Five years ago, March 1st, 2010, I wrote about what Blogs might look like in 5 years, I also threw out some numbers that I predicted would happen. Let’s go back and see how close I was back then.
Here is my opening paragraph:
“I can’t help but wonder what blogging will look like in 5 years, blogs for the most part are static and becoming integrated with Social Media Tools. There’s only 1.7 Billion people on the net and over 235 Million Blogs out there. Projections clearly show that over the next 3 – 5 years 5 Billion people will be on the Internet. Will Blogging be the primary platform? I don’t think so, everything is going more and more mobile, on the go.”
At that time only 1.7 Billion people were using the Internet. There were ONLY 235 Million Blogs, and data also suggested that in the next 3 -5 years there would be 5 Billion people using the Internet.
Today, over 3 Billion people are using the Internet, that’s 2 Billion short of projections, but that’s mostly due to the speed in which Internet access could be provided. Google & 3BNetworks are making the Internet available to all the 3rd world countries, but not as quickly as they had hoped.
The number of blogs on the Internet today is, well….seemingly impossible to track, there is no accurate count that I’m aware of.
Let’s look at paragraph #2:
“Will there be a place for blogs? Will there be a need to for content to be new and fresh multiple times a day? The money won’t be the content, it will be in the filtering and curation of content produced. More products or systems will be invented to manage all this data, data will be connected to data, there will be a huge need for filtering.”
There was a time, recently…that blogging was considered dead. But ask the question, will there be a place for blogs? Obviously blogging is not dead, and there is still a place & need for blogging. The money in blogging is actually the content, original content…there is bigger money in the curation, and the delivering of that filtering and curating. It’s kind of like the retail market, the channel of distribution, more information, curated, and lower prices. Whoever has curated a large amount of data, and has figured out how to deliver it to the masses at a low price, and even free, is making large piles of money. Not much has changed here, the old way, or the old attitude still prevails here, in terms of how we think about business, and how it is being done. One thing still rings true, it’s impossible to read every blog on the Internet, so those who filter and curate have a leg up.
And the last paragraph:
“There is much to do, and it will be interesting to see how things scale as the rise in Internet users climbs to 5 Billion. How will it impact your business? How will it impact your blog? How will we rise above the noise we can’t rise above now? The answers are forth coming, but we haven’t figured them out yet. We better hurry, time is running short. Will this blog even show up on the radar screen, it barely does now! So many questions and so many unanswered. We spend hours a day working on our blogs thinking it will look and feel the same years down the road. But I can help but wonder, what will blogs look like in 5 years?”
All these questions are still valid today, why? It boils down to one thing….we still haven’t made the paradigm shift. We are still hanging on to the old ways of doing business, organizing business, and we are still trying force feed an Industrial Age to the masses. We just can’t seem to embrace the change required, it’s too hard I guess.
In some circles, change is happening just for the sake of change, and in others, it’s moving to fast to accept as a new way of life. No matter how difficult it might be to make this paradigm shift, the blog doesn’t appear to be going away, everything is just more mobile. Mobility is here to stay, and is also changing, technology is being embedded into everything these days, including our clothes.
So, was I wrong? Sure, but not because I should have been, I was wrong because most of what I saw, and see today, is just taking longer, but it’s still going to happen. Is blogging dead, not by a long shot…you’re reading it now : ) And yes, there is still much to be done. To be honest, I’m disappointed in where blogging is today, but that to is changing. I am concerned as well, technology is fooling us, we are allowing it to control our lives. Texting and driving is all the proof I need.
So here it is, its Wednesday March 12th, 2014, a beautiful sunny day here on the west coast of Canada. I fetched my snail mail this afternoon, I opened an envelope addressed to me. No, it wasn’t bills or bad news, it was…well, I wasn’t sure what to think. Most of the world knows who Mayor Rob Ford is, if you don’t know who he is, he is the Mayor of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has admitted to smoking crack cocaine, and is a binge drinker, along with host of other issues. There’s a much deeper story, but I don’t have the time, the patience, or the space to write it.
So, in the mail today I got a direct mail piece, they used Send Out Cards (www.sendoutcards.com), so, a card, I have never done business with them before, or know anyone who works for them, so they’re soliciting via the shotgun approach. This card was from a financial firm in British Columbia, getting the card was fine, but what was on the cover….well…. rather than me say it, I’ll show you:
Now I understand what they’re trying to do, but I felt like they were going for the cheap humor, potty jokes. The question, “What do employee benefit renewals and elections have in common?”gets lost in seeing Mayor Rob Ford’s picture to me. Call it shock marketing, hoping the negative will be a positive conversion experience. The sell inside the card, I removed the company name & phone number. Here’s the inside message:
Would you consider this a good direct mail piece, would you use the picture of Mayor Rob Ford as your cover, is this a good marketing idea or bad? Would you do business with this company? What is your gut reaction, impressions? Remember, perception is everything.
Considering all that is changing, how business is changing, how global and yet how locally our businesses must be, does your business line up with that future? Is your business social, or is it traditional? Does your business advertise on the Internet as part of its marketing mix, or do you stick with traditional modes of advertising. There are many questions to ponder when starting a new venture, but the main questions is, what kind of business, what structure, what type, and will it meet the needs of the economy.
The new economy is a connection economy, how does your business connect consumers, how do you connect to other businesses. Just using social networks is not connecting, depending on how you use them, most use them as another channel to yell, flood, to do what you’ve always done. You use them with a traditional mindset, it’s not connecting, it’s telling.
The traditional way, meant you had to have ads in the yellow pages, maybe you ran radio commercials, and you mostly used Newspaper. You never had to consider the Internet as part of your mix, and most still don’t have a clear understanding of how it works, and how to you use it for business. Today you have to think about where to best spend your time & money, adding the Internet as another way of enticing consumers to your business, to buy. But consumers act differently online, or do they?
More than ever , there is much to consider, it’s not black & white as it was back 30 years ago. The Internet is 25 years old, and brings with it challenges, and incredible opportunity. Asking yourself if you’re on LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus is the new normal today, knowing what to do on them, and how to leverage them, is not normal, not like Radio, TV, and Newspaper. But you’re already figuring that out aren’t you.
Business is getting much more complicated, it’s causing you to rethink what kind of business. Traditional or The Connected. And what does a connected business model look like, it’s the Open & Free Business Model. And that you can learn here on owengreaves.com.
What is fusion marketing? Fusion Marketing is simple really, you do me a favor & I’ll reciprocate – kind of like Barter Advertising – it’s a different way of using old marketing tactics. For example, you put my sign in your store, and I’ll put yours in my store front. To me it’s just a fancy name for helping each other market for free.
It’s not a business model, it’s just marketing.
Isn’t it interesting how much we hear marketing and advertising have changed, yet businesses continue to use old traditional methods to market their business. Why? because it still works! Direct Mail, Newspaper, Radio, and Television still get the lions share of marketing budgets around the world, amongst all this so called change.
Business owners do what they believe works, not what you think works. They want proven success stories and tangible results, not theory or the idea of better results, it needs to be hard copy. The problem isn’t that marketing and advertising isn’t changing, the change is really being driven by the consumers themselves. It is changing, the challenge is…consumers still respond to old methods, mostly because they have been conditioned to respond to the industrial age ways.
Until the shift from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age is fully complete, we will have to compete in those two worlds, our messages will have to be in both environments, because they make money. After all, making money is what it’s all about in business right? If money is your motivator, you will practice old methods and new, and you will invest more in the one that brings you the highest yield.
There is a thought process that no one opens direct mail anymore, no one reads newspapers, and no one watches TV ads, and yet, they still rake in huge revenues. In time, probably not in my time, this will become true, and the digital formats will be where the majority of budgets are spent.
If business owners had any foresight, they would be building infrastructure and systems to leverage the digital age, they will be ahead of their time. They will be the early adopter, and they will be prepared to receive the benefits at a time where everyone is trying to innovate and implement. It’s really not about checking off you to do list, it’s changing the way you see and think about business. Only then will your marketing will change.
Until then, The Status Quo Continues, is that you, or are you seeing something different?
- The warning signs of defending the status quo (sethgodin.typepad.com)
- The Future Of Business – We’ve All Got The Industrial Age Disease (owengreaves.com)