself as the person who can ride in on a white horse and save the day... wielding the sword of effective local marketing utilizing the power of "local" social media... video being just one of the tools.

Anyway, since the seminar, I have immersed myself in the task of getting my head around the whole social media scene (books, online blogs, social media articles, etc), and am now assembling a business and service focusing on how small businesses in my area can harness the enormous power of the whole arsenal of available social media weapons in the marketing battle they (we) find ourselves thrust into.

This social media thing is more than a new wave approaching the beaches of local businesses... it is a TSUNAMI that's coming... or really... is already here, and based on the questions OVER 400 people had... they don't have a clue as to how to respond to the threat!!!

I really think that if the seminar had been positioned as "How to use online video for your business" it wouldn't have pulled in 400 people.

I could be wrong... and it wouldn't be the first time :-)

Anyway, I am developing a whole new business to... well... maybe that's info that might need to be discussed on another discussion thread.

Please don't take my comments as being critical of anyone or any posts.

I'm just trying to expand my own horizon's, and thought I'd share a bit of my latest musings with you folks.

Just my 1.5 cents,
John Palma

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