Number 3: Niche
The ease with which one can publish rich content, coupled with increasingly ubiquitous Internet access makes it possible for anyone to get their thoughts published. This in turn makes for it easier than ever to connect with people who are interested in the same niches (or even micro-niches) as you. Interested in kitchen remodeling? Too broad- how about focusing instead on considerations in countertop selection. How about blogging about Fantasy Baseball? Too broad- consider focusing on techniques for swiftly dropping/picking up relief pitchers. Interested in scrapbooking? Too broad- consider a blog focused on doing video reviews of paper cutters used in scrapbooking. We've all got interests and we're all experts in something. If we care enough to publish it, there will be people out there who care enough to read it. Starting a blog is one of the few businesses that you can truly start for *free* and potentially make money on from day 1 with Google AdSense Ads and Amazon Associate Product Links.
Number 2: Clarity
As a consumer, nothing bothers me more than ambiguity in an offer. And in general, I find the most value in content I read when it provides clarity. It's sometimes unclear to me whether communication lacks clarity because the writer is unable to provide a clear description -or- because a retailer is attempting to bamboozle me. When I encounter lack of clarity in a product description or service offering I assume it is an attempt to bamboozle. When I encounter it in the context of written word I assume it is because the writer is unable to provide a clear description. Either way, in my view, clarity is a valuable commodity and as such it presents an opportunity for clear communicators. Consider using your ability to communicate clearly by starting a blog on a subject you're passionate about today.
And the Number 1 Word to Watch in 2009: Authentic
Classic marketing has developed a bad rap because after a while it all sounds the same. With the rise of social media (lately sites like Facebook and Twitter), we are now able to associate a higher volume of product/service recommendations with people we know. Since we know something about these people and how they operate we're able to assess the recommendation in context with what we know about the person already. It's this kind of authentic recommendation that makes the "social graph" of Facebook (ie, your friends and your friends-of-friends) so powerful. Even if we don't know the person (which is more often the case with Twitter than Facebook) if we're able to quickly verify that the person is not a shill, or at minimum a real person making a real recommendation, we're more likely to consider the word of mouth recommendation than even the most finely crafted sales pitch. Watch for: Twitter to be increasingly polluted with non-authentic noise in 2009.
As you come across these words in the material you read in 2009 I hope you'll remember this little blog entry.
Question of the Day: What do you think? What word do you expect to see an uptick in usage in 2009?