Today we’re featuring a guest post from Sana Ahmed, who has invested in the domain and social media industry for 6yrs. She currently works with Fortune 100 brands and was previously Assistant COO of Mashable.
Behind every successful human being will be support groups whether it is parents, spouses or friends. Behind every successful business in 2013, there will be trusted advisors and reliable resources to propel your business ahead.
In my case, I’ve been fortunate to surround myself with great mentors and colleagues including Nima Jacob Nojoumi, and some of the more recent people I’ve met such as +J.C. Kendall and +Jesse Wojdylo.
I had the honor of speaking to J.C. Kendall, CEO of TekPersona.ca. We had a fantastic hangout that went over critical things that every business owner relying on technology news should know about.
Technology as a business driver
Technology has become a huge economic driver for business over the past 10 years. With technology, entrepreneurs have been able to find success in businesses of all shapes and sizes. Within technology, social media has sprung into the scene as an impactful element for media, marketing, sales and networking. In the blogosphere, there are content celebrities amongst tech blogs to report on tech news at all cost costing users their personal economy (time and money).
Technology and the entrepreneurial dilemma
J.C. Kendall and I talk about a very important issue that essentially every entrepreneur faces: finding reliable technology news to propel a business for success. Misleading news can costs business lots of time and money. With so many viewpoints, bloggers, publications and agendas floating around, it’s difficult to find the right news for you and your business. To fill the void and needs with technology, J.C and I discuss the techniques for finding the information entrepreneurs need to be successful.
The state of technology, technology blogs and end users is quite a sticky situation. You have big companies like Google and Apple fighting over whose gadgets and OS are better. Bloggers slant the conversation to get link bait for their blogs, therefore getting more ad revenue. The actual news that entrepreneurs need gets left out. From experience in the tech news industry, I’ve watched conflicting agendas with publications trying to get hits for page views at the cost of misleading information. Tech bloggers for some of the most popular publications are challenged between distinguishing facts and opinions while delivering content to their audiences. Entrepreneurs run the risk of not getting the information they need for their businesses, costing short and long term liabilities. J.C mentions how consumers end up being ill-served in this way.
I shed light on the business models of popular tech blogs and why the news is so warped. Tactics of link-baiting and misleading headlines are used to earn as much page hits as possible for ad revenue. When you read content that is unfulfilling and 500 words at a time with little to no facts, that is one indication of unreliable information.
Part of being a consumer of technology news for your business, entrepreneurs must read lots of content and train themselves to detect fluff content from practical business advice.
But don’t waste too much time looking for said content. There are reliable sources out there already such as Inc Magazine ( a favorite of mine) and Fortune Magazine, a favorite of J.C.’s. I would add that if you have friends in the tech industry you follow, then it’s important to read the content they write on their blogs as well as their social networks. Other blogs like SiliconAngle.com (Editor in Chief Mark Hopkins) provide a plethora of primary sources in their video interviews and written articles with clear angles to their stories.
Google+ is a treasure in terms of great people to follow. If you’re looking to find helpful information for Google+ and your marketing strategies, J.C. recommends folks like Mark Traphagen, David Amerland and a handful of others you can find in his conversational threads.
Go farther than what you see
There are countless examples of tech blogs not reporting news that entrepreneurs need. Instead of calling out those publications or authors, a constructive approach is to dig deeper.
Identify what your business model is, what its needs are and questions you need answered. You’ll be surprised to find subject matter experts hidden in social media threads that can get you to that information. Maybe that mainstream blog didn’t quite answer the question you needed like that small blog answering questions consistently on its tech niche.
After you’ve identified those sources and people that are helping your questions being answered, then keep following their content along. Having insightful, intellectual people surrounding you will only help you get the information you need on a consistent basis. Designing such a social environment is actually fun and easy on Google+.
While J.C. notes that there is a real challenge in knowing technology industry reality, we both conclude it is not impossible. The process becomes easier when you learn to consume news in over time.
Pay attention to underutilized resources
If the tech news sites are not giving you what you need, then the answer might be in front of you. Do a little thinking on your own as to what tools you have access to that you may be underutilizing.
One example is Google Voice. J.C. notes that most bloggers choose to talk about what Google voice is not. As a result, it creates a void for entrepreneurs who could be saving a lot of time and money using it for their businesses.
Another example is Google+ for businesses and end users looking for value content. For over a year, many popular blogs were writing Google+ off as a “ghost town.” As a result, many marketers and businesses didn’t even attempt to experience Google+.
The controversial Facebook Social Graph is something that tech bloggers are afraid to talk about in a negative light for one reason or another. The Facebook Social Graph is bringing about the social media revolution for 2013 but not in the way users and businesses think. There will be lots of user information being sold to third parties, unauthorized opt-in, damaging the privacy of users and the money marketers pay on the network.
J.C. breaks it down into simple math. From research, J.C. explains that via Google+ for free, marketers are able to reach out to 300 million plus users whereas on Facebook, the reach is limited up to 150 million users. If I weren’t following the right people on Google+, I would never find this information out.
It’s incredibly important to diversify the resources and information that is coming to you. Whether it’s blogs, social networks, people, direct sources, having a variety of people and publications to provide you the answers you need for your technology is a virtue that will take time to build. But once you build this foundation of knowledge, you will better be able to grab the technology news you need to shape your business.
Social media and tech knowledge
Because Social Media is an important factor in our online interactions with news and people, we need to understand what it is. J.C. Kendall talks about social media being “brain share.” It’s not about selling on social media, but rather a place to build relationships and build brand identity.
Social Media was to never take over your core business model in time or efforts involved. Rather, it’s become a communications tool between your brand and the world. Whether you are looking for information for your business, or providing information to your customers, social media can become that bridge.
I leave you with the final words, “Caveat Emptor,” which is latin for “Buyer Beware!” You’re smart enough for content celebrities to not sell you snake oil. Make the commitment to stay on top of the technology news you need to keep researching and developing your business!