Wednesday, August 08, 2007

15 Months of Fame Lifecycles on the Web

Doesn't it seem like in the WWW world big things only last around 15 months or so? It seems to take 15 months to watch a new application or web thing develop, then it spends 15 months as the big thing, and another 15 months winding down. Myspace is a great example starting in late 2003 and building till the sale to Murdoch in mid 2005. As 2007 began we started to see a migration of the innovators and early adaptors to Facebook. By the middle of 2008 Facebook will probably blow by Myspace.

Look at YouTube which started in 2005 and was sold in 4th quarter 2006 to Google. By the early months of 2008 we'll probably see YouTube start winding down on the 'cool meter'. Something else will replace YouTube as the next cool thing.

While not everything seems to follow the 15 Month stages brought out in these examples there is clearly a very fast moving and volatile life cycle on the web. Look at it from an advertisers side. First you went with simple banner ads on big web sites only to find that your consumer wasn't there, then to pop-ups which we all blocked completely, into email boxes where you became spam, now to Google Adwords in a complex mess of bidding and placement. Advertisers seem to be constantly running to the next big thing on the web only to find a confusing mess when they spend the dollars. Things are changing fast and will probably even change much faster.

Recently Mark Cuban was discussing the slowness of the INTERNET and suggesting that we will probably see more INTRANETS that are more limited so we can actually navigate at the speeds our computers are capable of, instead of the slow, messy, way overcrowded, constantly crashing, WWW world - read it here I bet Mark is right that we will soon out grow the old Internet and find it just too slow to handle all the video, high end audio, animation, gaming, and interactivity we will likely demand from interacting with our computers. What happens when we try to download movies in high def formats? How far can we compress audio and when do we realize how much better things can sound? Mark's speculation on the answer to the ever increasing demand on throughput to get more and more complex aplications and content on to your screens and speakers is to close down the scope of the network. Go from an INTERNET to a more smaller and more controlled INTRANET - perhaps one that is all interactive through your cable provider with it's own You Tube like sharing site and a smaller personal network that can be monitored and controlled. Take off some of the 'freedom' and open to anyone side of the web and suddenly the experience might be the next logical evolution.

How does this relate to radio? Are advertisers, marketers and clients accomplishing anything towards building their brands and business growth in an environment where things are moving so fast your message disappears in front of you. Is this like the elusive task of trying to catch a chipmunk as it darts around your garage or yard with just your hands? It's so fast and so small and has so many holes to dive into.

It seems like everywhere we go radio gets the 'old fashioned' tag on it. While it may be tempting to be betting your marketing dollars on the latest web craze and find yourself chasing that chipmunk all over the garage. Meanwhile Radio still reaches 90% of the population or more, can be bought for lifestyle and specific demographics, and still delivers a very healthy TSL compared to other media. While it may be old fashioned it's also reliable, fairly easy to craft a quality message on (you don't need hours of HTML code or complex bidding systems), local to your community and still pretty affordable.

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