Prussia.Net versus Skank Media: my new business structure

Prussia.Net logo

I think I’ve figured out how to explain my business plans for 2008. I’ve written about this previously, but while running errands today I had a brainflash. How does this sound…?

In my new About Stilgherrian page, I wrote:

I’m particularly interested in how new social networking and communication technologies are changing the way we work, play, socialise and organise our societies. Yes, I’m a geek… But I’m not that interested in technology itself. I’m more interested in the social questions.

What does it all mean for your life? Your family? Your business? Your community? For the law and politics? How will it change the very core of what it means to be human?

Well, my brainflash is about how this translates into what the two businesses actually do.

Here’s a first draft.

  • Skank Media is about using this stuff. Tool-making geeks already use the tools to talk about the tools. (Hi! You know who you are!) Big corporations have whole departments to deal with it — or at least they should. But small businesses simply don’t know where to start, and most small-business owners are too busy to start from scratch. So Skank Media has two, maybe three roles:

    1. Acting as a production house to produce and run social media and “new media” [ugh!] operations for its clients.
    2. Producing and running its own projects for fun and profit.
    3. Providing an umbrella through which I discuss these things in the media. (Sounds uncomfortable.)
  • Prussia.Net is about providing the tools. Currently Prussia.Net is about maintaining clients’ computers and data networks. The plan is to get them thinking about their information and how they communicate it, internally and externally. We look at how they can improve this using the new tools, and then help them make the transition — as well as keeping everything running.

Some Prussia.Net clients may not want to come for the ride. Perhaps they’re not comfortable with change, or don’t see the value of this stuff. Perhaps, like so many small businesses, they’re just incapable of thinking ahead — they just react to whichever crisis is in front of them today.

That’s cool.

There’s plenty of fix-my-computer people out there.

So whaddya reckon?

6 Replies to “Prussia.Net versus Skank Media: my new business structure”

  1. Good clarity. Prussia.Net keeps the pipes and pumps running. Skank Media makes/thinks/talks about the stuff that goes down the pipes…

    Skank Media could be very focused: doing ONLY social media. Every project must involve a social interaction channel/device/mechanism tied into business goals.

  2. @Zern: Thanks for the confirmation. I’ve run these thoughts past a couple of other people and they agree it makes sense. That’s a separate question from whether it’s A Good Idea, but at least my explanation works. Apart from the mixed metaphor of discussing things through an umbrella (!) I’m happy with that as a starting-point.

    Skank Media’s and its clients’ goals might not be business goals necessarily, they might be political or societal or whatever.

  3. Feedback: Small business needs to know the price, first. So how about you offer fixed-price Skank-widget add-ons to client sites? You list the widgets, a description, and the business ticks the box. That would help us buy more from you.

  4. @Levuka: Interesting comment — because “making widgets” is precisely what I won’t be doing. I think it’s the wrong approach to using social media, and it’s not what I want to be doing personally.

    As I’ve previously written:

    One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when thinking about social media is that it’s all about the tools — that if only they choose the right software they’ll be a success. That’s about as sensible as thinking your retail business will be successful if only you buy the right bookkeeping software.

    As that article concludes, you actually have to think and work out what makes your business different from its competitors — not sprinkle the Magick Box of Social Media Dust on your website. All you’ll end up with is another messy collection of bits and pieces that don’t really work together well — because there isn’t an overall strategy, let alone a plan.

    As for the personal angle, well, I’m simply not interested in being a widget-builder. There’s plenty of programmers out there already flooding the world with cute gadgets. I’m simply not interested in being another tradesman.

    Also, creating a shelf full of pre-designed and pre-costed widgets for people to choose from assumes you already know what people might want, and can invest the time and money to create these generic widgets, all before you’ve got a single customer. Given that I think it’s the wrong approach anyway, this makes it doubly risky.

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