The New Internet is the Old Internet, with Glasses…and Perfect Vision
What’s that silly saying about people looking smarter with glasses? It’s true. They do. So what? Web 2.0 and the pending Web 3.0 isn’t smoke and mirrors like a cute dumb person in glasses. The new Internet is an attractive, smart person with perfect vision who wears glasses anyway. What does that mean? Well, you’ll notice that all those new types of websites described above have a very strong and very familiar element tying them together. That’s right, marketing and advertising as a means to an end and the end itself.
These new types of the sites of this new Internet age reel the users in by giving you lots of free information or free opportunities in the hopes that you help them increase ad revenue by clicking on the ads placed on their sites or by you giving them your personal information so they can periodically and consistently send you emails with more information and deals for services or products. This is what they call “permission marketing” because you’ve given them permission by submitting your personal information to them versus “interruptive marketing” that interrupts your normal web experience like email spam, text ads and banner ads found on the tops and sidebars of websites. Permission marketing is a good thing because, in keeping in line with Web 2.0, it gives you more control of what information you receive in your email box or your blog feed aggregator.
Web 2.0 is a good thing because it gives users more control over so many aspects of their website experience that they are not so unwilling to click on an advertisement or two and are open to suggestions by other users for other websites and opportunities advertised elsewhere. The creators of these new types of websites see perfectly what you want as a user and more important to their bottom line, how they can take advantage of what they know about you through the information they discover when gathering your personal information you’ve given them when you gave them permission to market to you just by signing up for free info. At first glance it sounds just as sleezy as those insane, seizure inducing banner ads that were rampant on the websites of yesteryear, but it’s not nearly as bad. How else will you get what you want without asking for free samples of what you might be willing to pay for? Permission marketing is a mutually beneficial relationship as is blog commenting, and social networking.
The creators of websites of the new Internet see it all perfectly. But, they have to convince you that they know what you need since you only really care about what you want. And that’s ok. So, these folks put on glasses, letting you know they know what the hell they’re talking about by providing you with downloadable whitepapers, free articles, videos, podcasts, email newsletters and so forth. It’s hard to trust people trying to sell you something. I see someone approaching me with a stack of flyers or postcards in their hand and my first instinct is to run screaming the other way and not happily take whatever they’re trying to sell me. People act the same way online as they do offline. Think of permission marketing, the new Internet, Web 2.0 as a whole lot of sugar to mask the medicine you need to get what you want.
The new Internet is also a good thing because as much as advertisement has not left the core purpose of many websites, the Internet now is all about content where the old Internet was all about selling anything and everything in any and every way possible without any bloody regard for who they’re selling to and how they’re selling. Sure many of these new types of websites have a large selling component to the content, and why shouldn’t they, but Internet users have gotten wiser so the content, whether it’s information, services or products, has to be presented better. Users demand it. I damn well demand it! Whether the content is good is left to the moral compass of the creator and the site visitor’s discretion. See, even deciding on whether what you’re reading and experiencing on web pages can be judged by users via sites like Digg.com and Technorati.com. It’s a beautiful thing!