The Next Web
Are you preparing for the next big thing? Social media marketing firms are always on the look-out for the latest trends and emerging technology even while implementing current campaigns. Today we are going to cover a few futuristic ideas that are likely to radically impact small business owners, social media marketing agencies and the very way we communicate in the future. We like to call it the “next web” because in many ways it looks a lot like the current web of communication and interaction but differs in some fundamentally important ways. These changes are not only important for small business owners seeking ways to prepare for upcoming changes but also for those that wish to understand where we are heading, how fast and how it will impact business. We think you will agree, the future is filled with exciting possibilities for those that understand how to take advantage of early opportunities!
The Not So Distant Future
While some aspects of the next web are likely to take years before becoming commonplace, others are already in the works. For example, Google is preparing to launch a third-party commenting platform in order to rival Facebook but with the important distinction that it will tie search results into the Google+ platform. By providing deep links to the entire Google network, this is expected to further enhance Google’s long term strategy for both search and Google+. In fact, in addition to the new navigation bar (seen it yet?), Google+ is also releasing vanity URL’s directly rather than sending users to third party providers.
What implications may this hold for small business owners and social media consulting firms? Several. Although Facebook is the clear and undisputed leader in the social media sphere, Google’s hold on search remains nearly unchallenged. As search continues to integrate social media, the distinction between the two is likely to dissolve into an entirely new type of hybrid system where each is uniquely dependent upon the other. Business owners that are still entirely focused upon SEO need to begin moving rapidly to increase their social media presence or face continued erosion of rankings due to lack of clearly established relationships and affiliations. Search is going social faster than the ability of most small business owners to even keep up. The trend is clear – get on board or face the prospect of being left behind!
Huh – What’s That? Discovery and the New Age of the Internet
While changes to Google may not seem that extra-ordinary (albeit, important), the next item is likely to sound somewhat sci-fi like; discovery search engines. Early examples of this are already in place for niche areas of interest but get ready to see search in an entirely new light within a few years! Huge database systems are already being built in order to connect all the niche areas into one unified whole. Like the Gestault concept where the sum of the parts are more than each individual node, the ability of discovery search will revolutionize the way society collects, analyzes and disseminates information.
So, what is discovery search? In short, it is the ability for a database to identify and quantify every single unique data point in a given source of information. For example, BookLamp.org has created what they call a “Book Genome Project” which uses a discovery search engine to break a book down into over 32,000 (yes, thirty-two thousand!) data points and then quantify each and every one of those data points into a system capable of analyzing, comparing and contrasting the data. Each variable represents a rich source of information capable of being used for predictions, correlations, comparisons etc…this allows users to perform robust searches without knowing what they want! Instead, they can find information based upon what they know, what they liked in the past and even what they don’t know they liked or wanted.
Search discovery will soon be available to nearly every industry, every field of study and of course…marketing! Relationships such as those currently created via social media networks will form an important component of this rich and robust data field.
It’s coming sooner than you might expect! Microsoft hasn’t been in the media much recently but last week a mostly ignored – but highly relevant press release – caught our attention. It concerns Microsoft’s HTTP speed plus Mobility in order to create a faster – much faster – Internet…aka, HTTP 2.0.
Okay, so a faster Internet sounds good but perhaps a bit boring; after all, what would really change other than split second downloads? By reading between the lines, it’s possible to learn a lot more!
First, according to Microsoft’s blog, the new HTTP 2.0 will be built on Google’s SPDY protocol so not only do we see that Google will remain central to upcoming versions of HTTP but central to that of the emerging mobile marketing platform of the future.
Second, a faster web means more than just a quicker loading page; it allows enhanced levels of interaction, more robust methods of communication, tremendously larger amounts of data collection…and cheaper prices! Think of it this way; in the early days of the Internet when “dial-up” was the only option (remember that?), nearly all websites were limited to text only. Lots and lots and lots of text. Very few pictures, Even fewer dynamic pictures. Limited database. No online payments. Forget video. Heck, animated “gifs” were considered ultra cool! Once cable and other high speed options appeared, it opened the doors to “ecommerce”, online video, webinars, college courses, retail stores and so much more. So, what possibilities does speed + mobile make possible? Many including the ability to interact and record live social media anywhere, anytime.
Third, all of these changes actually work together. Search is going social and becoming more robust with the addition of discovery features capable of creating connections the user never imagined. Mobile combined with speed promise to create an Internet that immerses the user in 24/7 applications capable of integrating their entire lives while providing data, intelligence and feedback loops to business and marketing pro’s.