The Web is the World
I attended the Internet Outlook breakfast hosted by The Potomac Tech Wire at the Tyson’s Ritz Carlton in Vienna, VA yesterday and was excited with the great topics and dynamic ideas flowing from the panel members on trends and business models working now that will most likely change or already have changed to go into the future with the evolution of the Internet, particularly through social media, and online advertising.
The panel was moderated by Potomac Tech Wire’s Paul Sherman who is editor, publisher, and co-founder of the publication. Panelists included Phil Bonner of Novak Biddle Venture Partners; Hooman Radfar, CEO of ClearSpring; Jonathan Aberman, Managing Director of Amplifier Networks; Mark Walsh, CEO of GeniusRocket; and Luis Derechin, CEO of JackBe Corporation. The panel began with a view from each panelist of top emerging trends on the Internet today as well as trends that are viewed as over-hyped now but will likely be under-hyped in the months and/or years following. The most discussed trend throughout the panel was the emergence of mobile technologies, location-based services, and the continued use of the web as a platform. I was really struck by Hooman Radfar’s comments in this area that the function of the web is not only to push information through a channel, but to operate instead as a platform for services, widgets, tools, and other information. When we look at starting new ventures or ideas, we shouldn’t look at starting a “website”, but instead more holistically through reviewing the web services that are being delivered and determining how far into multiple channels and platforms those services need to delve. For instance, a company looking to start their new foundation on a .ORG domain name: the Internet platform can take that via mobile services, cloud computing, micro-donation services, broadband web presence or broadband TV, and more. The Internet is truly a great liberator and we can receive the maximum amount of reward to the maximum amount of people. It has become a great vehicle to use to get your business, cause, etc. started while generating broad reach, awareness, visibility, and support from the community at large to advance your organization or business’s mission.
“Use anything and everything that’s free” was the motto for getting your services out to the public in the beginning and the use of the Web 2.0 world for messaging is a must. That said our goal should be to deliver repeated value across multiple platforms and get the maximum amount of reward for our data and content. Instead of the large impersonal ad campaigns of the past, look at targeted and customized promotions on social networks, vertical market drives, the use of video, widgets and games as significant and necessary advertising vehicles. We are creating ecosystems online and we need to follow individuals into their virtual realities to market our ideas, causes, goods, and services. As the phenomenons of social networking and media has grown exponentially through services such as MySpace, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, Mixx, Mashable!, and on and on and on (in fact, we were given the Twitter web code at the beginning of the panel for all the “Twitter Fingers” in the room), I too believe that this is the way of the future and not just a trend, and one that the .ORG community has truly embraced. With the ability to create millions of dollars through micro-donations, to be able to keep member bases updated with 140 characters or less, and to share ideas, blog posts, news, and make friends within your interest group, I think that the Internet world, but particularly the .ORG community is doing a great job on using, refining, and creating social networking sites, applications, and widgets for their varied goals and initiatives. Congratulations! Finally, with more and more people accessing the Internet via the mobile web, this is also an area that I think we need to take notice of and concentrate on creating technologies and services. We have been in discussions with Mobile Active to take part in the .ORG Resource Center, on how to create and enhance mobile technologies building on .ORG domain names. Stay tuned in the days to come for more information!