The web has changed a lot since the early 1990’s. if we think back to the dominant behaviour in 10 year blocks it tells us a clear story about how the web is being ‘organised around the people’. Which means that the people are certainly not organising themselves around the technology. It sounds obvious, but it’s worth remembering as we embark on any business project.
the 1990’s – the web was all about browsing. Finding places to go. Websites – the WWW era.
the 2000’s – the web was all about search. The Google god, SEO and ensuring we had page 1.
the 2010’s – the web (so far) is becoming more human. Social interaction & guidance. It is segmenting, grouping & geolocating.
And we can see this in the evidence we find in how the web is being trafficked. According Hitwise web traffic to portals is down -21%, traffic for web search is flat and traffic to social forums is 52% up. Just like life, people don’t want to leave their stream if they can help it. We’d rather stay with the ‘life juice’ that our human relationships provide. Another simple example is what is happening to brands in social forums. Most brands have 10 times the the Facebook fans than they have in monthly visits to the home portal. The best example is Coke, which currently has 33.8 million fans versus 270k visits to its home page per month.
I guess one thing has never changed in business, and that is the best place to take our brand, is where the people already are.