Frager Factor

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Rick Schwartz: FORGET what you THINK you know

“Here it is, the perfect site: Enter Here.”

"But that was before ppc."

So now it will be the perfect site again.

In tribute: Rick Schwartz is an extraordinary human being. With A big heart he is a generous man who was a source of great strength and inspiration for me- who was a beacon to keep me believing, pushing against hostile odds.

At a time when there was no road map, no business school course or precedent for what was about to come.... he created a network of smart people who were all passionate about the names they bought and the possibilities of the web. They shared, inspired and delivered. It used the net to do just what was never possible before. He didn't know it that night, but money- big money would soon follow.

And history will remember him for the originator of these major revolutions that are what the web is supposed to be about.

Today you hear the the term social media referring to a collection of constantly updating communication vehicles that create a dialog among people who are talking about topics of shared interest.

“They’re not only chatting,” “They’re also collaborating, organizing, making decisions and managing various efforts.”

This is where the web is gong- this is where advertisers are going. Redirecting billions into what they call “Word of Mouth” marketing.

And this is where Rick was first- seeing the web as a channel for communication among communities of interest. With no HTML skills and a very simple chatboard, the reality of "a web by the people" began to flourish, enabled in part by emerging internet and networking technologies, such as weblogs, chat rooms, and message boards.

We all know about Rick Selling i-report.com--- but perhaps he doesn't even know that he also invented the i-Report itself.

Look at his opening salvo on a consumer feedback site he opened in 2002, again with the proven and simple chatboard, and compare to CNN's words last week describing their vision for the domain Rick Sold them:

Domain King
Sat Jun 1 08:51:04 2002 - 63.103.130.166 - message #1374
This Months Discussion CarnivalSucks.com

The internet is the most powerful communication tool ever invented by man. At this site, possibly millions of past customers can share their experiences directly with each other and for the first time have the power to eliminate ALL outside forces. The day of feeling powerless is over. Corporate powers can no longer muzzle unsatisfied customers.

This is the place to tell the whole world of YOUR experience and not have it filtered by the folks you are complaining about.

This site is a meeting place for customers to share their experiences. Unsafe conditions? Inadequate precautions? Customers in peril? Service not rendered?

You are free to speak your mind but we request that you keep your posts FACTUAL. Pros/cons and comments are also encouraged. Please refrain from "Unneeded" foul language. This board is uncensored so please do not abuse your right of free speech. Your post will have more impact if it is well thought out and contains your REAL name and your REAL email address.

If this site is used right it can be a lot more powerful than traditional methods.

CNN ireport February 2008
On the new site, the editors explain the notion:

What if we turned this site over to you? What if we allowed people to post raw video and tell stories you’d never see on CNN? What if it had politically-incorrect speech? What if it didn't matter if the stories were balanced? What if, instead of us confirming every nuance, we trusted you to determine what was and what wasn't accurate?

What if we created a site where the community -- not CNN -- became the “Most Trusted Name in News?”

And so, we developed iReport.com. Don’t kid yourselves. This content is not pre-vetted or pre-read by CNN. This is your platform. In some journalistic circles, this is considered disruptive, even controversial! But we know the news universe is changing. We know that even here, at CNN, we can't be everywhere, all the time following all the stories you care about. So, we give you iReport.com. You will program it, you will police it; you will decide what’s important, what's interesting, what’s news.

This social model is one Rick got early and few can monetize late.

Facebook and MySpace will fail but from the ashes will rise Rick's proven model. It's the right model then and the right model now- maybe add a webcam or two.

He already has all he needs to make it an instant success across three domains.

Like Rick's blog and this blog and my domain success primer that laid it all out... and stand documented to remind you--- you will soon see the transformation to the web I envisioned all along.

With it the corporations targeted will apply the domains I've been holding to their advantage. Rick's wealth will explode because he made the right choices- choices that regardless of all else- are GREAT names and every new company or creature to the world will need them.

So my first iReport is going to be to filed-- a tribute to the man who invented it. A man who was honored by Columbia University Mnagement School lat week for his role in bringing about the first and only innovation befitting of Ted Turner's legacy.

Let me share something else about the ireport.com even Rick doesn't know. Rick got the market excited when he bought flowers.mobi but he proved himself wrong when he sold ireport,com- this is the biggest MOBILE application of all time. Upload cell reports to .com site. GET IT!

And so I end with the lesson of the "enter button"-- a creative trick Rick taught me early on that could double, even triple the value of a single domain. Rick had examples in use splitting domain leases among two tenants. And in the back of my head I always pictured other ways to use this starting with sharing the frager domain with the others who couldn't have it.

Then came the AhHA moment. I got to Sun UK, to spite the mobi hype release that said they were on mobi ... it was a dotCOM and up come a creative 2008 application of Rick's ENTER button: "For mobile enter here- for PC there."

This is when also I realized that every dotCOM domain is also a mobile domain.

That means Candy doesn't have to be a store but could be a point of sale aid. It's a whole new way to look at the web and more value for dotCOM which elevates confusion, WIPOS etc. This makes defense stronger because you couldn't build without the foundations and tools and that's why you've waited (be sure to have research)

Thinking of Rick's portfolio with m sub-domain, he now arguably has the best MOBI generics on the planet.

Something he didn't know last night- but today a lynchpin for a business case beyond PPC.

So FORGET what you THINK you know and revert to what you knew you know.


ps. So what does this mean for Widgets.com since you now have m.widgets.com-- at least a million return the first 24 hours. It means it solves the industry' biggest problem.

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About The Author: Owen Frager is an Internet marketing expert ready to help take your company to the next level.

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