Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Internet's Future: Read It Here First!

According to this survey, the "Content is King" days are re-emerging. (That's the thing ya gotta love about pendulums: they always swing back.)

As the development and consumption of Internet content grows, I will be keen to see how it all plays out with the Web 2.0 & Long Tail trends. There are a lot of hotshit companies out there who are figuring out how-to better index, tag, serve, track and share Internet multimedia of all sorts, and how-to make it all work in a multi-platform (firmware - PC, iPod, cellphone, etc.), multi-service (VOIP, SMS, IM, Presence, etc.) environment.

I see a confluence-in-the-making, leading us toward a Web of unheralded importance & fun:

The Internet (specifically broadband) is growing in terms of audience and influence;

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Internet content development & consumption are projected to rise dramatically;

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Mashups are empowering changes to consumers' surfing habits: the channel-surfing of TV Days (pull) will be supplanted by an integrated browsing experience (push/on-demand), in which content is sucked up, re-mixed & re-presented based on users' proven/projected habits and/or the proven/projected desires of their social network;

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Long Tail theologians make sure that there's nothing too obscure or perverse to create.

It's worth extrapolating: Imagine a day in which a Firefox extension enables your browser to fire up a Web experience based on your typical surfing patterns, but also mashes this experience together, based on: where you are geographically located at the time of the session... auto-detected download speeds... browser versions... plug-ins... even the time of day.

That's the easy part, though. We need to further imagine that this Firefox extension also enabled you to reconfigure your browsing experience based on the tagged-on-the-fly, in-the-making, up-to-the-minute surfing sessions of your friends and/or social group.

And what if that social-surfing group was also configurable on-the-fly? ... "Let me see a mashed-up view of the Web, based on what my LinkedIn network has been looking at (safe-for-work surfing)... Let's see what all my college buddies are looking at (not-safe-for-work surfing)... Let's see what all my IM friends are doing..." (all of this would be anonymized at some level, of course)!

What does this mean for PR? It's all GOOD. As noted recently, more content implies more influencers to develop the content, which creates more opportunity to influence these influencers - who will, no doubt, be voraciously hungry for good content, which PR can help to provide. A virtuous cycle.

What am I talking about, here? "Web 2.0" is already taken, as a moniker. Maybe "Surfing 2.0"? "Content 2.0"?

How about "Fun 2.0"?

2 Comments:

Blogger PR Minority said...

The Internet does have plenty of growth opportunities. Given that, will innovation be primarily driven by smart people with ideas, open source conversions into commercial products and services or acquisitions by the same industry giants? How will this impact PR?

February 01, 2006  
Blogger PR-Guy said...

I think we won't be too surprised by the evolution: there will be a swirl of activity at the start-up level; a few will rise to the top, and most of these stars will be acquired and subsumed into the Borg-like corporations...

But remember, many of these corporations, nowadays, were themselves start-ups not that long ago (Yahoo/Flikr, EBay/Skype, etc.), and can likely be trusted to do th right things with these bluestar brands. Even corporations like IAC and Viacom (which snatched up MySpace) are more prone than ever to acquire the asset but watch it grow vs. slice it up.

Where the deals get ickier is when its a pure tech acquisition, as you see happen at places like IBM, BEA, Oracle. The acquired brands die off...

How will this impact PR? Same way it always has, in terms of clientele. We'll have fun with the start-ups and make money on the big bastards.

February 01, 2006  

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