opinion

New Horizons

Cheryl Cain
There's a new year upon us, bringing with it the promise of new opportunities. How will you welcome these opportunities and what are they? While the answer to the first question will be based entirely on your ambition, energy level, desire to earn and desire to try out new things (or improve upon old ones), the second question requires a bit more thought.

We've already talked about "New Year's Resolutions" and the role they can play in business planning, but this discussion is about something more: it's about making a conscious attempt to improve your business opportunities and profit outlook for the coming year. This process will be helped tremendously for those fortunate enough to be attending this week's Internext Expo in Las Vegas. While the thought process is the same whether you are attending the show or not, the immersive qualities of the show floor and the benefit of one-on-one contact with many experts, vendors and suppliers makes the "what's hot" search all the easier.

For example, studying the latest content offerings might give you some ideas for a new site or niche, but it also might clue you in as to the latest formats and technologies sweeping the marketplace; such as high-definition video, PSPs, iPods, mobile platforms, and beyond.

While investigating these technologies, you might come across innovative billing mechanisms that are allowing marketers to capitalize on these products and services – billing mechanisms which you might incorporate into your existing infrastructure. One such mechanism is PayAsYouClick.com, which allows you to charge for each image or video clip – something that might hold a great deal of appeal for a subscription-weary surfer who just wants a half-dozen images for his PSP, rather than a $30 per month subscription commitment for content that he isn't really interested in...

Set-top boxes and other video-on-demand services are becoming increasingly popular, and provide another avenue for exploration. Perhaps you wish to market the hardware, or develop content for it, or??? With 'convergence" being an increasingly popular buzzword, this is an arena that you can't afford to overlook.

What about toys? Tapes? DVDs? There's a world of complimentary product offerings that might give your bottom line a boost. TGPs with loads of traffic but few sales could see dramatic earnings boosts by offering items that their customers can't get for free. Dating, personals, video chat and more – all can form the basis of new ventures, or add renewed strength to old ones...

Perhaps you're a photographer in search of a new model, or an affiliate looking for a new sponsor to promote: wandering the show floor can provide you with both. Need a new web host, lawyer, or traffic source? The show floor has it all!

Of course, you don't need to be "at the show" to accomplish any of these things, but the concentration of talent, technology and time that is available at the January Internext makes it an especially appealing venue for developing (and learning about) the latest ideas, tools, and techniques that power the industry. If you're looking for "new horizons" you can get a jump start in Vegas – but don't let missing a great time in "sin city" be an excuse for not doing better this year – all you need is a little ambition and the desire to succeed.

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