I found myself at a crossroads with regard to the Fitness Intuition book – what needs to happen next.
Prayed hard about it, and the thought occurred to reach for my copy of Philip and Alex’s Guide to Web Publishing.
Phil Greenspun is an MIT computer science professor and the founder of Photo.net, the Web’s largest photography site. As you might expect of someone with his creds, he’s a very high-energy guy, with a million creative ideas.
I also felt inspired to read a recent post on Seth Godin’s blog. Seth and Phil have had tremendous success spreading their ideas by giving them away for free.
So, how to protect your ideas in a world where ideas spread?
Instead, spread them. Build a reputation as someone who creates great ideas, sometimes on demand.
And Phil Greenspun:
You can start your Web site by asking, “What can I get from this right now?” Alternatively, you could start out by asking, “What can I give people?” I expect that in the long run, you’d be about equally likely to make money with either approach. I started with the latter.
I gave away my pictures. I gave away my stories. I gave away to “competitors” my advice and software. The Web gave me back a large and growing audience for my work. The Web gave me back some money, to be sure. But I actually do place a higher value on some of the email that I’ve gotten…
What this is building up to is that I’ve decided to put Fitness Intuition online. Yes – the entire book.
Fitness Intuition Goes Online. Now, then, what about the folks who’ve purchased the book? Is that fair to them? Here’s my thought. Each chapter will go in a separate Web page, and there are 74 of them. I doubt anyone is his/her right mind would print all the chapters. Rather, the online book will give people a taste of these ideas, and I suspect a significant number of visitors will end up ordering it to read at their convenience – in the bathroom, on the floor following a long run, etc. Reading hardcopy is a lot easier on the eyes than reading on a computer screen.
Having the book online will also make it possible for Google to index the whole dang thing, so that people searching for an obscure term that’s buried in Chapter 64 will find it.
Do I mind the “lost income”? Not at all. Like Greenspun, I’m in this to share ideas – ideas from which I derive so much joy that I literally can’t resist sharing them. So, win-win. I invite your thoughts. Please feel free to leave a comment, pro or con – I’ll reply to all.
A New Look. Speaking of reading on the Web, I’ve decided to change the design of this website. A continuing problem is that it doesn‘t allow people to print articles – a major flaw for the kind of long stuff I often write. (I’d love to write shorter, but I am a motor-mouth when it comes to running.) So, I’ll be switching to a much simpler WordPress theme.
Fitness Intuition Loot (T-Shirt, Etc.). I’ll also be using a new logo. I’ve wanted to find an image that expressed the ideas in the book and articles. As you know if you’ve ever tried to design or commission a logo, it’s not easy, and it’s not cheap. I had the great good fortune to have a client, Kinga Kiraly of D4You Design, who invited me to trade services. At about the time I was despairing of finding a logo, she gave me a project and I offered to trade. See the result above, and also on the new Fitness Intuition t-shirt. Ta-da.
Expect beer mugs, license plate frames, key rings, wife-beater tank-tops, thongs, NFL jackets with kangaroo-leather sleeves, and tchotchkis. Just kidding. But I’ll probably add caps, women’s T’s, and anything else you-all might suggest. Wear them with pride.
Thanks for listening,