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.
When we don’t fully understand something, or we fear the thing, we give it a name to justify our rational towards it. There is no secret to content marketing, or content, it is just that, content…. with a message, and most of it is geared to selling something. As much as we all say, “I don’t like selling”, that’s what we do every day, in our conversations, and in our blog content, we’re either selling ideas, or products and services, but we are always selling. We all want conversion on some level, whether it’s views, traffic to a site, or for someone to buy what you’re selling.
Whatever it is you’re sharing, on your blog, on social networks, you are selling, you’re marketing….you either want click’s on your shared content, or they’re going to be asked to buy something on the other side. So let’s knock off the fancy names and just tell the story, stop hiding behind something to help you have a clear conscience. Most people hate being sold, so we change the game, we give selling a new name, content marketing. You’re not fooling anyone, you’ve just created a new revenue stream of lies.
Whatever content you’re going to share, tell the story, tell it well, believe in it, own it, but don’t make it something it’s not. Content marketing is a scam.
I remember when I started surfing the Internet, it was slow, hard and yet amusingly fun. I was more curious than I was looking for a specific thing. Being human, and we all are, we tend to filter down. When we first found ourselves zooming the information highway, we looked at hundreds resources, maybe even thousands, collecting the information we were looking for, and much more we didn’t need.
When I started doing research on the Internet, I had bookmarked thousands of sites, mostly information that helped me confirm my work, and then there was the stuff I thought might be interesting, or maybe even fun. Over time (years), I found myself going back to sites that were helpful, most of the channels I bookmarked never got my attention.
Today, there are millions upon millions of websites with information, some of it useful, most of it not so much. The biggest change with the Internet today is, mainstream seems to have taken the Internet and made behave like the Matrix. If NET Neutrality has its way, the channels will become fewer, and you will won’t have the choices you have today. You won’t have the freedom to see all that you can see today. But that’s not the story.
You see, you may have noticed that the sites you visit have become a smaller number, and you probably find yourself going back to the same 5 – 10 sites each day to get the information you like, and that’s the story. All the major networks, the major newspapers, all the major news channels, and all the social networks are sharing the same content over and over. The high rotation of the same content has us going to fewer places on the Internet, and nothing seems authentic anymore. Your information channels are shrinking! To compound the problem, you, the Internet surfer, and all your friends are sharing the same thing repeatedly, hence the high repetition on FaceBook, Twitter, and what have you.
What used to be a curious highway, filled with an endless supply of information, has become a small town of gossipers, and many seem to like fewer channels, because its easier, you don’t have to work so hard. The information isn’t as strong as it once was, the quality if you will, has lost it’s ability to hold you to the content for long periods of time.
What I believe. Has anyone asked you that question before? Have you struggled to answer it? This blog post is my attempt at answering the question of what I believe. This is not an exhaustive list but here is my list anyway:
1.) I believe there is a God
2.) I believe Jesus is Lord & Saviour
3.) I believe the Bible is the inherit word of God
4.) I believe we all were created
5.) I believe we were designed for a purpose here on earth
6.) I believe you are special
7.) I believe you have something to offer…always
8.) I believe we are all sinners
9.) I believe its harder to do the right thing and it’s never convenient
10.) I believe human evil comes from humans
11.) I believe hunger can be a thing of the past
12.) I believe we don’t treat one another very well, we kill each other, come on!
13.) I believe marriage should be between a man & a woman
14.) I believe we give money too much power over our lives
15.) I believe that when you do what you were meant & designed to do, you make the world a better place
16.) I believe the future does not belong to us
17.) I believe we lie to protect ourselves from the truth
18.) I believe we are stewart’s of the planet, not owners of it
19.) I believe Baseball is the greatest sport in the world
20.) I believe chocolate is over rated 😉
21.) I believe we are to serve on another
22.) I believe we should treat each other the same way in which you wish to be treated
23.) I believe we should respect each other
24.) I believe we don’t have to like each other, but we should care enough to love each other
25.) I believe we should always help each other
26.) I believe in the 90/10 rule – give away 90% and charge for 10%
27.) I believe in the Open & Free Business Model
28.) I believe the Internet is the door way to the future of business
29.) I believe in honesty
30.) I believe in love
31.) I believe we should keep life simple, because simple is hard enough
32.) I believe life was never meant to be easy, it was meant to challenge us
33.) I believe we can always learn from each other
34.) I believe in the value of a human life
35.) I believe the world needs more and better leaders, so step up
36.) I believe technology is driving us indoors and away from each others face-to-face moments
37.) I believe technology is leading us to an unhealthy place
38.) I believe technology can also be used for good
39.) I believe swearing is rude and degrading
40.) I believe porn is a lie and unhealthy, it makes us believe that’s how sex should be…NOT!
41.) I believe the Cloud will only serve large corporations (those providing the Cloud)
42.) I believe Silicon Valley is a trap and does not live in the real world
43.) I believe failure is the best thing that can happen to you
44.) I believe a closed mind never learns anything
45.) I believe an open mind can change the world
46.) I believe I love my wife & two sons more than I love myself
47.) I believe I have yet to be used by God, I’m being prepared
48.) I believe the Church is over-rated
49.) I believe in YOU the people, you are awesome
50.) I believe in spending less than you earn
51.) I believe we will endure a global water shortage
52.) I believe you & I will give an accounting of our actions one day
53.) I believe in steak & potatoes : )
54.) I believe High Definition TV is the best
55.) I believe we spend too much money on shoes and clothes
56.) I believe if we didn’t have clothes to wear, and we were all naked, the crime rate would not exist
57.) I believe you are loved by God, all of you
58.) I believe we can all make the world a better place by simply loving each other
59.) I believe in WordPress & Headway Themes
60.) I believe we don’t value human life
61.) I believe this list is long enough, what does your list look like?
I have posted on this topic before, I also talk about in my keynotes and workshops, we are close, shopping forever changed. The truth is, we are fighting this technology for the experience rather than the convenience. Most of us want to touch it, feel it, and smell it before we buy it.
I challenge you think about how this way of shopping might actually be of value to you, think of the far reaching ramifications, saving you time, effort and that drive downtown. Check it out.
Would you shop this way, I’m certain my wife will.