Archive for January, 2011

diffusion of responsibility

“Diffusion of responsibility is a social phenomenon which tends to occur in groups of people above a certain critical size when responsibility is not explicitly assigned.”

This can be a problem in large meetings or discussion forums. Issues are identified, and action might even be suggested. Unless someone specifically takes ownership for an action, everyone might assume someone else is doing it.


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are you tapping into something human?

“YouTube’s Margaret Gould Stewart broke down the appeal of viral videos as this: “Viral videos are always tapping into something human — love, food, sex, failure… Something that people can relate to and share with others.”


Viral videos are just a slice of word of mouth. The same emotive appeal that drives YouTube videos to share wildly will feed word of mouth in any format.

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dawn of the creator’s age

Tim Ferriss;

“We’re at the dawn of the creators’ age, when you don’t have to dumb down your material to have a bestseller; you don’t have to kow-tow to big media that wants to dilute your message so that it offends no one and interests no one.  The publisher — you — can decide the fate of your ideas.  That’s should be exciting to every writer and would-be writer out there.  The timing couldn’t be better.”

You can’t do something remarkable by trying to please everyone. Elements of the Long Tail targeting focused opportunities = best seller. People are more similar than we expect.

And 4 common ‘publishing’ mistakes in using social media & building an audience;

1. “Not understanding what type of headlines “travel” via social media. Study sites like and to see what works.”

2. “Thinking of “social media” as text only. My latest book “movie” trailer, which is only 50 seconds long, took The 4-Hour Body from #150 on Amazon to around #30, where it has remained until dropping to the top ten.  I believe this video was the primary driver behind making the book the #1 “wished-for” book on Amazon.”

3. “Overcommunicating. There’s no need to share every detail of your life.  On my Twitter stream (, I aim for 80% useful links vs. 20% insight into personal life and schedule.  There is no need to share minutiae unless it displays an endearing or grounding aspect of your personality.”

4. “Not measuring. How many books did promotion X sell?  I know, as an example, which offers in my “land rush” competition converted browsers to buyers most effectively, as I used SlideShare.  How many people watched the slideshow and then bought?  It was the 3-book and 30-book packages.  I could then focus on these for a follow-up promotion, which sold more than 4,000 books on Amazon in less than 20 hours.  Measure the ROI of your campaigns or fail — that’s the choice.”


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discoverability is problem number 1

The quality of being discoverable.

A critical issue for all digital publishing.

“9. Discoverability becomes HOT – Amid glut of content, discovery will become the new obsession of publishing. Publishers of all sizes will begin to realize obscurity is the biggest threat facing their business. Solution: maximize availability of product, leverage metadata, create books that resonate with readers, enlist fans as extension of sales force.”

Mark Coker founder of Smashwords

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