In 2005 social media and Web 2.0 forefather Tim O’Reilly compiled a definition of Web 2.0: now a prophetic warning to the print media. O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 definition:
“Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are those that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform: delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an “architecture of participation,” and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences.”
Warning to All: Print Industry in Trouble
In a microcosm example, the “April issue of Portfolio magazine set a dubious record. With 106 total pages and 21 ad pages it is the slimmest monthly issue ever published by Condé Nast.”
According to eMarketer.com’s “Magazine’s Run Online”:
- In the US 525 magazines were shut down in 2008
- In 2009 87 more titles have folded
- In 2008 consumer magazine print ad spending down 7.1% to $13 Billion
- A 2009 ad spending forecast predicts that ad revenue will drop -16.2%
Paradigm Shift: “Architecture of Participation”
O’Reilly’s mantra within his Web 2.0 definition should be the rallying cry manifesto for every entrepreneur, small business, and corporation: Creating network effects through an “architecture of participation.”
Us vs. Them
- Brand recognition
- User participation
- Measurement of message, products, and services
- Viral opportunities
- Reputation management
- Breaking news opportunities
- Communication and engagement with their audience
- Crowdsourcing for new ideas
Conclusion: The Have Nots
For companies without a social media strategy, with no participation in social networks, and for those companies that do not publish a blog your time is coming. Your De-Evolution will take place as your competitors that are social media Web 2.0 first adopters and the second wave of adopters will fill the vacuum and void left by your lack of participation.
Worse yet, the consumer population looking for your brand online, within these social networks, will assume you don’t care about them or their concerns.
These consumers, made up of your current audience-clients and potential consumers, will hold conversations about your products and services. Some will compliment and evangelize your company-but you will never know it. Some will slam your brand, tell stories of dissatisfaction, and rant about your lack of participation-but you will never know it.
The blinders will remain a comfortable fit.