Democracy – A Consumer Insight

Many of you have written/mentioned in passing that I hardly ever talk about Y! and what’s next, and only mention press releases/coverage from time to time about Y!…i’ll just say that the multiple Y! blogs (starting with http://yodel.yahoo.com) would do a much better job of describing what Y! is upto…also, this is a personal blog…and alot of the content here are thoughts about how the space is evolving…yeah, so on with my post…

The internet is the world’s biggest democracy…i first came up with that line back in 2004 when i was writing my SoP for an eBusiness Management course for a school in england…i didn’t go due to a multitude of reasons, but the SoP really helped me crystallize my thoughts…and this was my opening statement…

The Internet has no parallel, it is the world biggest community (11.5% of world population)*, the world’s biggest marketplace (740 million users), and is growing and evolving everyday. We have witnessed the social implications it has had on our lives and how it has revolutionised the way we do business. Today, we are witnessing the second Internet revolution, the era of Wireless Networking. This will increase the reach and growth of the Internet making it a more central part of how we live and operate. I am driven by my passion for the Internet, and am decided on being a part of this global movement, that continues to add value to our lives.

That was 2004, 3 years in a conventional landscape (30 in cyberspace)…those numbers have already clawed up to a billion users globally (15% of global population…growing at 10% a year)…media moguls across the globe are now watching the wireless revolution evolve and attain critical mass…wi-fi and wi-lan are available in india, mobile access continues to grow at 5MM new users in india alone, mobile VAS revenues exceed P2P… we are all witnessing faster evolution of our species thanks to the ever widening proliferation of media and technology…the key trend we’re seeing is, the company that builds the best ecosystem, that allows for the fairest democracy, and that allows the user to be the real winner will eventually win…
Google made online advertising democratic when they first launched ad-sense…they weren’t the first online ad-network, but were the first the allow virtually everyone to run ads on their site and make money of it…in retrospect, the manner in which fastclick, advertising.com and the other networks treated small webmasters was pathetic, and thats why they paid the price…Google continues to grow, and in no small part due to the number of webmasters across the globe that run their ads, swear by their practices and, how their system allows advertiser, webmaster & user to win… the online ecosystem is built (and continues to grow)…Google is not aiming to be a destination….Google wants to be the platform…and has done everything it needs to do, to be the center of the world’s biggest ecosystem…
Don’t for a moment write Microsoft out of this game…they’re still very rich (USD 30BN in cash, billions in profit every quarter) and if you read between the lines of last weeks $3 windows student license announcement for developing economies…you find that they are the only company on earth that could aim at doubling the number of PC owners in the next 8 years… almost all of us use Windows, and alot of their products across the productivity (windows, office 2007, mobile) and entertainment axis (mediacenter, xbox360) are leaps and bounds ahead of the competition… we’re only too used to personalising our computing experience…the key here is we can personalise it because MS has built the ecosystem… even though some of their tactics can be mildly termed aggressive, that’s just business right? …. in the words of kevin kelly, the infinite game is played to keep playing, and to win at every level you play at….

Today we can install almost anything we find on the internet on a windows machine…and thats what affords us options, choices, freedoms which in turn empower us….we can now share our ideas with the world (this blog being a classic case), get feedback, collaborate and jointly evolve…this is the role that technology & media combined are playing in the evolution of mankind… technology was always supposed to be open, to be free, shared, transparent…and media today makes it viable… web 2.0 is the biggest attempt and success story ever towards socialization of media & technology … its anyones guess about which company will eventually prevail… but the one thing i can say with absolutely no hesitation is that the consumer will win (and is already winning) … we’re really really really lucky to live in this day and age… subsidised by media, empowered by technology… democratic, free and liberated!

This is just ONE more reason why i LOVE the internet…

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