Sating a need for info
Ian Gillespie, Free Press News Columnist
good news, says the woman, is we've got lots of
options if we lose our job. The bad news is after
we hear about those options, our brains will be
buzzing so fast we won't be able to sleep tonight.
Or maybe that's good news, too.
Because according to Sarnia native Barbara Keddy,
there's a bold new world out there, just itching
to be tapped. And almost everyone, she says, is a
faucet of knowledge that simply needs to be turned
on and directed.
"I believe a whole new career is being born," says
Keddy. "And that is what I call being an 'info-preneur.'"
Keddy should know what she's talking about.
After growing up in Sarnia and graduating from the
journalism program at the University of Western Ontario,
she worked with the Globe and Mail and CBC-TV's The
National. And after moving to the United States,
Keddy toiled as news director with Quantum Computer
Services, a company that was the predecessor of America
After stepping back from her career to raise her
son, Keddy found she still had an abiding passion
for information. She decided to couple it with the
burgeoning commercialization of the Internet and
get into the business of selling information online.
"People today are turning to the Internet in
droves," says Keddy. "Millions of people
every day are surfing the Internet, looking for information.
And even though the information could, quite frankly,
be found readily at the library or at other places
for free, if it is packaged and conveniently available
on the Internet, people will pay $20, $50, $100 or
$500 to obtain the information and instantly download
"This is a very big market that I think is
going to grow in importance."
Keddy admits that with pornography and hate sites,
the Internet has its dark side. But she says there's
a light side, too.
"Now that things have settled down, it's become
apparent that the Internet is still a place where
people turn to find information," she says.
"The big 'ah, ha!' is that people will pay
for the information they're searching for."
The main reason people will pay, she says, is that
we're suffering from "time famine." The
food industry is dominated by fast food because people
don't have time to regularly shop and prepare a meal.
And the same rules, she says, apply to the information
"If I'm able to pull together an information
piece that delivers the how-to information someone
is looking for at a very reasonable price that's
instantly deliverable, people will buy it," says
Keddy cites www.clickbank.com as proof. The Web
site offers more than 10,000 downloadable products,
including golf lessons, boxing tips, hypnosis lessons,
recipes, diets, marriage counseling sessions, strategies
for caring for individuals with Alzheimer's and tips
on buying a used RV.
"There's almost nothing you couldn't package
and sell on the Internet once you know how to do
it," says Keddy. "Although it does take
skill and it does take a tremendous understanding
of marketing and sales. This isn't for the faint
That's where Keddy comes in. With her business,
Be Great! Marketing, Keddy says she can help people
turn their knowledge into cash.
"I believe that everybody has, inside of them
right now, information about a product or a service
or a hobby or a skill that can be packaged and sold
on the Internet," she says.
She says people just have to play detective and
ask themselves what it is they know -- and that others
will pay to learn. A retired couple, for instance,
might know a lot about caring for grandchildren.
A motorcyclist might know many scenic routes in his
"There's literally an insatiable thirst for
solid information," she says.
So go ahead. Think hard about what you know. And
then sleep on it -- if you can.
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