The other day in New York it was raining out. Hard.
Not like the annoying drizzles I’m used to experiencing in North Carolina.
This was a legit downpour.
Soaked, cold and clammy, I walked to the corner of 1st Avenue and 14th Street and entered the subway to get uptown.
Disclaimer: If you were the person I bumped into while walking down the stairs into the subway, I’m sorry. I had my headphones blasting and whatever curses you yelled my way I didn’t catch. My b.
Boarding the L train to 8th avenue, I sat down on one of the yellow seats and took a look around the train…
Right there on that L train was a perfect snapshot of New York City.
There were children as young as 10 and adults as old as 70.
There were white people, black people, and Asian people.
There were people who were well-off, people who could be considered poor, and people in between.
But it wasn’t the differences in the people that I noted; it was the similarities.
In the hands of many on that train were smartphones of every kind (iPhones, Blackberrys, Android), gaming devices (PSPs, Nintendo DS’, iTouches), tablets and laptops.
And from what I could tell, each and every person was doing their own little thing, encased in their own little connected world.
Of course I had known our society was so connected. I read about it all the time on blogs such as TechCrunch and Mashable, and at Duke it seems like every student, professor, and employee has a smartphone or some connected device.
But those are my own little connected worlds and I guess it was enlightening to see everyday people using the same devices I was.
As I sat there on the metro, my thoughts (as they are wont to do) began whizzing, wondering, and whirling.
You know when some things don’t truly sink in until you see them or experience them for yourself?
Well that’s what happened to me on a dreary Monday evening in a NYC subway.
For the past four months, I’ve been reading up on thought leaders (like Seth Godin) in the online space who talk about finding a niche and then dominating it.
But I’ve always been like Screw that! I wanna rule the world!
Yet sitting there, cold and clammy on the metro, I realized how wise that advice is.
As I sat there, cold and clammy on the metro, my brain began multiplying the number of eyeballs glued to connected devices, times the number of trains running in NYC daily, times the number of trains running daily in metropolitan areas across the country, times the number of trains running daily all around the world.
My eyes widened.
Ohhh s**t! That’s a lot of eyeballs!!
Then I realized that I could find a niche, and still have potentially millions of eyeballs to attract to my blog or website.
Let’s say that I really love the game Farmville, (which I don’t) so I start a blog all about Farmville. I provide commentary on new add-ons to the game, in-game purchases, I provide FAQs and How-To guides, so on and so forth.
That might not sound like a viable niche for me to dominate.
Except when you consider that over 30 million people play Farmville.
Obviously smarter people than I have realized this and capitalized.
Look at AllFacebook. All they talk about is Facebook. All the time.
Granted Facebook is huge (600 million and counting), but it just goes to show that you can be a niche site and still have a readership of millions.
So from now on, I’m going to be looking for those little nooks and crannies that I can squeeze my brain into and hope I can attract millions of eyeballs.