From the terrestrial world to cyberspace for $97.39…

Last Friday, driving down to Santa Ana, I turned on the radio and started clicking through my stations. I landed on Indie 103.1 and heard this:

This is an important message for the Indie 103.1 Radio Audience –

Indie 103.1 will cease broadcasting over this frequency effective immediately.  Because of changes in the radio industry and the way radio audiences are measured, stations in this market are being forced to play too much Britney, Puffy and alternative music that is neither new nor cutting edge.  Due to these challenges, Indie 103.1 was recently faced with only one option — to play the corporate radio game.

We have decided not to play that game any longer.  Rather than changing the sound, spirit, and soul of what has made Indie 103.1 great,  Indie 103.1 will bid farewell to the terrestrial airwaves and take an alternative course.

This could only be done on the Internet, a place where rules do not apply and where new music thrives; be it grunge, punk, or alternative – simply put, only the best music.

For those of you with a computer at home or at work, log on to www.indie1031.com and listen to the new Indie 103.1 – which is really the old Indie 103.1, not the version of Indie 103.1 we are removing from the broadcast airwaves.

We thank our listeners and advertisers for their support of the greatest radio station ever conceived, and look forward to continuing to deliver the famed Indie 103.1 music and spirit over the Internet to passionate music listeners around the world.

At first I was pissed off that corporate greed had killed off another ingenious formula, but then I felt empowered, knowing that I was part of the new breed of cottage industries made possible by the Internet. The Internet, has given life to businesses (new and old) and ideas all over the world. It’s uncensored, and nonconformist; it’s quickly becoming the source for real news, the voice for cutting edge music, literature, and video content; and it’s a wealth of information. The world is changing, large corporations are crumbling, economies operate globally and not in a private box, and the Internet is emerging as a champion for the transitional struggles that lie ahead.

In 2005, when the first glimmer of my business could be seen in the pupil of my eye I knew I was going to do it on the Internet. Sure, the glamour of having a retail space was alluring, but the costs were astronomical, and the reach was not nearly as great as with the Internet. With a retail store your reach was as wide as the square block you were located on, and maybe, if you were lucky, the city your business lived in. On the Internet however, you could reach…the world.

My journey into cyberspace was not an easy one. If any of you have experienced web designers you know that there is a large percentage of them that are unreliable, unreachable, procrastinators. They’ll take your money, and then they’ll sit on your project, or put something up that is half of what you asked for. Most have no marketing sense, i.e. they would rather put up something that looks cool rather than something that will get your message across. This was my experience with the first three web designers I hired. Luckily, fourth time was the charm. I got a good referral and a great guy who is still with me and has pulled together four websites for me (www.bushidodesigns.net). Let me tell you though, it wasn’t cheap, and it wasn’t all daffodils and money-growing-on-trees either.

I had this assumption as a start-up Internet business that I would put my website up, and people would flock to it and start buying; I would make my several thousand dollar investment back within a matter of months. Unfortunately, it wasn’t so pretty. My journey into cyberspace has been frought with hi’s and low’s, and not until taking a few seminars on website marketing last year and getting several e-newsletters on the matter do I feel like I have a better grip on the whole matter. But I don’t want to digress into website marketing 101 just yet (more on that in a future blog), today, I want to share with you my second tip of ’09: If you have an idea for a business, get it up on cyberspace for $97.39.

My mom, who happens to also be one of my clients decided she wanted to venture out into cyberspace. She does a lot of arts and crafts workshops for kids, and I help her make “How To” brochures that the parents or teachers can then take home with them. They’re becoming so popular that she thought, why not sell the brochures on the Internet. My first thought was, oh mom, you don’t want to invest that kind of money…but I told her I’d do some digging. How could I set up an inexpensive website for my mom to test her theory that people would buy her brochures over the Internet?

I went to GoDaddy (www.godaddy.com) who handles all of my website stuff; domain names, hosting, SSL certificate, etc. I hit “support”, and on the left-hand side of the screen I noticed “Need help finding the right product?”. I walked through their set of questions: yes I wanted a domain name, yes I wanted to keep all my information private, and yes I wanted to build a website that required no HTML or other technical skills. Fifteen minutes and $97.39 later I was putting together my mom’s website on a very user-friendly platform called Website Tonight. Let’s go over that again, fifteen minutes and $97.39 for a non-techie way to build a website. A website that you had total control over, that you could publish as soon as you wanted, that you could make changes to at will, that if at any point you decided you wanted a different design it was a click of a button away…I can’t tell you how I wish I had known about this when I first started my business.

Listen up folks. Don’t sit on your ideas, worried you don’t have enough money to give them a go, or that they’re not good enough–with the Internet, you never know where your idea could take you. The proof is in the pudding. Check out what I did working on my mom’s new website for a couple of hours last night: www.learnwithcrafts.com. A lof of the website is still under construction but you’ll get the drift of how empowering this is.

If you have more questions, need more insight, or are beyond non-techie, contact me through my website: www.aohwrite.com, I am always happy to help!

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