Tuesday, July 11, 2006

First comes the infrastructure, now comes the community

I was originally going to leave a comment on this post from GapingVoid(that I only noticed cause Hugh linked to me, sue me), but realized that I would probably post a 2-pager, and I've done that enough there lately, so thought I'd talk about it here.

Hugh says that 'Web 1.0' was about the monetization of the internet, and adds that 'Web 2.0' is about the 'humanification' of the internet. He adds:
"Funny, imagine if Web 2.0 had happened first, before Dotcom. Humanification before Corporatisation. Imagine all the pain we would've been spared."
I think the internet has progressed in the only manner in which it could have. In order for 'Web 1.0' to happen, we needed the tools in place to let everyone get on board. It took big money to develop an infrastructure to allow mass access to the internet. Big business had that big money, and was willing to spend it in getting people on the internet, so they could make money off them.

So Web 1.0 was motivated by business having their wants and needs (making money) met. But as more and more people became part of the online community, they joined with different wants and needs than big business. Sure some ALSO wanted to make money off the web, but people are still people. We want interaction. That's why you saw the rise of online services, of message boards, alt groups, and now blogs. Just in the last year or so, MySpace, Flickr, and YouTube have taken off.

The problem we are seeing is, big business is having difficulty trying to figure out how to let their community enjoy that interaction that they want, while still making money of it. For every New Line that's embracing the community's actions, there is a Paramount trying to stifle them. For every Mentos that's encouraging the community to be themselves, there's a Coke that's still not comfortable with giving up control.

The best way that big business can meet their wants and needs (making money), is by realizing that the community could give a damned less about their wants and needs, and are only concerned with their own.

This is why I preach the need for businesses to join their communities, because when you satisfy my wants and needs, in turn, you satisfy your own. And if you don't know what I am talking about, don't worry, soon a competitor will come along that does.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"For every Mentos that's encouraging the community to be themselves, there's a Coke that's still not comfortable with giving up control"

Very well said!

Big business will have to learn that if they want to participate in a culture(or community) that have to enrich that culture. But problem is that desicion makers in big businesses are to a large extant classically trained, and this is a jam-session age.