Thursday, March 08, 2007

Prince Keeps Us on Our Toes

Prince at Rock in Rio, BrazilIn 1991, thousands of people gathered in Maracana Stadium for what was to become "Rock in Rio II". George Michael, Guns and Roses, Debby Gibson, Santana, and many, many more famous rock groups took to the stage January 18 - 27.

But one character kept in character as being the strangest act on the festival. If you've ever done any work with entertainers, you know they can have very crazy personalities. And Prince fit that description to a "T" (or is it ?)

My good friend Carlinhos of Sao Paulo, Brazil, was contracted by MTV to provide the sound mix for Rock in Rio II. Naturally, each band must do a sound check before they go live. These were while the event was closed. Carlinhos made everyone sound great.

When Princes' band ran through their sound check, everything was super. The first few bands went on and MTV had a sweet mix. However, when Prince finally came on stage (he delayed his "entry" by over an hour), his sound people had switched all the inputs to the feed to MTV.

Most sound engineers would take half of the set to figure out the inputs - drums, which were on input 5 through 11 are now scattered in the 18 - 23 range. Vocals were where the keyboards are. And so on.

Carlinhos had the mix nailed in a little under a minute and a half. He figured out which input was switched and quickly labeled it. It was a huge challenge, but Carlinhos was up to it.

Since I started on the Internet in the early 90's (I had my own FidoNet node through the 80's, and ran several BBS's), it is a chore to keep up with change. What used to be a great business model six months ago - today won't float. Many companies, mainly the search engines, are switching the mix - changing the rules. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes because they simply want to improve their game.

There are few models you can implement and just watch them make money. Most of contextual ad businesses take work keeping fresh content and making sure keywords are worthwhile. You can do that by reading blogs like this.

Entrance to Google, San FranOne discussion I had with a marketer recently revealed that his testing with Google showed the search engine literally changing every few hours. Indeed, it doesn't take too much to get penalized anymore. Copied content is probably the biggest sin. From the way I understand it, Google scans everyone's copy of this "new" content. Then it figures out who is the authority site and knights them the king and everyone else a fraud.

When this happens, Google will not return to your site for many moons. It pays to take the time to do it right the first time. If you are not using your own copy, make sure you have someone else write it for you originally.

What is a good way to do this? is one place to find good writers for less than you think. It doesn't pay to write your own sites as a business. You need to have others do that for you. Spend your time researching and developing new websites. Not spam sites - real meat and potato sites that people will enjoy reading.

Make sure in your game plan you have set aside time to learn continuously about your trade. It's important. How many hours do you spend learning the market, and do you think Google is really changing faster than before? Thoughts?