Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My favorite bits of advice from "Googled"


The next time I'm searching for the solution to a problem, I'll just pause, look up to the sky, and ask myself, "What Would Google Do?"

Not much choice, since the company has swallowed up a good chunk of the newspaper, TV, radio, advertising, magazine, books, photography, pornography, and - oh, hell - every business that used to earn a dime before we had "search."

(By the way, Jeff Jarvis has a book called "What Would Google Do?" and an excellent blog about technology, education, prostates and stuff here.)

Search - now in book form!

I've almost finished reading Ken Auletta's book, Googled, to which I recently made a passing reference and gave a lukewarm thumbs up on this blog - "interesting, but dry," I think I said. I'm not sure. You can Google it, if you like.

The good news is that the book is a grower. Just like autobiographies that start off with the most-boring chapters - "It all started out in a small Saskatchewan farm in 1899..." - Googled gets better as it goes along and ends big by explaining how Google plans to take over the advertising business.

I was so inspired, I instantly monetized this Google-supported blog to include ads in my RSS feed - "text and/or images on every fourth feed." I figure that if an advertising instructor can't do it, who can? No one, I tell you!

Even better than getting rich off of my 1,600 page views a day (it never goes up or down - is StatCounter screwing with me?!) is that the book is rife with advice about how to start and operate a business in the Google- and Apple-dominated world in which we live.

What does Google do?

My favorite snippets of info from the book that I would like to follow myself, some as practiced by Google and some by Auletta's (many) other interviewees:

1. Take a work break.

Google gives staff 20 per cent of their time back to pursue their work-related passions. That's one out of five days a week.

Uh, Mr. CreComm Chair, could we make my day off a Friday or a Monday? Uh...I'll get back to my course outlines now.


2. Question "the way we do things around here."
  • Boss: "Do it this way."
  • You: "Noooooo!"

3. Do for yourself - have a vision, and don't just be a head waiter.

One of my big complaints about the academic environment and the work environment in general is that what passes for "managing" and "coordinating" these days is taking a wish list from others and seeing how far you can stretch the budget.

Even better: have a vision, set priorities, and work outside the established order (at least to start). The established order will always go along with success eventually.


4. Don't be territorial - nothing is proprietary.

Can you Imagine?


5. Build communities.

In the online world, this refers to stuff like Twitter and Facebook. In the real world, it's meeting and "networking."


6. Remember your target audience is the end user, not you or shareholders.


7. Focus on your core competencies.

Which some say that Google has not done...


8. Have a mental sparring partner.

It worked for Professor X and Magneto !


9. Choose your battles.


10. Push.


11. Set aside time everyday to look around online.

And don't forget to visit Kenton's Infotainment Scan while you're at it! We now return to our regularly scheduled broadcast.


12. When starting an online business, follow the "Albie Hecht rule:"

The audience must be able to:
  • Watch (on any device)
  • Learn (by searching)
  • Play
  • Connect (social networks)
  • Collect ($)
  • Create (user-generated content)
"If we have four of the six, we put it into development. If we get six out of six, we think we have a hit." I believe the iPad gets a 6/6...

Order the book here:

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