10 Lessons Learned from the death of Blab.im
For those who don’t know, Blab.im was a livestreaming network where people could create a show or start and join conversations with leaders in your industry, your audience, and others on many topics. It was active for a year and grew to millions of people interacting and doing shows on its livestreaming platform.
I’ll not discuss the reasons given for the closure of Blab.im here. The owner left a statement on Medium here that you can read.
My Lessons learned from the Blab.im Experience:
- To always have Monetization integrated in your Business Plan even when you have a Freemium Business Model.
When you have a business that has free activity, free software, free use or free anything, there has to be a way for your business to make money even if it is just to pay expenses!
Some companies may get investors who back them with capital based on the idea of the business however, at the very beginning, there should be a way to monetize the free service. A business is not a charity. There are many free software app business that have died as they never monetized or found backers to pay their expenses.
It is possible to have free software use or free social media platform.
All you have to do is look at Facebook which is going to a paid advertising for businesses to its customers. Dropbox.com will give you free storage to try out their Cloud based storage but to use it properly you have to pay for more storage. As well, they are now marketing to corporations and other businesses to use Dropbox as a cloud-based storage and collaboration software. Even a free service like Unroll.me which cleans up your inbox has banner ads in each email it sends you with the email list.
- Keep ahold of all your content assets at all times.
At Blab.im, the shows or blabs that you created were automatically recorded and available for you to download after the show. Blab was a great quick way to make a podcast or show to re-purpose on your website. However, if a product creator forgot to download all their shows, they have just lost their assets with the abrupt closure of Blab.im without any warning.
Pay attention to this as there are many stories of people on Youtube who had their account closed abruptly due to some imagined infraction so they lost all their Youtube content.
Always download any content created anywhere and keep it on a private storage area whether on your hard drive or in Amazon S3 cloud service. Best to have it on both since your hard drive can fry anytime!
- It is possible to build a community of like-minded people on the internet – your Tribe
I enjoyed going to Blab to watch shows by Joel Comm or Virginia Parsons or chefs or craft show or even just watching a person teaching guitar. As a visitor, I could comment, ask a question or if I had been bold gone on the show by webcam. Every week, I would know when a show was going to be and I’d get the notifications so I could go check out what was happening today. The host or hostess would interact, welcome and get to know the people who attended. We saw them blush, be silly or just blab for hours on important or trivial topics. There was a sense of getting to know the personalities and following them when they showed up on Blab.
As well, there were people who volunteered to answer questions like Ileane or Brittany on how to use Blab so more people would get on.
It was the building of a tribe or community for a host who could invite others on to be on the show. It was a place where people experimented with the format or what they did on the show including a person who drew cartoons live or a hand puppet show. It was unique but you saw your tribe on it whether you wanted to learn how to do public speaking or learn how to make a Christmas tree decoration.
- It is possible to connect and build relationships with people quickly on the internet.
Live videostreaming is almost like “being there” in real time so when you see someone on the internet again, it is like meeting a friend. I always enjoyed when a friend from Australia was on because they are real and the nuances and quirks come out on live video. So, blab made it real easy to pop into a chat on video. You could have up to four people pop in and chat.
- It was so easy to connect with influencers in your field on Blab.
As the Blab format allowed the host to bring on people from the chat area, it was possible to pop in and ask and discuss a question live. It was a great way to invite others (off air) onto your interview show as they have seen you “live” as a real person. It is just not the same when you invite them by email.
- That any community has to have simple rules of conduct to make it thrive.
Blab never regulated the trolls and silliness out on the internet such that it became a place where it was very hard to have a good show as you were too busy banning the trolls. With rules like Youtube or Facebook policies of conduct, they could have easily become a thriving community where it was safe, lively and place to hang out and blab.
- Others on the internet don’t have the same business principles and values that are standard in the business world.
By closing Blab.im down without any notice to all the show creators, it is not a business practice that is a principle adhered to outside of the internet.
Even in bankruptcy , there are notices that are required by law.
There are show creators who had upcoming shows who now have to notify their guests about the change to another platform very quickly. It would have been a sign of respect to have sent out a 24 hour notice to all the millions of show creators that they were closing Blab to give them time to download any shows they might want to keep. As well, if they embedded their Blab show on their website, there will be a dead link now.
Of course, whatever the Blab.im policies were stated and agreed to by the show creators are the law and show creators should have been aware of them when they agreed to follow them.
However, I have had experience many times on the internet of people who don’t practice common business practices like fulfilling an agreement or standing by their refund policy. This is why the Federal Trade Commission is trying to police the internet.
- If there is an opportunity for your business, take it right away!
I love educating and helping others to get started quickly with a software or tool, so I bought Blab Private Label Rights ebook/videos for training six months ago. Now, it is no good! So, lesson learned to implement any trainings on an internet software or platform because it could be “gone tomorrow!”
- Celebrate and pay attention to your community.
When you have a tribe of people, a community on the internet, you have a powerful asset from which you can get feedback on how to improve the community. You can , of course, develop other products or services that your tribe will enjoy and buy from you because you got feedback from them on what they want. The community can become your raving fans and bring more people over to your platform because they enjoy the experience so much.
The minute you lose the trust of the community, you will probably lose them as the internet is a large place with many other platforms or “shiny bright objects” to attract their attention as the next best thing!
- Where is the next Blab.im?
A social media platform where people can gather and hang out and blab or discuss or demonstrate or experiment with a show. A livestreaming platform where a visitor can come and look at the list of shows in a category and then go in and ask questions of the host.
There are other livestreaming platforms like Google Hangouts or Crowdcast or Huzza or etc. etc. but you have to be on the host’s email list in order to get a notice about a show. So, you can’t really just go by and check out the show banner or sample shows to see whether you want to hangout there. Blab.im was like the old Television station where you looked through the T.V. guide to see what is happening now and picked the one to watch and unlike the T.V. you could step inside (like in Poltergist) and ask a question of your host live!
Richard Branson , are you interested!?