DEAD OR ALIVE: The World Wide Web

by Mike Dickman

Is the Web Dead?

I just finished reading an article in WIRED magazine which really got me thinking: Is The Web Dead? To get a better understanding of this position, think about how you use the Internet each day. You get up in the morning, log in to Facebook, check your wall, check Twitter and see if you have any more followers, and log into Pandora so you can stream your favorite music all day at work. You’ve been all over the Internet, but you have yet to hit the Web.

Today’s Internet visitors are spending most of their time on Apps such as Facebook or Twitter. Facebook has now even surpassed Google in the amount of visits and duration of visits. YouTube is the largest search engine on the Internet and you’re reading this article on a Blog, on the Internet and off the Web.

With the growth of social sites, the Web is losing steam and lots of traffic. And, with the likes of Starbucks and Coca Cola gaining more than 90,000 new Facebook Fans PER DAY, it would seem inevitable that the reign of the Web, could be dead.

The Web is just one of many applications that exist on the Internet, which uses IP and TCP protocols to move packets around. The revolution is the architecture, not the specific applications, which is built on top of it. Today, the content you see in your browser (largely HTML data delivered via the HTTP protocol on port 80) accounts for less than 25% of the traffic on the Internet – and that is shrinking. The applications that account for more of the Internet’s traffic include peer-to-peer file transfers, email, corporate VPNs, the machine-to-machine communications of APIs, Skype calls, online games – including Xbox Live, iTunes, VOIP phones, Netflix movie streaming and more.

In April, I re-posting an article released by Morgan Stanley which stated that the number of users accessing the Internet from mobile devices will soon surpass the number of those accessing from PCs. This will only accelerate the rate at which the Web is left behind as more applications, which will make web browsing from a mobile device easier, are accessed by these users. For the sake of an optimized “web” experience, users will forgo their general purpose browsers.

So, as the Internet moves from our desks to our pockets and our view history confirms that we are an application minded social society, where do you see the Web is headed and do you believe THE WEB IS DEAD?

11 Myths of Social Media Marketing

by Tom Pick

This article first appeared on MyVenturePad

Though social media marketing is rapidly advancing in terms of adoption and sophistication, many marketers and business executives still struggle with it. They wonder if their organizations are doing enough, if they are doing things right, even if they should be involved in social media at all. This confusion is partly due to some still-common misconceptions about social media marketing. As the goal of Social Media is Simpler Than You Think was to demystify social media marketing, this post will attempt to de-myth-ify it.

1. Social media is so easy we can hire an intern to do it. Because social media is fundamentally about conversations, the individual(s) behind your social media activities is often perceived as the public face of your company. This person is answering questions about your products and/or services, responding to or redirecting complaints, sharing interesting content, providing more information…you’ll probably want to be a bit careful about who gets this responsibility.

2. Social media marketing is really hard. True, there are techniques that work better than others, guidelines that are good to know, rules of etiquette to follow and common mistakes to avoid, but the general skills called for aren’t all that uncommon, and the specifics are teachable. It helps to be creative, curious, articulate, friendly and helpful. Okay, so not just anyone can do it, but it’s not rocket science either.

3. Social media is only for the young. Argh, no! On the consumer side, the largest cohort of Facebook’s user base is the 35-54 age group, and the fastest growing is the 55+ cohort. On the producer side, the most important attributes are interpersonal skills and industry knowledge. Age is irrelevant in social media usage, and life experience is a plus for social media marketers.

4. Social media is free. Um, no. While recent studies show that about half of marketers say that social media reduces their overall marketing costs, it is by no means without a price. The primary budget effect of social media marketing is to shift costs from media buying to labor. The tools of social media are (mostly) free, but the time, effort and expertise required to make social media marketing effective has real costs.

5. Since social media marketing is labor-intensive, we should offshore it. Ooh, not a good idea. While offshoring works well for tasks like IT consulting services and software application development, it tends to be less efficacious for market-facing activities. Thoughtful companies keep their SEO efforts local (to avoid link-spamming, for example) and after evaluating all of the costs, many are even moving call centers back onshore. And see myth #1 above.

6. Social media marketing success is all about rules and best practices. Not really. True, there are guidelines as to what works well (being sincere, helpful and knowledgeable) and what doesn’t (trying to use social media sites as one-way broadcasts of your marketing brochures), but the field is new enough that many of the “rules” are still being written. While there are some techniques that seem to work well and are worth replicating, and others that should clearly be avoided, there’s also a great deal of space for creativity in this rapidly expanding and evolving area.

7. Social media marketing has no rules. Now, just because there isn’t an established cookie-cutter approach to social media marketing success doesn’t mean there are no rules. Don’t be excessively self-promotional, don’t try to automate everything, be sincere, add value—there aren’t a lot of rules, but these are a few very important ones.

8. Social media marketing gets immediate results. Almost never. Sure, you may run across an example somewhere of this happening, just as you may hear about a couple who got married three weeks after they met. It can happen, but isn’t common and shouldn’t be expected. Social media is about building relationships and influence. It takes time, but the payback can be much more lasting than a typical “marketing campaign” as well.

9. Social media marketing is too risky. This fear is most common in the medical, financial services, and other regulated industries. And it’s certainly true that there are situations where a company has to be somewhat cautious about its social media participation and content (another reason to keep myths #1 and #5 in mind). By all means, be aware of your specific industry and regulatory environment and put necessary safeguards in place. But people in your marketplace—customers, prospects, analysts, journalists, shareholders and others—are talking about your company and/or industry across social media channels right now. The real risk is in ignoring those conversations.

10. Social media marketing is new. Not really. Certainly the tools are new: Twitter has only been around since 2007, Facebook since 2006, and even blogging has been popular for less than a decade. But social media marketing is fundamentally about participating in and influencing the direction of conversations about your industry and brand. Those practices are timeless, but social media has increased the velocity and magnitude of such conversations.

11. Social media marketing doesn’t apply to my business. There are isolated niches where this is true. For example, if you build weapons systems for the U.S. military, you not only don’t need social media marketing, it would probably be best to avoid it. And there may be a few other such situations. For virtually every other type of business however, someone, somewhere is discussing your brand, your industry or your competitors in social media. You’re missing out if you’re not listening and participating.

16 Tips for Successful Online Video Marketing

By Amy Porterfield

This article first appeared on Michael Stelzner’s Social Media Examiner

There’s no doubt that online video marketing is on the rise.  Numerous studies and statistics prove that video works.  In fact, Forrester Research found that videos were 50 times more likely to receive an organic first page ranking than traditional text pages.  That’s a pretty impressive stat!

Online video marketing is attractive to many businesses today for numerous reasons.  Making videos and posting them online is fairly inexpensive.  Plus, online videos stay online forever.  If you spend the money to record once, your video could still be getting views a year from now.

Read more . . .

Google Tip for Your Business, or Content Mining for Search Terms?

by Mike Dickman

This video shows a Google tool that helps define your business within the search framework of Google’s algorithms. However, how much information are you providing Google for their master database? Interesting how they have created a tool by which users build for a huge database of searchable terms all based on the notion that the tool will actually provide the user with some creative marketing tools in return. And, based on a little bit of fear that if not listed, you may not be found.

What do you think?

“Daddy, I Need to Unplug.”

by Mike Dickman

Has innocence been lost in technology?

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Most of my friends can remember childhood days of playing outdoors instead of slouching on the couch watching TV with a remote control. In those days, we didn’t have remote controls. If we wanted to change the channel, we had to get off our butts and physically changed the channel by twisting a knob. And channel surfing consisted of switching through 4 channels; ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS.

As I slowly morph into my parents and say: “when I was your age . . . “, I try to imagine today’s world without some of the technological advances that have provided education, entertainment and an amped-up electronica that has become my children’s playground. Yes, we still go to the park and throw a ball or sit on the swings. However, both my children now do some portion of their homework on a computer. They check their emails on their iPodTouch and they don’t have to get off the couch to channel surf through hundreds of channels. I am fortunate that they both like to read and one of their favorite channels on TV is the Discovery Channel (some education, I guess).

The other day a friend posted that he was reading a book to his son and in the middle of the book, his son said, “Daddy, can you pause while I go to the bathroom?” as if Daddy were a DVR!

Our children are using words that didn’t exist when we were their ages because the technology didn’t exist. And, I guess every generation watches this occur as the revolution of evolution changes our world as we go about our daily routine.

As I wrap this up, I ask that you share your stories or lessons of how technology has affected your life. Tell me if you could live without “texting”, “email” or “WiFi”. How would your relationship with your partner and/or children be different without these tools?

Remember, you can follow me on Twitter @mikewdickman, be my Friend on facebook/mike.dickman, or Connect with me on LinkedIn (http://bit.ly/bEMFKK). However, I’d prefer a face-to-face conversation, just like our parents did in the “old days”.