|How many more years will web last as it is?|
Would like you to speculate
How many more years guys do you think people will be using websites in the current format? Will people still be getting information online in 10 years, and will people still be using search engines?
I ask because the internet world is pretty volatile and unpredictable which makes someone relying on it for their income risky. I mean would people want to start an online business now if only to find the whole landscape has changed in 5 years?
I know adaptation is an important skills to have, but your average guy working form home needs a stable environment to plan and execute their business idea for the long term.
I know there is a saying 'make hay while sun shines', but some predictability provides comfort.
I wouldn't think about it that way. If I were looking around for a stable environment at which I could work at home (which I still do, by the way) I would consider the niche first, and THEN consider if it could be successfully migrated to other channels besides web traffic (email, mobile app, direct mail, offline, brick and mortar, and whatever comes up in the future)
Nobody can predict where we'll be in ten years. Nobody predicted where we ARE ten years ago (other than some general speculation)
|How many more years guys do you think people will be using websites in the current format? Will people still be getting information online in 10 years, |
I'm not sure that we can reasonably define the format of the web today, much less into the future. It and the technology that powers it change too fast.
|and will people still be using search engines? |
Search might well change as time goes on, it almost has to in order to keep up with the changing role of the internet in peoples lives. Think coordinated fragmentation, or maybe creative chaos.
|I ask because the internet world is pretty volatile and unpredictable which makes someone relying on it for their income risky. |
I prefer to think of it as rapidly evolving, which is nothing new and will probably continue indefinitely.
|I mean would people want to start an online business now if only to find the whole landscape has changed in 5 years? |
Online or off, the business environment can and does change on a moments notice, sometimes faster. A large number of offline new businesses don't make it for 5 years.
|I know adaptation is an important skills to have, but your average guy working form home needs a stable environment to plan and execute their business idea for the long term. |
That guy might be better served looking for a 9 - 5. It's really no more stable, but at least the illusion is there to cling to.
|I know there is a saying 'make hay while sun shines', but some predictability provides comfort. |
Predictability is a parasite that sucks the life out of opportunity.
What if the person's business model only involves creating sites solely to provide information (no physical products) and relies on advertising for his income? Would this model be very risky going into the future? Or would it be sustainable with some some minor iterations?
I am talking about the entire internet landscape and not how people access it. Sure, more and more people access the web with mobile devices, but that's something website owners can quite easily adapt. What I am really saying is whether websites as we know it now will be out of date in another 10 years.
What if the person's business model only involves creating sites solely to provide information (no physical products) and relies on advertising for his income?
I don't think that's a business model you can rely on even right now, if it's your only business model (and I say that as someone who has a whole bunch of sites that are built that way) Search algos change, competitors may come and go, Google may decide to serve up your information for free, advertisers could dry up, users get ad blind - don't get me wrong, it's great for auxiliary income, but I wouldn't be taking out a mortgage on it if that were my only source of income (and I do pretty well).
|but I wouldn't be taking out a mortgage on it if that were my only source of income |
Now you tell me...LOL. Mortgage came first, then came income so now hopefully mortgage will go away.
|I mean would people want to start an online business now if only to find the whole landscape has changed in 5 years? |
Would you open a new gas station when electric cars will probably replace them in 10 years?
Would you open a hamburger stand when mad cow or e.coli could decimate your business at any minute?
The internet in some form will survive and trying to predict a disruptive technology before it happens is quite impractical, but short of a global EMP that takes out all electronic capabilities I think the internet will easily be around another 20 years minimum and get bigger and faster, not go out of existence.
The question you need to be looking at is what's the next big thing about to happen, the next google, facebook, twitter or whatever, and ride it's coat tails forward for maximum ROI.
|I ask because the internet world is pretty volatile and unpredictable |
Which is no different than the real world.
But if you look at it overall, the internet world actually has quite a bit of stability with Yahoo, Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, etc. all being the cyberspace equivalent of anchor tenants that you can build around and not worry about losing your investment in those particular companies.
However, if you build around volatile startups, in the real world or cyberspace, you're more likely to get burned than building around a well established company.
Nothing new really, web or B&M, use common sense and you'll be just fine.
Incredibill, yes, the internet will remain for another 20 years for sure; in fact, it will possibly remain most of our our lifetimes, but what I am really asking is whether the core in the we use the web today will remain for years to come.
If you look at the Internet, the fundamentals of the web has pretty much remained the same since people first started using it as a mainstream in the mid/late 1990s. We have had lots of little inventions around the web in the meantime, but they have all been sideshows (like the social stuff, for example) rather than anything disruptive which has enhanced the web but has not changed the core. The basics of the internet has still remained web pages for creating content/information and mainly search for finding content.
In the great scheme of things, the web is still relatively new though.
|hey have all been sideshows (like the social stuff, for example) |
The web has been social media since the first modem connected to a BBS, then Compuserve, AOL, FidoNet, etc. and forums leading all the way to Facebook. These aren't the sideshows, these have always been the main event from the very beginning for many people. Search is just a way to locate the information posted on those sideshows.
|rather than anything disruptive which has enhanced the web but has not changed the core |
Apps are the current major disruption to the web. Whether to build a web site vs. an app is a major make or break decision. The disruptive part which most webmasters don't seem to get is that computers and the internet have transitioned from programmable office tools and nerd toys into little handheld internet appliances that literally everyone now owns. So the issue becomes which is more acceptable to the masses with their handheld devices, the app or the website?
The further disruption IMO is actually convergence as everyone wants everything to work everywhere so search, GPS, social and communications is all converging and it's doing it at a breakneck pace. Companies are being forced by customer demand to open it's APIs to other programs to make it all happen otherwise customers will turn to some other company that does.
Prime example is OAuth, using your Facebook or Twitter login to instantly gain access to any site which just a few years ago would've been considered crazy and now everyone does it. Websites using this technology are literally losing control of the customer, which is a major paradigm shift. This is OK if you're a twitter add-on tool or Facebook app, but not really OK for an ecommerce site.
|Prime example is OAuth, using your Facebook or Twitter login to instantly gain access to any site which just a few years ago would've been considered crazy and now everyone does it. |
Everyone doesn't ..it is crazy..
I would recommend reading "Business @ Speed of thought" by none other than Bill gates.
It is old book say from 1998 or so. Before google came to the scene.
But still the ideas he has discussed in it are very much relevant to today's world and overall business and how web will transform the business.
He has compared Internet to electricity. Electricity was first introduced to just give Light and now we see we have got so many electrical equipments.
So according to Bill Gates similar things will happen with internet also. Things will evolve in the world of internet and we need to see where we are at each stage of evolution.
My 2 cents.
If we break this down to its core, take a look at what the majority of the web is. Text and pics.
Who doesn't love text and pics? Since the first books were created, humanity found a touchstone. It's something we can all relate to, understand, and share. The difference is becoming in how we publish.
A clear example can be seen in the newspaper industry. Overall, the content of a newspaper has not changed, just how it's published. Unfortunately, for the newspaper industry the majority refused to evolve and lost revenue to bloggers and niche sites.
I think that studying the failure of the newspaper industry is core to anyone working on the web. Again, overall their content remains, but the delivery needed to change.
As long as you're creating quality content you will continue to find an audience. Written content is permanent. People love it, they won't be abandoning it. Ever.
However, it's the delivery of content that changes. Overall, the fundamentals of the web are sound. I don't see choosing a TLD, and creating content with HTML changing anytime soon. However, change is currently happening and if you don't get ahead of it, I think you'll start to see negative consequences.
There's so many new devices that you can access the web from that you really have to adopt a responsive design. People are no longer sitting at a desk to get on the internet. They're everywhere from screens that range from 3200px, to 320px, and you have to find a way to accommodate them.
Good points there.
Remember that I am talking from the perspective of website owners who run standard content sites. What if you run sites that are purely informational? Do they need to be enabled for mobile access? Most mobile devices as of now have web browsers which people still use to access sites when using these devices, but more and more sites are, or should you create apps like these newspaper sites do?
If more and more people are using apps, how will people find information using those devices since for many people search engines provide the bulk of their traffic?
For example, most major newspapers now have their own apps offering selected stories, latest developments, and so on. Its OK for them as they are big brands so they can get people to download their apps, but how does a person running a standard site on which content is mostly found via search, get their apps downloaded in large enough numbers?
Apps are over hyped and most webmasters completely just don't get it. They think that an app is someway to get their web content in front of people. They overlook that every smartphone comes with a web browser that can easily access their website, yet instead of making their site responsive they develop an app which is nothing more than an overblown RSS reader.
It's pointless. As a smartphone owner, I hate sites that want me to download an app to read their content. Just do the work to make your site responsive. If their site's not responsive, I just read their RSS feed in an RSS reader. If they don't offer their content as a feed, they're ignored. Bottom line, I'm not going to download an app just to read the content that's provided on their site.
Now, that's not to say that apps aren't a great idea. For example, if you have an Automotive site, and you have an idea to create an app that helps with car repair, and that app would utilize some content from your site, that's fine. You're making a car repair app, it's a bonus and supplement to your site and a great way to promote your main content.
So, if you're creating standard web content, forget about app development. There's already a great app installed on smart phones that you can take advantage of - the web browser. Just make your site accessible to as many platforms as you can.
Keep an eye on these keywords to help you out:
Responsive design and Media queries
Most people doing mobile designs, sites or app, aren't even bright enough to use variable sized fonts so people get stuck with fixed point junk some of us have a hard time reading. NEXT!
If you truly plan to earn a living online for a very long time to come you need to follow the advertising dollar while reducing your reliance on search engine traffic. Build a brand that *could* survive without a website.
>>Remember that I am talking from the perspective of website owners who run standard content sites. What if you run sites that are purely informational?
information has always had value and always will. if your info is good and you know how to sell it, then you will always be able to make money ... of course most people never know how to sell it, and the likes of adsense made it easy for a while.
|information has always had value and always will. if your info is good and you know how to sell it, then you will always be able to make money ... of course most people never know how to sell it, and the likes of adsense made it easy for a while. |
Can you advise on how to sell advertising on an information site?
|Can you advise on how to sell advertising on an information site? |
The same as you do any other site, find a sponsor with synergistic products or services and give them a rate they can't refuse. You might even want to try AdSense for starters as they tend to have the widest diversity of advertisers.
Thanks for the response.
If you are trying to target an advertiser based on the demographic profile of your website (the advertiser's product is different from the subject of the site), should it be approached differently?
Should the selling points of the site be presented differently?
"If you truly plan to earn a living online for a very long time to come you need to follow the advertising dollar while reducing your reliance on search engine traffic. Build a brand that *could* survive without a website."
Its one thing having a brandable business which sells products/services that can run even without a website in the long run, but there must always be a market for people who provide content of great value. People have always been able to monetize print for centuries and then content online. Maybe its just a way of finding market on different platforms.
But my worry is that my understanding is that fewer people are using search engines, and fewer people are accessing websites via PC, so how does someone who mainly runs informational based sites cater to these new platforms?
As much as I would like to say otherwise, 80% of traffic comes via search engines. My sites appear on mobile browsers just as they appear on a PC, and actually that's how I like it. However,like I say, my main worry is that more and more people are using apps and the like and moving away from standard web browsing. And I can't figure out how I can make my sites appropriate for apps.
The good thing about advertising is that you can attract it like a moth to a flame. Create something positive that will attract eyeballs and the advertiser will pay you to do the *look at me* dance whatever the medium. Search engines are trying to coral those dollars by replacing you with their own content so work on generating traffic from sources other than search for best results.
As long as Internet today still patronize by the users, it will surely last.