Love & Biz On The Road: Chris Dunphy & Cherie Ve Ard of Technomadia & The Mobile Internet Resource Center, Part 1
Want to take a leap and pursue a dream? After 14 years, this couple is technically still on their fifth date. They’re also niche celebrities. Cherie Ve Ard and Chris Dunphy are world-famous tech geeks for their personal blog and website, Technomadia.com. Their business, The Mobile Internet Resource Center, advises those living in an RV or aboard a boat how to best connect to the internet. This pair has a really interesting yin and yang dynamic, and share a fondness for Burning Man. Their relationship began long before social media, when they met in an internet discussion forum about the Toyota Prius. They manage a staff of dedicated and driven employees whom they’ve never met. And their business is based on a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week news cycle related to all things mobile technology. It can be all consuming, yet they still figure out ways to take it easy and have some fun even when there is mayhem in the ether.
CLICK HERE FOR A COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF PLACES TO HEAR THIS SHOW
FOR ITUNES, CLICK HERE
FOR SOUNDLCOUD, CLICK HERE
DOWNLOAD THE MP3 BY RIGHT-CLICKING HERE AND SELECTING "SAVE AS"
THE SHOW NOTES
CoupleCo – Technomadia Part 1
Chris Dunphy and Cherie Ve Ard are genuine niche celebrities. They have been living a nomadic lifestyle together for 12 years, either in an RV or a boat. They blog about their nomadic lifestyle at technomdia.com. But contrary to popular belief, that is not their business. Their business is the Mobile Internet Resource Center. They are both computer geeks who use their complementary skill-set to advise nomads like us how to stay connected online while being on the road.
In this episode they talk about their backgrounds in tech, why they started their business and how their membership model works.
- Taking advantage of opportunities
- How working together happened organically
- The power of word of mouth and sharing knowledge
- How Honey and Blaine discovered Cherie and Chris’s blog (04:56)
- How Cherie and Chris met through a Livejournal forum about the Toyota Prius (05:19)
- How their third date lasted a couple of months (09:23)
- Cherie’s tech background (11:43)
- How date five was seven months on the road full-time(13:48)
- How the first trailer was too small for two people (15:05)
- Why, despite enormous popularity, Technomadia is not their business (16:13)
- The ways they first stared earning money on the road (19:45)
- Why they ended up starting the Mobile Internet Resource Center (21:32)
- How Cherie’s parents worked together (23:43)
- Chris’ childhood of travelling and how he once had a pet gibbon (25:24)
- Translating geek speak into normal language (26:09)
- How the Mobile Internet Research Center works, and how they earn money through memberships (29:21)
- How they help people navigate through their options to find the best solution for them (31:13)
- The free resources they offer, and how they interest a specific kind of customer in their paid resources (32:37)
- How they work together (36:32)
- Their writing process (38:35)
- The moment they realized they needed staff (45:04)
- Some of the criticism they face for their business model (46:39)
Mobile Internet Resource Center
The Original Technomad: Steven K. Roberts
Blaine: 00:01 What are you, shadowboxing?
Honey: 00:03 I'm just getting myself pumped.
Blaine: 00:06 You're getting yourself pumped for what?
Honey: 00:08 For this. Now I'm all pumped.
Blaine: 00:10 Now you're all pumped, this was all it takes? Is you just shadowboxing in front of a microphone for seven seconds?
Honey: 00:15 Some days.
Blaine: 00:16 Some days?
Honey: 00:18 It's one of those days.
Blaine: 00:21 If only they could all be that easy.
Honey: 00:23 I know.
Blaine: 00:25 Welcome to CoupleCo, working with your spouse for fun and profit.
Honey: 00:28 It's business and it's personal.
Blaine: 00:30 I'm Blaine Parker.
Honey: 00:31 Which makes me Honey Parker.
Blaine: 00:33 And as a couple in business together, we are coming to you from the Couple Coach, our compact trans-American land yacht.
Honey: 00:38 We are navigation the nation in search of standout couples in business together.
Blaine: 00:42 And we're bringing them to you so you can hear their inspiring stories about crushing it in business without crushing each other.
Honey: 00:47 This show is also brought to you by a couple owned business.
Blaine: 00:51 Smokin' Mary's Smoked Bloody Mary Mix.
Honey: 00:53 Made in small batches with no reconstituted tomato juice, only fresh whole tomatoes from two really cute tomatoes.
Blaine: 01:04 Yes, they are very cute tomatoes who live in Fiddletown, California, which is also incredibly cute.
Smokin' Mary's Smoked Bloody Mary Mix. Hey! Nice tomatoes. Online at smokingmary.com.
Now, important question. Are there any topics, issues, or special interviews you think you need to hear on this show?
Honey: 01:25 If so, we would like to hear from you. Just like we heard from Jim Fitlow, who had a couple for us, who we are probably going to be speaking to, so thank you Jim Fitlow. So if you would like to tell us about a couple, just send an email to email@example.com.
Blaine: 01:41 We are interested in any and all input from the CoupleCos who listen to this show. And like the woman said, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, in this edition of Couple Co, we are doing something really really exciting.
Honey: 01:56 This interview is really about the importance and the results of taking a leap and pursuing a dream. We are talking to a couple who after 14 years, are technically still on their fifth date.
Blaine: 02:07 They're also genuine niche celebrities, which means you've probably never heard of them.
Honey: 02:12 Unless you live in an RV like we do, or aboard a boat.
Blaine: 02:15 Cherie Ve Ard and Chris Dunphy are genuine world-famous computer geeks for their personal blog and website technomadia.com.
Honey: 02:23 But that's not their business, a mistake everyone has made, including us.
Blaine: 02:27 Yes we did. For years, we were under the impression their business was being gurus to those in the nomadic lifestyle. Instead, what they are is mobile internet connectivity gurus, and their business is called the Mobile Internet Resource Center.
Honey: 02:41 They advise nomads like us on how to best connect to the internet for taking a business on the road.
Blaine: 02:47 They balance each other out with a really interesting yin and yang dynamic.
Honey: 02:51 They also have a great fondness for Burning Man.
Blaine: 02:53 You'll hear about their unusual relationship, which began long before social media, in an internet discussion forum about the Toyota Prius.
Honey: 03:01 You'll hear about how they manage a staff of dedicated and driven employees, whom they've never met.
Blaine: 03:06 And their business can be all-consuming, because it's essentially a 24 hour, seven day a week news cycle related to all things mobile technology.
Honey: 03:13 Yet they still figure out ways to take it easy and have some fun, even when there's mayhem in the ether.
Blaine: 03:18 Mayhem in the ether. Gosh, you don't want that. Here now, part one of our conversation with Cherie Ve Ard and Chris Dunphy, aboard the motor vessel Why Not, recorded in Jacksonville, Florida.
Alright this is exciting. We are in Jacksonville, in a marina. The Couple Coach is parked outside. We are sitting aboard the motor vessel Why Not, with Cherie Ve Ard and Chris Dunphy of technomadia.com. This is huge. If you don't already know them, you will be thrilled you sat around for this interview.
Honey: 03:52 We were aware of-
Blaine: 03:54 Let them say hi.
Honey: 03:54 Okay, fine.
Chris: 03:55 Hi.
Cherie: 03:55 Hi.
Honey: 03:57 Now I'm going to say that we were aware of Chris and Cherie before we started Couple Co.
Blaine: 04:05 Long before we started Couple Co.
Honey: 04:06 We had talked about hitting the road. We had talked about Couple Co. We hadn't started and Blaine said, "You have to see this video," and it was the tour of your bus.
Chris: 04:16 Oh, cool.
Honey: 04:17 That is where we started with you all.
Cherie: 04:19 Which tour? Because we've done like six of them.
Chris: 04:21 We've been on the road so long, we just keep redoing tours every so often.
Honey: 04:25 I think it was at least a second tour of the bus, because you had talked about what you had remodeled.
Cherie: 04:29 Probably the one we did earlier this year then.
Honey: 04:31 It was before that.
Chris: 04:33 Or maybe after the renovations probably.
Cherie: 04:35 Three years ago. Okay. So it's been a while.
Blaine: 04:38 So it's a 1961 motor coach?
Chris: 04:39 Yes, that's the deal. The mini me.
Cherie: 04:39 There is a model of it-
Blaine: 04:41 There is a scale model of it salon of Why Not.
Honey: 04:44 I'll take a picture.
Blaine: 04:46 Honey will post that picture somewhere, probably Facebook.
Chris: 04:51 The mini me.
Blaine: 04:53 Actually, this is near and dear to our hearts for so many reasons because you are a couple who works together, and you have a really interesting story there, which we're going to get to. I am a lifelong sailor, so I am thrilled to meet somebody who lives aboard because that has a special kind of challenge. We are presently living in an RV. We no longer even own a home other than that, but we're in a tiny one. We're in a 25 foot, which is actually not tiny relative to your story, which again, we're going to get to. So let's ask the important question.
Honey: 05:20 How'd you two meet?
Blaine: 05:21 How'd you two meet?
Cherie: 05:23 Prius forum. Isn't that where everyone meets?
Chris: 05:27 It is the best place to pick up cool girls, is online. Way back in the day, we were both bloggers back before there was Facebook and everything else on Live Journal. And Live Journal had a Prius forum as one of the places you can post in. I lived in Silicon Valley, had my daily hour and a half commute each way, and I loved my Prius. And then I did a lot of road trips and adventures with my Prius to Burning Man and across the country and I carried a power paraglider in the back of my Prius, so I called my Prius an aircraft carrier.
I worked for Palm in PalmSource. When PalmSource started to implode and I got laid off with a big severance and my projects were canceled, I was like, "I don't want another Silicon Valley job." I said no to everybody who was calling me, and said, "I've always wanted to hit the road and live via tech nomad." So I sold everything and first started off looking for a trailer I could tow with the Prius, and there really wasn't anything. So I'm like, "Crap. Get rid of my beloved Prius." I traded with a friend for her Jeep, bought a teeny tiny little 16-foot travel trailer, and hit the road as a full time tech nomad, no destination in mind, no end in sight.
And I posted on the Live Journal Prius forum a photo essay of all the adventures I've been on the Prius, ended with a picture of my jeep and my Paramotor and a sunrise, and she responded to that.
Cherie: 06:42 I had just bought my second Prius, and I was planning to sell my house in Florida and then drive across country, go to Burning Man with some friends that I had been connecting with out in California, and start a new life out there. Because Florida, I had kind of outgrown what Florida could offer any more for me, and I was ready to just for a new phase of my own life. I was actually looking for the hack to turn off the stupid backup beep on the Prius-
Chris: 07:11 And that's what we owe our relationship to, right there.
Cherie: 07:13 A stupid backup beep.
Honey: 07:14 Thank you Toyota
Blaine: 07:16 A stupid beep, or a love of hacks.
Cherie: 07:18 There you go. Love of hacks is probably more appropriate. So I saw his posts and actually had recognized him because the friends that I was now hanging out with in California was actually, one of them turned out to be one of his coworkers at Palm and I had been hanging out with her. And I remembered the story she had told me about when her friend had taken a sabbatical to Costa Rica, he had loaned her his Prius to try out. And that's kind of one of the first conversations I had with her, and I had been following her on Live Journal and had seen him post his comment.
So I was familiar with him, but I didn't know his story. And that got me involved in the story. And I just did a simple little reply that said, "Hi, we have friends in common, I'm planning to come to Burning Man in my Prius and I hope to see you there." And somehow, he took that to be, "I want to sell my house, move into a time travel trailer and spent my life with you."
Honey: 08:06 That's what I read into that, by the way.
Cherie: 08:08 I knew it. I'm really subtle with my communication.
Chris: 08:11 It was basically that. And it was actually because that was in the April, May timeframe and she's in Florida and I'm adventuring all up and down the West Coast. And it was basically we left it. It's like, "We'll see you at Burning Man." But we started to correspond more online and then after I was part of a huge project at Burning Man that year, one of the biggest in the desert, so I was out there for three weeks. He came back and was like, "Hey, I never saw you there. I guess, you didn't make it." And she's like, "No, it didn't work out, but I'm taking a trip to California if you want to get together, and meet in person."
I was like, "Oh yeah, let's do it." I asked her when she's free and she said, "Well, I'm free in Wednesday from 2:00, and then I've got something going on Thursday afternoon." I was like, "Okay, I'll take it."
Cherie: 08:50 And if it hadn't been first having friends in common to vouch for this dude that I met on a Prius forum, traveling around in a trailer without a bathroom was not crazy, then I probably wouldn't have done it.
Chris: 09:02 I picked her up for an overnight first date.
Blaine: 09:04 We need to toast. We forgot to toast at the beginning.
Chris: 09:06 Here we go.
Blaine: 09:08 Every year, every CoupleCo gets wine unless they tell us not to. It's the middle of the day, we've all got things to do, we're drinking a very low alcohol Prosecco and bubbly water depending on who we are.
Chris: 09:19 That's delicious.
Cherie: 09:21 That's bubbly.
Honey: 09:22 You're together, like big first date-
Blaine: 09:25 But the story really goes deeper than that, because you didn't date very long, did you?
Chris: 09:31 Well, the first 27 hours.
Cherie: 09:32 No. Technically, we were still dating. So it depends on how you look at it.
Blaine: 09:35 Yeah, I suppose. 10 years later?
Chris: 09:38 Actually I think-
Blaine: 09:38 12 years later.
Cherie: 09:39 The first meeting actually was, this Thursday we will be celebrating the 12 year anniversary of that first meeting, which we actually do consider to be our real anniversary because when we met in person, we pretty much knew.
Honey: 09:52 That was it.
Blaine: 09:52 Lucky you.
Chris: 09:55 A couple of hours into that date, she was like, "You know, I'm going on a cruise in Florida and maybe you should come along. And I've got a friend in Disney with great cast member rates, so a really cheap, great crews." And I'm like, "I've got plans in Thanksgiving and St Louis and Christmas in Baltimore." The cruise was right in between, "Sure, I'll swing down and we'll do that." So by the end of that first date, I was kind of already plotting to be in Florida in two months for a second date. And she's like, "Maybe we should have another second date."
Cherie: 10:22 When I realize he was actually starting to drive across the country, and he was actually on the way-
Chris: 10:29 I was going across the country anyway.
Cherie: 10:30 You were. And you had actually made the deposit on the cruise cabin with me. I was like, "Maybe before I introduce you to all my friends and my family, we should meet one more time," so I actually flew out to Colorado along his trip across country and we spent four days together, so that was the second date. And then the third date lasted a couple months.
Chris: 10:49 A couple of months.
Blaine: 10:49 Third date was a couple of months?
Chris: 10:51 Yes.
Blaine: 10:51 Really?
Chris: 10:51 Yes. Because I got to Florida, we went on the cruise, and I'm like, "Hey, come up to a Christmas with my family," so she hopped in the tiny little RV-
Cherie: 11:00 No, no. Actually, we ended up taking my Prius up there and we-
Chris: 11:02 Oh right, we left the RV down in Florida.
Cherie: 11:04 We couch surfed with on the web.
Chris: 11:06 That's right. We did a little couch surfing trip through the Christmas trip I was doing, and then we went back down to Florida. And then it basically never ended.
Cherie: 11:11 We started taking his trailer out. I already had a pop up camper, so I was familiar with RVing, but pop up camping and full time RVing-
Blaine: 11:19 It's a whole other deal.
Cherie: 11:20 We started taking his little trailer out to some Florida state parks, and we'd go out for a week or two at a time, practice me working remotely from there, learning all this mobile internet stuff and how we stay connected.
Chris: 11:32 That's because she had 9:00 to 5:00 commitments, she had to be online. I was doing random bits of consulting and stuff, but I had much more control over my schedule. So we had to perfect the art of good connectivity, these hours.
Honey: 11:44 Cherie, you also have a tech background?
Cherie: 11:46 Yes. So I grew up ... My father was a tech entrepreneur in the '70s with software development.
Blaine: 11:53 Wow, software development in the '70s?
Chris: 11:53 He was one of the first.
Blaine: 11:55 What language?
Cherie: 11:56 Basic 2, on the Wang 2200.He started in Wang 2200. So I started out programming Wangs.
Chris: 12:02 She grew up playing with your daddy's Wangs.
Blaine: 12:03 Programming Wangs. Wow.
Chris: 12:06 My father actually got visited by child protective services because I did tell a preschool teacher that I had spent the weekend playing with my daddy's Wang.
Blaine: 12:16 I hope very quickly he was shown the Wang.
Cherie: 12:19 Yeah, it's a big, huge box.
Honey: 12:22 "Daddy, show him your Wang. It's okay."
Cherie: 12:25 I swore that I was not going to do computers as a career, so I tried everything else from, I studied Russian in university, I was gearing up to go work in the foreign service. I was going to be an astronaut, I was going to be a doctor. I was going to do anything but be a software programmer. And he needed like over the summer some help writing a manual for his next software project when I was in university, and somehow-
Chris: 12:49 You got sucked in.
Cherie: 12:50 I ended up running the company. And what he did was a lot of consulting to hospitals and government agencies doing full scale custom software. So I got to be a kind of a business analyst. And the client that I was supporting at the time when I met Chris is this little company you might have heard of the called the Army. I ran their resource and budget management systems for all their hospitals around the world. So I had to this mission critical job that I had to be online for from 9:00 to 5:00 and I was used to working remotely.
I would travel, I would use hotel wifi, I'd go visit friends. I worked from home in my pj's all the time, so I was used to being mobile and working remotely, but this was taking it to a different level.
Blaine: 13:31 Totally. Man, I can see you laying the groundwork here for our business model.
Honey: 13:35 So was date four just taking off?
Chris: 13:39 We decided a date ended if we we were apart for 24 hours, and so technically transitioned from the third to the fourth date or something.
Cherie: 13:48 So date five was seven months on the road. It was our trial seven months on the road full time. So we went 13,000 miles around the country in this little trailer.
Chris: 13:55 And we've basically been in a tiny box and now slightly larger box or floating box together for most of 12 years. We've barely been apart.
Honey: 14:03 So Cherie, on that seven months, I know Chris at that point you didn't have a house, correct?
Chris: 14:08 No, I'd gotten rid of everything.
Honey: 14:08 So Cherie, you still had a house?
Cherie: 14:10 I had had my house up for sale when I first started communicating with him, because remember I was trying to sell it to move to California. Well, this is 2006 and in Florida, we were about a year or two ahead of the housing crash, because we had the hurricanes plus I lived on the space coast and NASA had just announced that the shuttle program was coming to an end. So housing crashed a little bit ahead of the country there. So quickly, I had a house that had appreciated in massive value and now was underwater.
So I decided to keep the house while I was on this trial run with Chris because I couldn't get it sold anyway and I had an ex partner at the time who was living in it so he could continue to-
Chris: 14:49 Pay rent.
Cherie: 14:49 ... use that as his base camp. So we decided not to sell at that point. And then it wasn't until we got done with that seven month trial run, we came back and then started really putting serious motions towards what it's going to be more sustainable for two of us to be on the road and get rid of the house.
Chris: 15:05 That first trailer was really tiny. I did not plan ... The one thing I did not expect in my first year on the road was to find somebody who wanted to be a life partner-
Honey: 15:14 It was company.
Blaine: 15:15 To share your trailer.
Chris: 15:17 I always had a tiny little Jeep Liberty towing a 16 foot tab clamshell with the kitchen out the back. Inside, it was barely enough to stand up in it, and it was either a bed or a table. I first took it apart and put solar panels and batteries and mobile internet and all that stuff was in there, but it had no refrigerator, it had no bathroom, it had no air conditioning. None of those things because, you know, who needs them. And it had no space for another person. I had every nook and cranny filled.
Cherie: 15:44 And remember, he has this paramotor with him, so all the space in the Jeep Liberty is consumed with an airplane.
Chris: 15:49 With a flying machine, yes.
Cherie: 15:50 So I had literally had to move into just, I had this little box so that I could put like three outfits in, and that's what I had to move into. And my laptop-
Chris: 16:00 And she had to get rid of her laptop because she had one of these massive gaming laptops that was about three inches thick and when she turned it on, the sun got dim through the solar panel, so I'm like, "This is not going to work living on the road, you need something more power efficient."
Blaine: 16:14 I think we've got a pretty good idea of how this all started, how you met, what the foundation for Technomadia was. Let's fast forward to, how the heck did you start Technomadia? This your business together, which is all you do.
Cherie: 16:29 That is actually the fallacy. Technomadia is not our business.
Honey: 16:31 I like your saying, okay.
Blaine: 16:34 So we just got to shut down the microphones and leave now.
Cherie: 16:38 Technomadia is just our personal blog. All it was originally was we wanted to play ... We were both already blogging on Live Journal, which was kind of a Facebook style blogging platform before Facebook.
Blaine: 16:49 I remember those days, yes.
Cherie: 16:52 All Technomadia was in the beginning, was just one website that aggregated both of our feeds that we tagged Nomad. So every post that we made together, we basically wanted a place so that our parents knew we were alive and not on the side of the road dead somewhere. That's all it started as.
Honey: 17:09 Yeah. By the way, my mother only ever pictures me on the side of the road in a ditch. I don't know what's going on in my life, but I always end up in a ditch.
Cherie: 17:17 And there's a lot of ditches out there.
Blaine: 17:18 It seems like your nephew has decided that you're going to be at the side of the road in a greasy motel. I don't know where that came from.
Honey: 17:26 We were staying with family and we needed to get moving and we were having a problem with the RV and if Blaine wasn't able to fix it, we would have been stuck there. And he said, "Well, at least you're with family. You could be in a greasy motel." Wow. Those are my two options.
Blaine: 17:42 Yeah, in a ditch or a greasy motel. Something about your family. Anyway, we digress. Go on.
Cherie: 17:47 So basically as we're setting off on the seven month adventure, we're thinking, we need a place where we can both share our stories. He actually took the word Technomadia. He knew Steve Roberts, who was the original tech nomad from the '80s, who biked across America with a computer.
Blaine: 18:04 I'm sit here, "Why do I know this name?"
Chris: 18:06 He coined the word Technomadia. He wrote a book about it, was on the Donahue Show and he had the most insane bicycle ever, 600 pounds, solar panels, satellite up link in the '80s. And he was a good friend of mine. He's been a been a really great friend forever. And actually one of the first places I went when I hit the road was up to his lab near Seattle, and that's where I took my RV apart and put the solar panels on and everything.
Cherie: 18:25 So when he was up there, they shared their music library together and they called it Technomadia.
Chris: 18:29 That was out joint iTunes library.
Cherie: 18:33 Chris' cousin registered the domain name Technomadia and forever more, we have been correcting people. It's not Techno media, it's Technomadia, I don't clean with technology-
Chris: 18:44 It's not Techno Manias, it's just Technomadia-
Cherie: 18:48 Technomadia, and that's just stuck, and that just became the blog name. It was originally just a resyndication of both of our personal Live Journal blogs-
Chris: 18:56 And then we redesigned the site several, many iterations times.
Cherie: 19:01 It was friends and family, and then as people started asking questions, "Well, how are you getting your mail? Oh, how you doing your banking?"
Chris: 19:08 How are you getting solar power?
Cherie: 19:10 So we just started ... We're just both the type of bloggers, that's what we were. It's like, "Oh well, I'll answer that question."
Chris: 19:10 I'll write a big article.
Cherie: 19:16 And so, by the time several years go by, Technomadia had grown. We were one of the only ... There were blogs out back then on full time RVing, but we were one of the ones, the only ones out there working on the road and sharing about the technology side, of the lifestyle side. And we just happened to be there as the housing bubble in ... the financial crash in 2008. We just happened to have the information ready to go.
Chris: 19:42 And a lot of people started rethinking their lives, and like, "Oh, do I really want the regular 9:00 to 5:00 job?" And follow this formula. And they're like, they go online and start searching, "Can I hit the road?" And they're like, "Oh my God, somebody is making it work." We were there. Our business has always been, even when we started doing consulting together, our business was off on a separate name, Two Steps Beyond, and now it's always been the business side over there.
Cherie: 20:02 So we did consulting, so that's where I continued to work with my clients, with my father. So I still ran the company remotely with my dad. Chris would come in and help with some of the tech side of that.
Chris: 20:12 And we would do our own individual consulting projects under the Two Steps Beyond thing.
Cherie: 20:16 Started writing some mobile apps. We'd be hired by coMpanies to do unique product launches. We orchestrated a double decker-
Chris: 20:24 A a double decker party bus in San Francisco.
Cherie: 20:27 At Mac World to help a new app be released. We would just go do fun stuff, and we'd take these unique little gigs. And eventually, we started, the Escapees hired us to help them come up with an idea to reach out to younger RVers that they were on the road.
Blaine: 20:44 If you don't know Escapees, they're a kind of a support group for people who live full time in RVs.
Cherie: 20:49 We helped them launch the Xscapers, which is now targeting the more active RVer, because the original Escapees from the '70s, those folks aren't now aging out.
Chris: 20:58 And Xscapers is more targeted to people who are working on the road, raising kids in the road and stuff. I guess there's was a club within a club that's taken off like crazy.
Blaine: 21:07 Honey, you don't know this, we are Xscapers. I'm obviously not active. I know I'm an Xscapers and that's a battle.
Cherie: 21:14 Awesome.
Chris: 21:15 They're having a lot of great events and rendezvous and stuff. We'll be actually going to their big annual bash this year.
Cherie: 21:20 We were brought onboard to help launch the Our Village website, which is all about meeting people on the road. So you check into your RV park and you can find out who's around you, what interest they have. So we helped do the launch site of that. And then through all of this, we got so tired of answering question after question about mobile internet, like, "How are we keeping online to do all this stuff?" And we would just do a blog post mentIon, "Hey, we got this plan, we got this new booster, we got this new router, this is how it's working." And our inbox was full with questions all the time.
My father passed away in 2013, and part of my grieving process was I got tired of all these emails. I said, "I'm just going to go, take all these blog posts that are scattered throughout our website and make a book." Or actually I was going to make one blog post and then I figured 30,000 words was too much for a blog post so it became a book. And so we published the first edition of the mobile internet handbook, and it was just a compilation of our blog posts.
Chris: 22:18 And it was a very quickly put together, poorly formatted. We were great writers, but the book was not put a lot of effort into it.
Cherie: 22:18 I wrote in in a week.
Blaine: 22:29 I have written a book in a week, it is possible.
Chris: 22:32 And so people were like, "Hey, this is great." It did well, but of course it was very specific to that point in time, and a year later, mobile internet was completely different, and we're like, "Crap, we got to rewrite." Yeah, it is the beauty of digital.
Cherie: 22:45 I said, "Oh, thank gosh," it's because it takes a lot of ... to update everything. So at that point, a year later, we had just worked with launching Our Village. We were just coming on board to work with the Escapees, and so we put out an Indiegogo campaign to say, "Hey, the next edition of the book, it needs to be rewritten. We've had a lot of requests to expand the content, and we've had requests to make a website and actually have a premium membership." So we launched the campaign, and it was completely funded.
And that kind of spurred us, gave us the funding to not have to take more jobs because Our Village and Xscapers, we did those-
Chris: 23:21 Kind of of passion project.
Cherie: 23:22 They're passion projects. We did not do that for money, and we didn't take much at all, just enough to make it official. The funding, we wrote the book over that summer, launched the website and we figured, "Well, if we can get two or three people to join a week, it's fine as a side project, and that's where it is and now it's our full time.
Chris: 23:41 And now we've got staff.
Honey: 23:42 It sounds like working together just happened, it was just organic.
Blaine: 23:49 You snowballed into a business really, it seems.
Chris: 23:52 I can't imagine not working together because if you're in such a small space and so much of your time is spent talking about work or doing work, you might as well have those conversations be together as opposed to trying to go off and have separate conference calls.
Cherie: 24:04 But we also just had very complimentary skillsets and backgrounds. I come from a family that my parents worked together most of my life, so for me, my mother-
Blaine: 24:16 Oh really, your mother was also a geek?
Cherie: 24:18 She wasn't a geek.
Chris: 24:19 She was the business manager.
Blaine: 24:22 Oh, she was the business manager-
Cherie: 24:23 Of the company. So I worked with my parents most of my 20s, and I grew up watching my parents run a business together.
Chris: 24:30 N Cherie's never had a regular-
Cherie: 24:32 Yes I did.
Chris: 24:32 Well, not corporate job.
Cherie: 24:33 Not corporate. I did work with the banks for a while. I tried not doing these-
Chris: 24:38 She's completely got this in her blood. She's like, family, business, work together with your partner is like what her model is?
Cherie: 24:45 I've exes in my life, major relationships I've had, they worked in the business too. We would be living together and working together and then we'd go our separate ways relationship wise or romantic partnership wise, and we'd still work together.
Chris: 25:03 Dating her was you have to date her dad as well and work with them.
Honey: 25:03 And how did that work out?
Blaine: 25:03 That was the interesting part of a relationship.
Cherie: 25:10 My dad just fell in love with him the instant they met.
Blaine: 25:16 How could he not, look at him. Your beard is amazing.
Cherie: 25:17 I don't think you had the beard then.
Chris: 25:19 Just had the goatee at the time.
Honey: 25:21 So it just got better?
Blaine: 25:24 It's interesting because entrepreneurism was modeled for you Cherie. It wasn't modeled for you, Chris.
Chris: 25:31 Not entrepreneurism, but the traveling and adventure was. I grew up with my parents living all over the world because my dad worked for Texaco and would do oil projects, so I grew up in Indonesia for a chunk of my prime years and lived in the jungle. I had a pet gibbon growing up.
Blaine: 25:47 Well, doesn't every kid have pet gibbon?
Chris: 25:50 Well, we got in trouble because we got my mom a baby bear for mother's day one year and she made us give it back because bears apparently grow big. These are the sort of things you do in the jungle is, if somebody comes door to door selling bear cubs, you're like, "Sure, I'll take that."
Blaine: 26:02 Me too.
Honey: 26:02 That's cute.
Blaine: 26:05 By the way, is geek considered a pejorative? I always use it as a term of endearment.
Chris: 26:09 I love geek.
Cherie: 26:10 We love geek, dork, nerd, I'm good with them all.
Chris: 26:13 I'm particularly fond of geek.
Blaine: 26:15 Because I'm one of the geeks. I'm just not smart enough, but I really appreciate ... And one of the things I've done for a living is do technical writing, taking the tech stuff and dumbing it down for lay audiences, and if the geeks can make me understand it, then I can figure out how to make people who aren't as smart as I am understand it.
Chris: 26:32 That was my thing for the longest time as I was engineering background and got hired ... my job that brought me to California, was writing for a computer magazine, translating geek into normal version.
Blaine: 26:42 Into English.
Cherie: 26:42 Actually, we are into geek wannabes speak. And that's what I get as well.
Honey: 26:48 It's good to be aspirational.
Cherie: 26:51 I was a programmer, but I found that my passion was in creating systems, and that meant that I needed to go into the hospitals and talk to the people that were going to be using the software that we wrote, and I needed to understand what they needed and their workflow.
Chris: 26:51 And write the training and-
Cherie: 27:06 And then translate that to mind geeks, my dad and my whoever else we had on staff, and then go back and train it to the people that were going to be using it. That was also one of my skill sets, was being able to be that middle ground.
Honey: 27:21 You said that when you came together and it seemed natural because you had complimentary skill sets, so it's not that you were just in the same area of work, you were both involved in tech. What were the skill sets that you brought together? What was the compliment?
Cherie: 27:36 We both had journalism backgrounds, so he went up to San Francisco to work on the magazine. My company, we actually published the magazine, so I was doing tech writing, senior editing. I knew that whole industry, I started that when I was like 15, and then we were both bloggers, so we both had a strong writing background and a strong background of explaining high tech topics in normal language. That was definitely one of the unique skills.
Blaine: 28:07 Is it safe to say that what we have here in Technomadia is a hobby that turned into a career?
Cherie: 28:10 Not Technomadia. We have strived very hard to keep Technomadia strictly our personal. It's strictly a personal blog.
Chris: 28:19 It wasn't getting really money a couple of years ago, we actually had to kind of ... Because we had a single YouTube channel just because we didn't really think of YouTube as much and now it's a big thing, and so we had to have a split where we split it off the mobile internet resource stuff and our work stuff is off, mobile internet resource, we do that as under different channels. Sometimes you have other things on it, and then Technomadia, wasn't ... This is our fun channel, we'll put whatever we want, we're not there to please anyone but ourselves.
Cherie: 28:43 We're just sharing our journey, and if we feel like going and doing a three blog posts series about our new lithium batteries while we're going to go right to that series because that's fun. That is our hobby for us. We're not selling batteries, we're not, we have no interest in financial or business interests in the industry.
Chris: 28:59 The mobile internet side, then became the business.
Cherie: 29:02 And it started hobby because the book started as a survival really from our inbox. And so the book started there and then when we realized that was going to be the business model, then we had to rebrand that as its own entity.
Blaine: 29:16 For the short attention span world out there that needs to know immediately what's going on, what is your business and what is the model? If we can even make this succinct, I don't know, because you are the most multi layered people we've ever spoken to.
Honey: 29:31 You are. But you did talk about your business model earlier and I thought that was really fantastic.
Cherie: 29:35 We launched the Mobile Internet Resource Center in 2014 when we decided to make the book its own thing. Mobile Internet Resource Center is our primary funding.
Chris: 29:44 Mobileinternetinfo.com.
Cherie: 29:46 And at that website, we have a new center where we're tracking the industry constantly of new plans, new gear that comes out. We analyze it specifically for our viewers and now cruisers since we live part of the year on a boat. We have guides, we have the book, we have an app about cellular connectivity, but that is all. We have no advertising on that site, we have no sponsorships and we're not driven by selling stuff. We're not there to sell gear, we don't sell gear, it is all funded by premium memberships.
And we were able to do that because of the reputation we had built by Technomadia, people became to know us as being tech knowledgeable. So people joined the site initially to support us in launching that website.
Chris: 30:28 And then now it's just if you search for mobile internet of anything, we come up as the top hints and and we're very clearly very unbiased advice givers. We give away the majority of what we write and majority of our content, and majority of our guides, and so people will then either want to support that and will join the site or they need that extra 10% of the stuff we reserve for the premium members, which is really, really valuable, deeper stuff. And then they'll join the site and then the members become huge fans and evangelize this everywhere. We don't advertise at all, it's all word of mouth and it is-
Cherie: 31:02 Our members, they get extra, they get Q&A forum, they get webinars with us, so they get more interactive.
Blaine: 31:07 For the record, the material is brilliant. The content is again, 'wanna be'. And I've been reading it and I'm going, "Oh, now I've got so many ideas and so much money to spend."
Cherie: 31:22 And what we've tried to help people, it's like where to spend that money. One of the things we encourage people to do is to assess their mobile internet needs. What do you actually need on the road? What is your travel style? Are you going out in the boonies? Are you staying in urban areas?
Blaine: 31:39 By the way, the going out in the boonies material was crazy good. I was like, "I had no idea it was even possible you can get internet that far."
Chris: 31:46 And there's been so many people who've discovered it, who are hitting the road because they never even imagined that they could take their career on the road until they realized, "Wait, I could get good internet on the road." And suddenly, their prospects open up wide, it opens their eyes.
Cherie: 31:59 But it is not as simple as just calling up your local cable company and subscribing, you need to research the cellular carriers, the data plans, the gear, the antennas, the boosters. If you're going to utilize wifi, what about satellite internet? And all these options, because the variable that us nomads have is our location is changing. And what works best for internet is what works best at your current location.
Chris: 32:21 There's no one quick, simple answer and a lot of people get really obsessed, they just want to throw a lot of money at the problem. And what we do often is talk people out of spending money. It's like how to keep it simpler, how to start small, how to just grow to really fit your needs as opposed to over complicate them. And that's been wonderful.
Honey: 32:37 Before we started recording, you were talking about your business and you had talked about PBS model, which I think is wonderful and admirable and everything that you're saying-
Blaine: 32:37 But you do it without guilting people, thank you.
Honey: 32:52 But when you're talking about raising money and the information you offer, could you just talk about that a little bit?
Chris: 32:58 We never have a pledge drive, but we do make it clear like when we do publish all our free guides and everything, they always end with, "Hey, this is brought to you by our members. Thank our member for the time and energy that went into writing those."
Cherie: 33:11 Most of our guides, we do have some that are completely free, the basic ones, because we want the basic mobile internet user to be able to not have to feel any pressure to join whatsoever. It's those of us that depend on mobile internet and want alerts, they want to know the industry trends that are coming so they can keep ahead of the curve. All of our guides are written with the basics are free and then they get a teaser of, "Okay, these are the deeper topics that are in there, like we just released a guide on security using mobile internet."
So the basic do's and don'ts are at the top, but they get a teaser, "We have a whole section on passwords and VPNs and using SSL and encryption. Those are the deeper topics that are in this guide, so if those are of interest to you." That's where the dividing line is between a basic mobile internet consumer and someone who is depending on it, and would probably benefit from joining, and these are-
Chris: 34:03 Be a member and support it.
Blaine: 34:05 And if you don't know what SSL encryption, any of this jargon means you probably aren't a customer, or maybe you are and you don't know it.
Honey: 34:13 Or at the moment, because these things develop. I remember years ago when we first started, we left Los Angeles.
Blaine: 34:21 I couldn't convince you to get email.
Cherie: 34:24 We left Los Angeles and we moved to a mountain top in Utah. And I couldn't have done that a couple of years before, we did it and then all of a sudden, we have that connectivity.
Blaine: 34:32 When we did that, you had email with you.
Chris: 34:35 It's been amazing how much better conductivity has gotten, just in the last two years, the speeds and the capabilities are just growing.
Cherie: 34:41 We used to have to go uphill both ways using one XRT.
Chris: 34:47 Holding our phone over our head, trying to get one email to go out. Now our cat watches 4K videos every evening of birds on the TV. It's like-
Cherie: 34:56 Streaming over cellular.
Blaine: 34:58 Have you ever had the cat go look behind the TV?
Cherie: 35:00 Oh yeah. We have a pop out TV over there, and she loves it.
Honey: 35:02 We watched, was it CBS Sunday Morning and it was Easter, so they ended with their moment of zen and they, and it was bunnies.
Blaine: 35:10 No, moment of nature.
Honey: 35:11 Moment of nature, sorry.
Blaine: 35:12 Moment of Zen was the Daily Show.
Honey: 35:14 Yeah. So we watched that, I don't know how many times and we were ready to get up and get going, and so we turned the TV off and the cat's like, looks at us, goes looks behind the TV, looks at us, looks behind the TV. "Where are those bunnies?"
Chris: 35:29 Did you realize YouTube has whole sections of videos for cats? Eight hours long, of nothing but birds and squirrels.
Blaine: 35:35 I had no idea of those.
Honey: 35:36 I didn't know that.
Chris: 35:37 There are channels for cats. And what is crazy is people advert ... there's advertising on some of those channels, like who's advertising to a cat?
Blaine: 35:46 Well, whoever's buying that advertising, hasn't really thought about who's their target market.
Cherie: 35:50 Or maybe moms in the room.
Blaine: 35:54 What we probably need to do is move a little bit away from all this tech because we could do an entire 90 minutes show.
Honey: 36:03 And I'm listening, it's fascinating to us because it's what we're doing right now. And I said to Blaine, "Should we call ourselves adnomads?" Because we still have our ad agency.
Blaine: 36:11 While we do CoupleCo, we also serve our clients around the world from the Couple Coach and then-
Honey: 36:17 We use all this stuff. So this is all fascinating.
Blaine: 36:21 They don't have to worry about it, but boy, it is interesting, try and run an ad agency from a little RV.
Honey: 36:26 Yeah, we kept it going, we were in Europe for two weeks, so it just kept meetings going, everything.
Blaine: 36:32 Functionally, how did the two of you work together?
Cherie: 36:35 I sit over here.
Chris: 36:35 And I tend to sit here.
Honey: 36:38 I'll take a picture of the desk.
Cherie: 36:40 And we text each other back and forth, "Look at this article? What do you think about it? Do we need to do a story on it?"
Chris: 36:46 We actually have an interesting pattern we get into when we have really big projects though.
Cherie: 36:49 Like rewriting a book or something like that.
Chris: 36:51 Is we basically work 24/7, but like tag team, because I'm a natural night owl. My most productive time is from midnight till 5:00 AM.
Blaine: 36:51 I used to be that way. I love that.
Chris: 36:59 If I'm trying to write something or do something really where I to focus, I want no other distractions, she'll go to bed and then I'll leave a whole bunch of notes and she'll get up at, she's an early riser. She'll get up at like 7:00 or 8:00 and be like, "Okay, here's the editing and working. Here's the next part of the project." And then we'll get together in the afternoon, I'll go to sleep through the morning. We'll get together in the afternoon, we'll go for a walk, we'll go out to dinner and like time we'll just resync up, hand it back off. We're like tag team.
And that's why we were able to write the book so fast is we just went into crazy hyper productive mode, but also, that wasn't very sustainable, but we're really, really good at it.
Honey: 37:33 I was going to say, how long does the hyper productive mode last?
Chris: 37:37 As long as we need to.
Cherie: 37:37 The book, we do a rewrite of the book, we typically have to do annually to keep it fresh enough, is we'll spend two or three weeks in this mode and maybe take a couple of days off.
Honey: 37:47 That's a long time.
Cherie: 37:48 It's a long time, and we're not getting quality time together necessarily during that timeframe, but that's how we work best when we're writing an app or doing a major project, is we'll just work in that cycle for a week or two and then we'll just take some serious downtime after that.
Honey: 38:05 When we were writing screenplays together, we were doing the handoff methods. But with a screenplay, my pass would be five days and then he would take five.
Blaine: 38:17 Five days and a completed screenplay would come out the other end of the pipe.
Honey: 38:20 Well, not a good one.
Blaine: 38:21 Well, no but it was complete.
Honey: 38:23 Yeah, it was beginning to end. And so then as we pass it off, the time would get shorter and shorter and shorter as we got closer to what we thought was a finished product. But, wow.
Chris: 38:34 I guess also some of our handoffs, is Cherie is the fastest worker and the fastest content creator and writer I've ever run across. You could create something huge and complicated and everything in an incredible pace. And then I do the detail work and the refining.
Blaine: 38:53 You're code geniuses? We each have a different genius.
Cherie: 38:58 Yes we do. I'm usually the one that's best to break the back of an article or big things. I can just go through it. I pretty much have the outline already written my head and I'm just a printer and I'm just getting it out. But by the time I'm done, it's not polished, there are typos all over the place. I have [shree-isms 00:39:16] everywhere.
Blaine: 39:17 It's the word vomit method of writing.
Cherie: 39:19 Right. And then I have to hand it off to someone to polish up for me. I can also work very well on the other side. Our staff does this for me. Now, we have three paid staff members who help us with the content. They'll go do the research, I'll send them off to go do the fact checking of whatever we're writing an article on or a guide on. Then they'll get the meat of the article or a guide done and then we'll come in and polish it up.
Blaine: 39:42 It's interesting that it is possible to work that way. People hear that and think, "Oh, it can't be any good." But if you actually write uninhibited and just get it all out and then fix what's wrong with it later, it's really, I don't know-
Honey: 39:42 That's how we did it.
Blaine: 39:57 But you don't publish it after the first. You'll still publish it after the-
Honey: 39:58 That's how we did it, because I was the one who could get it all on the page and it didn't bother me if there was a typo, if there was this or that, I didn't worry about that.
Blaine: 40:07 That is one of the reasons people hate writing because they self edit all the time.
Honey: 40:12 And then Blaine would come through and make it good.
Chris: 40:15 And then one of the things, the skills I bring is, I'm a really deep researcher, so whenever I'm diving into a topic, I usually end up knowing more about it than the people who are creating it, who are the sources of information. I'm asking them questions, they're like, "We never thought of that." And so we're focusing on something unique or an angle that somebody hasn't covered before. We're not just trying to put our own spin on a story, that's where I'll just dive into something and squeeze it.
Cherie: 40:41 There'll be section sometimes of a guide or an article that he's done that are just, there's this one area that's just awesome and super deep technical and we have to bring it back up to human level, but then the rest of the article is completely ignored. It's like it's scattered because he doesn't necessarily see the big picture and how it all flows together. Whereas I've got the whole map of all, we have a thousand guides and articles on the site now, I have the map in my head of how they all come together, how they feed to each other, how they drip into each other to get someone from basics to complex, so that when someone does join the site, I know that they're vetted to be someone who needs to be there.
I have given them all the free content, they should have been able to get what we want them to get out of it. And if they are choosing to join, it's by their choice, not because I forced them into it.
Blaine: 41:32 I'm fascinated by the fact that you have all this in your head, these maps, all these articles.
Chris: 41:38 Nearly a thousand articles.
Blaine: 41:39 And still, you are a drinker.
Honey: 41:45 But we'll say, she's drinking bubbly water because she's got to work later today. So clearly, she's responsible.
Cherie: 41:51 I know when to drink and not drink.
Blaine: 41:51 My brain cells, I don't know-
Chris: 41:54 There are times I have to try and prevent Cherie from editing the site late at night. It's like, "No, no, no. It's late. You'll just going to have to undo this tomorrow."
Blaine: 42:02 Are there ever times where one of you looks at the other's work and goes, "What were you thinking?"
Cherie: 42:07 Oh Yeah.
Chris: 42:07 Oh yeah. There's definitely times like that.
Blaine: 42:11 Well, it's nice to know that happens.
Cherie: 42:14 Oh yeah. For sure. There's times I'll go, look at something he's written the next day, and, "You totally miss the major point that we're trying to make with this. You have all this awesome detail around it and how to use this product, but you missed the major point that we're trying to make."
Blaine: 42:29 It connects to the internet, remember? We know that this question right about this time in an interview, we would ask how does this affect the kids? But I think-
Cherie: 42:39 The cat.
Blaine: 42:40 The cat is probably apathetic.
Chris: 42:43 She cares.
Honey: 42:44 I think the cat's had a great life. I've seen video blogs about the feeding of and all the equipment.
Cherie: 42:53 Everything revolves around the cat, feeding time and-
Honey: 42:56 As it should.
Blaine: 42:57 Well, cat really runs the business as he should.
Chris: 42:58 Yes. And most of our big upgrade projects give the cat things, like cat wants to run the air conditioner while we're away from the RV and we need to run it off batteries instead of a generator, so we'll do this huge electrical project just for the cat.
Blaine: 43:12 Just for the cat?
Chris: 43:12 Yes.
Blaine: 43:13 Wow. You realize, I think you're missing a multi billion dollar opportunity.
Honey: 43:13 No. I'm going to guess they'll pick up on that.
Blaine: 43:20 No, cat technology.
Honey: 43:22 Cat tech.
Blaine: 43:24 What's the craziest thing that has ever happened on your job or maybe in your travels while trying to do your job?
Cherie: 43:32 Oh gosh.
Blaine: 43:34 Is there anything Denzel?
Honey: 43:34 Or a crazy.
Chris: 43:36 Crazy things. There have been, I guess some of the crazy things is when there's a major breaking story and we have to drop whatever we had been planned to jump on top of it. It's like Verizon cancels unlimited plans or something like that, something that affects a lot of our audience and people are freaking out.
Cherie: 43:57 That does get stressful because we have our membership that we try to give them priority support, so we'll go and host webinars. We're in the Q&A forums with them nonstop, trying to help coach them through this situation. And then it's also hitting in the public side, so we also host a Facebook group that's got 32,000 members in it as of this morning. This is the free side of it and we have paid staff that monitors that, but a lot of stuff comes in there and that group almost sometimes takes some more effort and more time to get information out to support, especially when big stuff is going on. Facebook is horrible for answering questions and getting information out.
Chris: 44:39 And everybody wants an instant answer and you don't want to follow a link.
Cherie: 44:43 And so yeah, it does get very stressful in those moments and that's why I'm very thankful that we're able to have staff that helps us with this so that while we're concentrating on the membership or do trying to do a deep dive into the research to find out what the answers are or what's really going on, our staff can be in the main groups, keeping things calm.
Honey: 45:04 What was the breaking point of, "We need staff now"?
Chris: 45:09 It was that Facebook group.
Cherie: 45:11 That Facebook group is ... That's where the whole membership model came from is because we launched the group when we first did the first edition of the book, the one before it was our career. And it was just to keep people up to date on the book and stuff and just a place to talk about mobile internet.
Chris: 45:26 And it was kind of freeform, but it just started growing and growing and growing and people just kept asking the same questions over and over again.
Cherie: 45:36 It's like, this is just hobby, this is just free time for us. And it's after hours and people, their expectations that we're on call for them 24/7 to answer whatever mobile internet question they had, it weighed on me. It got to like, "I have a job, I have a full time job, I can't be in here all the time hand holding everybody through this." So someone suggested, "Launch a membership site."
Chris: 45:56 People would happily pay for this. We we like, "Really?"
Cherie: 45:59 So we did. But that site is still there and that we do consider it a gift. It is a part of what we can offer to the community. And it is part of the revenue generation.
Blaine: 46:07 Well, it's the de facto marketing for membership.
Chris: 46:09 It leads people in, because it gives them a nice free free door to come in and learn how good of an experts we are, how much of great free information we have.
Cherie: 46:17 But it was 2016, it was like one of these incidents came up again, big news item. We're trying to focus on the membership, that group's going crazy and we just realized, "We can't do it all. We can't be spending 40, 60 hours a week writing content, helping the membership and be trying to help the public all on our own."
Chris: 46:38 Because when something big is happening, the freeloaders come out of the woodwork, they've never been in the site, they never bought anything but suddenly, they need their answer, they need it tailored to their-
Blaine: 46:47 I'm a freeloader. Sorry.
Chris: 46:50 But you've posted big demanding rants on the forum?
Blaine: 46:53 No, I haven't.
Chris: 46:55 We're happy to have all sorts of people who are sponging up information, but when somebody is like, "Hey, I just got my plan canceled. This is ... "
Cherie: 47:02 Help me now.
Chris: 47:03 "I want to get the attorney general involved, this is outrageous."
Cherie: 47:07 It's like, "Give me the solution now." You do realize that we're researching it right now and we'll get published content out there now, but the people who have paid for us to be here to be on top of it, they get our priority.
Blaine: 47:18 Do you ever get to ban those people?
Cherie: 47:20 We do sometimes, if they get belligerent, if they start using curse words, if they get too demanding, yes, we will ban them. We try not to, we try to keep it civil, but you never fails to get some, "Oh, you're just trying to get money from me." It's like, "If that's your attitude, then I'm not going to able to convince you otherwise."
Blaine: 47:34 How would you even try to get money from somebody on a free media?
Chris: 47:38 Because a lot of people complain about, is like, "Okay, here's your answers in this guide." They go to the guide and it's like, "Well, the guide is only half free. The other part is paid."
Cherie: 47:48 But the answer you're looking for us in the free part.
Honey: 47:50 So they don't want to read it?
Cherie: 47:55 No. They want to read it, they want the free content, but they want it all for free.
Chris: 47:58 The internet is meant to be free, information is meant to be free.
Cherie: 48:01 You should just do advertising. I don't want to, I don't want my content cluttered with advertising and I don't want my income source controlled by a third party that could change the whole model of advertising on me.
Blaine: 48:13 But some people have no problem with that and then of course they find the whole model has being changed on them.
This has been part one of our conversation with Cherie Ve Ard and Chris Dunphy of Technomadia.com and the Mobile Internet Resource Center at Mobileinternetinfo.com
Honey: 48:33 If you enjoyed this podcast and you think it would be useful or fun for other couple entrepreneurs, please go to iTunes and leave a star rating and a review, the reviews really help, and that will help other people find it.
Blaine: 48:45 And join us next time when we returned to Jacksonville to finish our conversation with Cherie and Chris.
Honey: 48:50 They talk further about their staffing and their life on the road.
Blaine: 48:53 They discuss the value gained from paying their people well.
Honey: 48:56 And how profiting from a reputation as experts might prevent another revenue stream.
Blaine: 49:01 Next time you're on CoupleCo, working with your spouse for fun and profit.
Honey: 49:04 Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.
Blaine: 49:07 Love you baby.
Honey: 49:09 Love you too.
Blaine: 49:09 CoupleCo out.