I just finished reading the article, It's A Whole New Web - And this time around it will be built by you, which appeared in BusinessWeek on September 26th, 2005. The article's main focus is around what people are calling Web 2.0 - where this whole internet thing is heading and it boils down to it being "less about places and other nouns, but verbs."
Web 2.0 is all about doing. Whether it's peer-to-peer sharing, collaborating, hooking up or, most importantly, creating stuff (think of Instant Personal Publishing media like Blogs, Podcasting, etc...).
So that whole one-to-one promise that made people paper millionaires back in the day is now actually happening and it's being created by the users not the producers. Cool.
Whether it's something like MySpace.com - which features over 21 million monthly users who spend a lot of time sharing everything from thoughts, music and photos on personalized homepages to Wikipedia, where everyone in the world is the Author of this online information resource - the gatekeepers are pretty much useless at this point.
So what does this mean to marketers?
According to It's A Whole New Web: "If you can use the Web to find exactly the service, article, video, or podcast you want - and maybe even create it yourself, or with friends - who needs networks or newspapers or (gulp) magazines?"
Big, deep and tough business questions.
Think about what Napster and peer-to-peer technology did to the music business. At this point, I think the music should be free (let the artists make money from touring, merchandise and other more personalized offerings). Yup... it's getting tough out there.
The Web 2.0 is something none of us can afford to ignore. It will be bigger than peer-to-peer and it will happen fast. Very fast. How you target, market and advertise within these spaces will be complex but will resonate with increased sales and a more solid relationship with your customer.
Ignore Web 2.0 at your peril. I'm not being paranoid. I was there when all of the search engines started getting gobbled up by major publishers. People thought that they would never, gasp, sell search results. Tell that to Google.
Here are some Web 2.0 primers: