Saturday, 17 April 2010

"Web 3.0" and Marketing's "Holy Grail"

Made the following comment to a Fast Company article by Farhad Manjoo.  Looking back at it, I think its a pretty succinct summary of the 'brink' we're standing at with the launch of the iPad and the current proliferation of smartphones and new software launches.  Another commenter, Brenda, had posted that she hates the idea of geolocation services sending coupons to her smartphone everywhere she goes:
"Indeed, Brenda, you speak for most of humanity.  As Farhad points out in explaining the failure of always-on video, some things SOUND great, theoretically (online dating is one example that simply cannot work as promised, see my rants on THAT subject at, but once the early adopters tire of experimenting with them, they fall by the wayside.  Interesting that Farhad, a fellow who is deeply involved in the tech business, equates Facebook to the telephone.

In this current 'surge' of experimentation and instant popularity it's VERY easy (too easy) to assume what we're fooling around with today is going to prove useful forever, like the "Pet Rock" (OUCH!).  What am I suggesting?  Farhad says above: "Novel social applications seem useless -- until they cross the Rubicon and begin to be indispensable. Foursquare, which launched in March 2009, has been surging..."  How's that Friendster account, or Second Life avatar, been working out for you lately, Farhad?

Twitter is USELESS as an 'instant fame service', its REAL value is as a free, global, borderless, instant news service.  It will always have value as the latter, not so much for the former.  My point being that Facebook has yet to prove its value to adults over time -- the phone has been with us since the 1870's.  To assume that Foursquare, in its current infancy, is going to prove permanently useful is presumptuous, but such is the conceit of the current generation.   Those self-back patting geeks who fly from tech conference to tech conference cross-promoting new sites and technologies without having to worry about long-term ROI (it's the late '90's all over again for this current group of "social media" enthusiasts...).

Social marketing is a distraction from what is really being invented today.  Apple just launched "Web 3.0", a new global business model, NOT a new hardware device that will change the world (the iPad is just a big iPhone -- see my post: "iPad: It's the Channel, Stupid!").  What Foursquare and its like (Google being the real owner of the future of marketing) are working toward is marketing's 'holy grail', not instant discount coupons via LBS, but fully addressable advertising, the coming phenomena via which no one has to see the same ad in its boring entirety more than once and the only ads they do see are welcomed as they're in the market for those products.  Geolocation is an essential element in making this happen, as is both social networking and the collapse of the Boomer generations' "privacy paranoids" -- the new Millennial generation have already told us they don't care about privacy if abandoning it means getting stuff they want."
Curious?  Read more about marketing's "Holy Grail" via the link above on the right.

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