Friday, May 21, 2010

Cloud Services Roundtable - Notes and Updates

Many of you have heard of the Cloud Services Roundtable but aren't entirely sure what it is. From time to time we get questions about the content, why we're charging $4.95/month, and what you get for that.

First, the content.

We have the following programs now available for download:

- Migrating From SBS to The Cloud Part 1 (Webinar with MSPU
- Migrating From SBS to The Cloud Part 2 (Webinar with MSPU
- Migrating From SBS to The Cloud Part 3 (Webinar with MSPU

- Jason Beal from Ingram Micro on Making Money with Cloud Services

- Karl Talks About Specific Offerings and Plans

- Pointivity Talks Specifics of Their Cloud Offering for SMB (with Kent Erickson)

- Cloudcast - Live from the SMB VOIP Conference (with Matt Wilson from New Global Telecom, Jay Weiss from Computer HMO, and John Endter from E Squared C)

- The Low-Down on BPOS (with Jim Glyn at MS BPOS)

- Considering Building Your Own Cloud Services? (with Steve Winter from ERGOS Technology Partners)

- Where is the Industry Going? - Harry Brelsford's thoughts on the Year 2010 with Harry Brelsford and Karl Palachuk

- Karl's 2010 SMB State of the Nation Address

- The lastest program is with Dave Sobel on Virtualization. It was posted live yesterday.

Programs are scheduled Live on the first and third Wednesday of each month and are recorded for download. Our goal is to continue to bring you great content throughout the year. Cloud services is a fast-evolving field. No, it's not just "hosting," but a lot more. And that more is growing and changing very quickly.

On the third Wednesday of each month, my co-host is Mr. Harry Brelsford of SMB Nation. Harry provides good business-side insights as well as some good hooks into guests and specialists in various industries. So I am honored to be producing this program with Harry.

Second, payments, etc.

As strange as it sounds, I can't get rich charging you $4.95/month to be a member of CSR. So what's the point? Well, there are a few things. After doing the very popular SMB Conference Call for two years, I discovered three things. The first was that it was a huge amount of work and hassle that I was contributing to the world for free. But having made a commitment, I continued to provide content.

The second thing I discovered is that the very broad topic of "SMB" was too broad. It was literally "whatever popped into my head radio." Which is fine if everyone's happy, but it just seemed to lack focus. So I wanted to create a more clearly defined subject for the podcasts.

The third thing I discovered is that I had lost control of my audience. There is all kinds of technology to keep track of who's download, iTunes, re-broadcasts, etc. But the show was everywhere and TOO widely disseminated. As a result, I had no way of measuring influence. As the recorded show became more popular, the number of live listeners went down. It became harder to get good guests.

When we kicked off the show with Erick Simpson, we clogged the 100 lines I had. So I went to 200, 300, and eventually to 1,000 lines. But over time the live listenership went down to 50 and under. Even though the recorded program was hugely popular, it's hard to get a guest to talk to 30 people live.

So I came up with a simple scheme to boost live listenership: Charge for people who want to download and let the live broadcast be free. This has worked. Live listenership is good and I have exact numbers regarding paid subscribers. So that makes it easier to get guests.

Now, as for content . . .

Once you subscribe, content is not divided by month. $4.95 gets you access to all recorded programs and associated downloads. So don't worry that you'll pay $4.95 for only this month's material forward. You get all recorded materials for that price.

Theoretically, you could subscribe for one month, download it all, and then unsubscribe. And someone will probably do that.

But our goal is to continue to provide you with good, valuable information so that you'll continue your subscription. We think that once you listen to the material we have so far you'll be hooked.

As always, I welcome your feedback here and by email to [email protected].

Thank you for your support!


Want to figure out how to make money with Cloud Computing?

Join the Cloud Services Roudtable today and listen a great series of podcasts!

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