I picked up the new issue of Wired Magazine this past weekend and was drawn in by the cover story – The Web is Dead. The story focuses on the move from the “world wide web” to applications independent of browsers.
Chris Anderson makes an interesting point:
“Over the past few years, one of the most important shifts in the digital world has been the move from the wide-open Web to semiclosed platforms that use the Internet for transport but not the browser for display. It’s driven primarily by the rise of the iPhone model of mobile computing, and it’s a world Google can’t crawl, one where HTML doesn’t rule. And it’s the world that consumers are increasingly choosing, not because they’re rejecting the idea of the Web but because these dedicated platforms often just work better or fit better into their lives.”
Over the last week, I’ve seen quite a few disagreeing posts and conversations around Anderson’s article; however, there are a few things that we, as communication professionals, can take away from the overall discussion.
We have to be ready to take the conversation anywhere. First it was newspapers and radio, and then on to television; now we are moving beyond just web browsers to take brands into the hands of consumers (literally) through applications and mobile devices. As the web continues to evolve and communications channels change, it’s our job to understand the medium so that we can counsel our clients on how their target audiences are using it.
The Internet will continue to infiltrate our everyday activities. The bigger story isn’t about the technology or applications, but about how the internet shapes our habits and activities. Communication professionals should look for ways to share information and engage stakeholders through digital channels, including mobile, in addition to our “tried and true” channels.
There will always be the next big thing. We can’t always predict what the “next big thing” will be; however, we can stay focused on the bigger picture. Platforms like Foursquare and Twitter are great, but we must look at the behavior around them and what that tells us about consumers’ needs, not the channels themselves.