tony why are you confident about the internet when it changes so much

i am confident because i have been doing this for as long as the world wide web

pretty much

has been around.

i was in atwater village in 94 for the northridge quake and then soon after i was transferred to san francisco

it was there that marc brown turned me on to the web and immediately he and all of my daily nexus friends realized what a beautiful canvas it could be to those of us who had things to say

by late 1996 i was being paid real money, including a company car, to sell a box called WebTV which put the internet on your TV.

not only did i sell it as a manufacturers rep, but i taught salespeople at sears, good guys, circuit city, walmart and other places how to sell it. in many cases i was showing mangers and their customers what the internet was

and why they would want to see it on their television.

ever since then, i have been paid money to either get people to go to websites and blogs or get people to follow my employers on social media.

i am good at it for a number of reasons starting with the fact that i love the internet, i love people, and i love researching how people do things and what they like.

the biggest disadvantage that some of my peers have is they try to apply what THEY like and project that on the audience.

unfortunately the online audience is extremely disloyal and will run away if their needs are not met.

this doesnt mean that you have to sell out on your values to maintain a community. but it means that if you do not listen, react and anticipate what your audience wants, then you will not have much of an audience as time goes on.

the best way to see what your community wants is to click on their names and see what they’re posting, figure out who their “friends” are, and study what those people have done that attracted them to their accounts.

currently i have worked with a community for 4.5 years. every day except sundays i study the people who like our stuff.

why wouldn’t i?

you’re right, tastes change all the time. it does seem daunting to have to adjust all the time. but any athlete can tell you that champions are made by the adjustments they make to their gameplan — sometimes as it happens.

the only way Peyton Manning can make a smart audible is by studying what the defense has done in the recent and not-so-recent past, and identify what they are probably going to do on that play, and then AT THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE call a new play that would best work against what he thinks the defense is lined up to do.


there are only a handful of social channels that really matter. it isn’t that difficult to study all of them all the time if it is your job and you love your job.

but if you are extra, like i am, you might even take on a second job, like driving an uber, where you can literally talk to strangers all night about instagram, snapchat, twitter and facebook and ask them how they use it and what they like and what they dont like.

sure its a tiny sample size but after thousands and thousands of rides all around LA you will start to see patterns.

it’s in those patterns that you can begin to see trends that you can capitalize on.

and when you try something along those lines… and it works

and it works year after year after year

and when you see your followers rise 100% and 400% and 4,000%, you tend to gain confidence.

especially if you have been involved in the arena since the game began.

which i have

and i am so grateful.

now go help flint get some clean water.