The End of an Era

The End of an Era

I still remember the day I discovered the Jetpack plugin and how powerful it was.

I got hooked on the Publicize feature quite early, as it allowed you to connect multiple social media destinations and have your blog posts automatically distributed to your chosen social accounts.

It’s one of the reasons I even prioritized blogging over social media – because I knew that if I published a blog post, updates would be posted to multiple social media channels without my direct involvement.

Jetpack was also the gateway to the handful of presentations I gave at WordCamp Calgary on turning WordPress into a distribution and syndication machine.

Things are obviously changing at Jetpack, because now, they’re looking to charge a fee for their best features, including Publicize, which they now call “Social.” The feature is heavily discounted for the first month at $1.36, but they’re looking to charge $13.50 monthly on an annual subscription.

The Price Tag Puts it in Perspective

It’s Jetpack’s decision to do with their software as they please. They’ve developed what I would consider a great suite of tools for newbie WordPress users over the years.

But $13.50 is well out of the ballpark of what I would consider reasonable, given the rather mediocre results it has produced for me. I’ve experimented with different traffic channels for a decade now, and for me, search engines have always come out on top by a huge margin to the tune of several hundred visits per day. While social media delivers, on average, a meager two to five visits per day.

Yes, I know I said I was excited about Publicize, but putting a price tag on it puts this all into perspective.

To me, social media is only worth it if it’s connected to three key results:

  • Relationships
  • Leads / email subscribers
  • Sales

I don’t care about brand exposure and know all to well how little difference it makes. Traffic is nice, but it’s a vanity metric compared to email subscribers. Views, likes, shares, and even comments amount to little if they don’t lead to relationships, leads, or sales.

Facebook (my top social media channel), for example, has delivered 5,852 visits to Music Entrepreneur HQ since August 2016.

Considering the average conversion rate of a website (2 to 5%), I’ve hypothetically converted 117 to 293 people into subscribers in that time (which might even be a little generous). Those numbers may not be anything to sneeze at, but if I were to 80/20 my marketing, social media probably wouldn’t even make it into the mix.

Open Source Used to Mean Something

This is not a pointed message aimed at Jetpack, or for that matter, WordPress.

But open source used to mean something. I referenced WordCamp earlier, but whenever I shared at such events, I was not paid for my time or hard-gotten knowledge, and I was discouraged from selling my books or CDs.

I love helping people, and if I had to do it all over again, I don’t think I would have done it any differently. Public speaking is fun to me, and I’ve always enjoyed masterminding with others.

But Jetpack is clearly headed in a different direction.

People evolve. Software evolves. I take no issue with any of it. But as I’ve already hinted at, I can’t imagine paying what Jetpack is asking for the privilege of having my posts distributed to social media alone. The functionality is a little too rudimentary. For $13.50 per month, it better do more than publicize my posts (hint – it doesn’t).

There Are Worthy Alternatives

Jetpack has been great to me. And I am grateful for all that it has done for me. But now that there’s a price tag attached to a rather simple function, I’m going to be in search of alternatives. There are still plenty of free and low-cost substitutes out there, including virtual assistants.

I’ve been hearing rumors of Yoast SEO integrating with Zapier, and my impression so far is that it’s not terribly cost effective either, but it does put a lot more possibilities at your fingertips since it connects to social media platforms too numerous to mention.

For about the same amount of money as Jetpack, there’s also OnlyWire, which lets you connect to about 20 networks. And I don’t think their price has changed since their inception.

What do you think? Will you be paying for Jetpack Social? Do you use social media distribution tools? If so, what do you use and what do you like about it?

You Don’t Need WordPress Anymore

Don’t get me wrong – you still need a home on the web.

And this is not some emotionally charged backlash against WordPress or Jetpack. I have had a great experience with both, and most of my sites will likely remain on WordPress.

But more than ever, this sentiment – “you don’t need WordPress anymore” rings true. Most intelligent entrepreneurs and independent creators have found their way over to tools like KLEQ, which work as all-in-one website builders, blogs, campaign and sales funnel builders, course platforms, and membership sites.

You don’t need countless plugins, apps, and integrations to make your store and course platform work anymore. You can do it all from one, central, convenient location now.

And if there’s a feature missing, you can request it. A company that has their customers at the forefront (like KLEQ), will happily add these features for you.

Of course, there is a premium price tag attached to a tool like KLEQ, but compared to the cost of developing a WordPress site from scratch, installing plugins, duct taping software integrations together, and paying for multiple SaaS subscriptions? The cost of KLEQ is moderate.

TQP 022: Butterfly or Tornado? Part II

The Question PodcastWho are you – butterfly or tornado?

Albert Einstein is the father of modern theoretical physics – master of light and gravity, splitter of atoms, bender of space… Generations have been influenced and altered by the overwhelming power of his scientific discoveries. Einstein was inarguably a force of nature – a tornado.

Steve Jobs was a visionary inventor, pioneering tech designer, master of complex simplicity, mystical creator of needs we didn’t even know we had. It would be difficult to identify someone who has influenced this generation’s image of itself than Steve Jobs.

Last month, we discussed the inevitable uploading of our digital existence to the cloud. Almost single-handedly, Steve Jobs created the tech-device revolution that’s driving our digital relocation into the cloud. Even more, Jobs’ dominance over our tech landscape is so powerful that regardless of whether we believe that this path is towards salvation or destruction, either way we can’t seem to escape it any more than Einstein’s physics. Steve Jobs was inarguably a force of nature – a tornado.

In this episode of The Question podcast, you will hear highlights from Frederick Tamagi’s presentation on “Butterfly or Tornado”, as well as the music of Hello Moth.

Thank you for listening!

What questions will you be taking with you after listening to this episode?

We encourage you to connect with us via social media:

TQP 020: The Cloud and Our Future Part II

The Question Podcast

Very soon, 100% of our digital lives will be stored and monitored inside the cloud.

Anyone that has an iPhone is probably using or very tentatively using the fingerprint ID feature on the phone. Fingerprint ID technology is perhaps the most familiar biometric utility that we encounter. Apple has promised that your fingerprint information is encrypted, and will never be uploaded to their Cloud.

But aren’t you already inside their house when you activate the phone? And even the most benevolent and courteous landlords still have the only master key to the whole house, don’t they?

You may also know that biometric identification is currently being applied to a much wider list of body parts and activities. Facial recognition – Facebook has a facial recognition algorithm, and there’s lots of facial recognition in law enforcement. Retinal and iris scans. DNA verification. Voice recognition. Walking characteristics and gate analysis. Keyboard typing rhythm and mouse clicks.

All these biometric measures, including fingerprint ID, are currently in use, and are being actively catalogued in databases everywhere – from the FBI to Facebook.

There is a developing tech science called multimodal biometrics that seeks to correlate individual biometric characteristics like fingerprint, iris scans, and voice recognition into a much more complete virtual profile of a subject. This virtual profiling, using our biometric data, will become more possible as this information is steadily gathered, uploaded, and stored in The Cloud.

Utilization of this data will depend on how users like the FBI and Facebook choose to apply it, but it’s The Cloud that makes it possible.

Thank you for listening!

What questions will you be taking with you after listening to this episode?

We encourage you to connect with us via social media: