Free your local business from expensive advertising and web site development – the local revolution

in Blog, Connect, Create, LocalNa8ion.com, News, Reviews & Rants, Publish & Design This article was originally published by Julian Gude on The Remarkable Blog from exceler8.com

It’s Revolutionary – I’ll Prove it

How LOCAL Na8ion’s three-phase marketing method will free your local business Part I

Short on time? Here's the bottom line. Short on time? Here’s the Bottom Line!

Our three-phase local online marketing method is free to use, free to alter and apply for your own purposes, and free to contribute to (pay it forward) by sharing your ideas and experiences. We apply tools and principles used in the open source software movement and free software movement to create content, publish our local web sites and blogs, and connect with local buyers. If you use our methods we’d really appreciate that you tell people about LOCAL Na8ion and link back to us from your web site.

You need to know you can trust me. I know it sounds like hype when I use the word revolutionary but I’m here to prove that it’s not hype. The point of this series of posts on what I’ll call the local revolution is to demonstrate how utterly appropriate my use of the word revolutionary is when I discuss the three-phase marketing method (create, publish, connect) I want to share with you on LOCAL Na8ion. I want to make it abundantly clear that it would be easy to issue forth many more superlatives and still not capture how important and different these tools and methods can be to your business.

I want to define each aspect of this coming local revolution as they pertain to the local small business and entrepreneur and how these revolutionary tools and methods can be used TODAY to advertise or market your local business for free.

First let’s just have the headlines of each area of the local revolution I want to discuss so you have a little context for what we’ll cover.

Revolutionary:

  • Open Source Software
  • Sharing and distributing content – giving it away
  • Self-publishing & user generated content
  • Revoutionary connectors: search engines and social media
  • Disruptive business models
  • How we can apply the latest tools, practices, and concepts to local online marketing and advertising to ignite a revolution.

The very core of LOCAL Na8ion is built on open source values and practices so I can’t really talk with you about this local revolution without talking about open source software and the concepts and mindset that come with it.

What you need to know about open source software and concepts so you can use these methods and principles to publish and market your local business online

I’ll sum up the open source software movement like this:

  • Free to use,
  • open to alter in any way for your own use
  • an overall motivation to share ideas, collaborate, and contribute software code.

Open source values are centered on innovation, giving freely, collaborating with peers, and reward coming from gaining the respect of your peers.

Respect is the currency you dream of and money is usually the last thing on anyone’s mind. Most contributors to open source software develop code for paid software companies during the day and go home and make miracles at home in their spare time. There’s a lot of passion in these communities.

What does this have to do with a revolution in local marketing and local advertising? The basis and spirit of LOCAL Na8ion is built on these principles.

We’re going to begin with the beginning – which for our purposes is the Internet’s world-wide-web. If you were to give credit for today’s Internet many people point to people like Tim Berners-Lee and many others that worked with him to unleash the world-wide-web to the public.

But other than people, there is probably no other larger single contributing factor to the explosion of today’s Internet than open source software. The web server software and operating system back then (and today) power nearly every Internet powerhouse from Google to Yahoo! (and yes even traditional software companies like Microsoft) run open source software. So does LOCAL Na8ion.

Our initial way of visually connecting to the web was a free web browser (remember Mosaic and later Netscape Navigator?) and today’s only serious competition to Internet Explorer is the open source Mozilla Firefox browser project. We have other thriving open source communities as well where developers all over the world contribute code, bug fixes, security patches and untold innovation to products like WordPress and Drupal, both content management systems used to create and publish far ranging content from blogs to media publications, online stores, and so on.

Not only is open source software free to use and free to alter for your own use, it’s often superior in quality and features to even the best commercial software. How can that be? Because the community of contributing developers who develop the software is so large and so expert that new features and functionality are developed very quickly. Things like software bugs and security holes are plugged with amazing efficiency. The breadth of new development and speed of updates are only limited by the size and the quality of the community. The bigger the community, the better its quality, the more chance you’ll have major ongoing innovation and development taking place.

Many people think that major software companies like Microsoft should be able to move more quickly given their impressive financial and human resources but they typically don’t. There are bottom lines to watch, investors to pander to, and red tape covering almost every cubicle in sight. This world is full of places where you can’t go for fear of losing money and losing your job. It’s not always the best environment to foster innovation.

There is a mindset that is a natural byproduct of making something for free, something that will earn the respect of others. In this process where the best ideas and the best code wins, real innovation is often sparked. This mindset where people adopt the open source code to their own use is also a critical element. It unleashes people, it removes the inhibitions that a paycheck or scorn might typically hold us back with. In their quest to make the open source code their own, open source contributors very often create something quite valuable to a lot of people.

One of the people responsible for kick-starting the open source software movement is Linus Torvalds. Linus used this mindset to help make Linux, the operating system of the web. Here’s the opening quote from his letter in 1991 to his community talking about his plans to alter minux:

“Hello everybody out there using minix –

I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and
professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready.”

Just a hobby, won’t be big and professional turned in to the operating system powering much of the web and many other systems today. Linux is also the base for Apple’s lauded operating system, OSX as it is for many other commercialized versions such as Red Hat Linux. Which is a good point to come to for us because we’re talking about adopting open source software for our use of saving money on our publishing tools and making money with free local online marketing and advertising.

Many others besides Apple have modified the Linux operating system for commercial purposes such as Red Hat and VA Software. Both companies gave Linus Torvalds stock options in recognition of his contributions to Linux that raised his net worth overnight to twenty million dollars. It’s amazing what people can do when we stop making assumptions about what can and can’t be done.

This brings us back to the word revolutionary. There’s virtually no aspect of our world that hasn’t been touched by open source and free software and concepts. It is as much a part of the network of the Internet as the computer hardware itself. Beyond that it’s a set of principles and ideas that have proven useful in many other areas. As I’ve said earlier, open source principles and tools power LOCAL Na8ion. It is the basis for our community. It’s also an invitation to you to take the ideas and tools we write about and use them for free. We hope you to take them and make them your own and then contribute back to our community to help others like you on their quest. We can learn, experiment, collaborate and create together.

Richard Stallman, the man most credited with starting the free software movement makes this point about the word “free” in free software.

“Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer.”

How can we employ these revolutionary open source tools and methods on our own and feed our families at the same time?

We’re going to share our ideas and information in the manner of open source. We also have families to feed and I’ll recognize here openly and proudly that I think LOCAL Na8ion will help make both of us money as well. You’ll make money from applying these concepts to make sales for your business and by dramatically lowering your marketing and publishing costs. I’ll make money because not all businesses will want to take such a hands-on role, or simply don’t have the interest, time, or ability to do what I can do easily. They’ll hire me to help them.

In the future I may package up my ideas into packages that will make it even easier and less timely to put these ideas in to action. If I make these information products like online video tutorials and e-books I’ll offer them at prices that represent a radical value. If I never make money that way it will be all right with me for money is not my sole objective here at all. I’m after something much more valuable to me – your respect.

Coming soon…

Chapter two of the Local Revolution: Sharing and distributing content – giving it away.

Comments are closed.