By Thomas GambleWeb 1.0…….Web 2.0…… Social Networking……
What does it all mean??
The vocabulary being used to describe the Internet has gotten to the point of confusion. Instead of using buzzwords to describe technology this article will focus more on the simplicity of what we now have at our fingertips and how it can help us in everything we do, from consumer messaging and marketing at a business level, to consumer research or just using some neat stuff on the web.
In the beginning there was the Internet… ok, ok, lets not go back that far. When the Internet first became popular it was the perception that it was this great sales tool and that anyone who had a website could and would make truckloads of money. While it did happen for some, for most it did not. What it did show us, however was that there is a new medium for reaching consumer spending and new ways for consumers to shop, compare and buy – all from the comfort of their own home.
I give you Web 1.0.
As the Internet and its technology matured, the birth of probably the most important feature/function occurred, content portability and content on demand. Yes – e-commerce advanced too through the refinement of large-scale auction or sell/buy anything sites such as Priceline, eBay or even Craigslist! But the focus shifted from pure commerce to what the Internet really is – a content repository that can be shared and absorbed from anywhere, by anyone on their terms. Through technical communication standards such as web services, content can be shared and shaped based on what the user wants to see and when they want to see it or even how we as marketers think it should be seen.
With the Internet being always available, people started to use it more then just for shopping. The Internet became a viable content resource to do things such as asking questions using sites like Ask.com or Yahoo Answers, or learning about topics using sites such as Wikipedia.org, or Dictionary.com. These tools provide the ability for users to obtain both formal and social content whenever they want it, from anywhere even a cell phone or other Internet connected device such as an iPod touch. Not only has the content gotten better and more reachable, the technology and means to serve it up has advanced too. It’s now commonplace for a site or device to recognize where the user is and even share that information with the application being interacted with so that content can be changed in real-time to the user viewing it. Talk about a captured audience!
This, my friends, is what Web 2.0 is in the truest sense:
- From the users perspective — being able to get to content on my time on my terms.
- From the marketer’s perspective — being able to serve up content and messaging based on who the user is, where they are geographically even as deep as to the device or what sites or keywords that user used to get to the content being viewed.
As if that wasn’t enough. Let’s take things a bit further. What if I wanted to find friends that I haven’t talked to in a while? Or share how I was feeling, show pictures from a recent trip or even share interesting or helpful sites or articles? Well, now you can. New sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have harnessed the speed and accessibility of the web as an omnipresent delivery medium delivering information to anyone, anywhere, anytime. And what’s best… all this new technology works together using a “post once push many concept”. An example of this concept can be found at www.addthis.com, which allows anyone who wants to make their content share-able across popular social sites possible… FOR FREE! Paid tools such as www.clearspring.com or www.kickapps.com are other great ways to share content.
I give you… drum roll please… Social Media, the power of speed and reach with a push of a button…. strong enough power to win an Election! (see previous blog post)
Why is this important?
And why do I care as a marketer?
- It took radio 38 years to reach a market audience of 50 million
- TV 13 years
- Internet (general) 4 years
- The iPod 3 years
- Facebook 2 years!
- In 2006 Google had 2.7 billion searches. Today there are 31 billion searches on Google every month.
- The first commercial text message was sent in 1992, The total number of text messages sent everyday exceeds the total population of the planet
- There are over 200 million users registered on MySpace, If MySpace was a country it would be the 5th largest in the world
How can I use it?
The philosophy hasn’t changed – Marketing 101, keep the message consistent, just more tools in your bag to get people to read it.
Here is a use-case:
Company x just completed the production of an innovative idea and wants everyone to understand their innovation and their achievement as a leader in their space..
Sample 1 – The basics..
- Mr. Marketer from company X decides to post a news release to the companies’ website about their big achievement.
- Mr. Marker adds a Share button creating a viral component that provides every person that reads the article the ability to share the content on sites ranging from MySpace to Digg to StumbleUpon – driving traffic
- Mr. Marketer then sends a tweet linking the title of the article or subject using the companies twitter account driving those followers to the article. All followers of the companies Twitter account get the update and subsequently the link to the posted article – driving traffic
- Because Mr. Marketer has his Twitter account sent to automatically update the companies Facebook page. The status now carries the same Twitter post to the posted article and has already alerted those who have added company x’s page to their Facebook profile that a new article has been posted – again driving traffic
A simple article that would normally only be viewed by company x’s organic site visitors just received exponential traffic by doing nothing more then:
- Adding a share button
- Updating the companies’ Twitter status
- Linking Twitter updates to Facebook
Total time = less then 5 minutes
Total Payoff = unlimited exposure to people that don’t normally visit company x’s website