Is the Internet really going to go to the highest bidder?
Sorry to say but it already has. If you think I’m wrong you may be living under a rock.
Some have said that information is now free on the Internet. I’m sorry but did someone just say information was FREE on the Internet?
I guess these people are getting their Internet services for free and have never gone to a site with advertisements. Information is not free by any means. Search engines are constantly advancing themselves technologically in order to track what you search in order to make money by selling that information to advertisers. Google is one of the biggest beneficiaries of advertisement monies making nearly $23 Billion in advertising alone in 2009 (http://investor.google.com/financial/tables.html). That is nearly 97% of all Google profits. Google even encourages people to utilize their AdSense and AdWords programs on their own websites and will pay you a certain amount of money based on the number of clicks they get from your site. (http://www.google.com/adsense, http://www.google.com/adwords). They make money by you doing the work for them. They certainly are geniuses at what they do.
The Internet is quickly becoming a great way for businesses to track what you do in every aspect of your daily life. As technologies become more prevalent and more convenient, businesses will want to know more and more of what you are doing so they can advertise and possibly sell you something. Don’t be surprised if that GPS enabled device you own starts advertising just before you reach the street corner that Starbucks is on, or just as you turn your phone on there is a text message showing you deals you can get at the airport terminal as you exit the plane. Your car will end up being a big advertising agent for businesses as more and more technology goes in. Your location is crucial to advertisers now.
So what is happening to the Internet? Web 3.0 is what is happening. Web 3.0 is the next generation of the Internet in which Web 2.0 will be expanded. We are moving from a generation of users who interact with others via social networking to a generation of users who are now interacted with by the Internet itself. Your digital imprint will be rated. How important are you? How much do others follow you? How much influence do you have on others? What is your profitability margin? That information will be very important for advertisers.
So, how bad is that?
Well it can be as bad as you want it to be or you can use it to your advantage. Obviously the more influence you have the more profitable your digital imprint will be. Don’t underestimate your value on the new Internet. Don’t allow advertisers to use your reputation to pedal their products without receiving some sort of benefit. Just because a site says it’s free to use doesn’t mean it is. If your content ends up riddled with other peoples’ advertisements then you just got duped. Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated and don’t live in the dark and expect every public figure you see isn’t pedalling something simply because they have your best interest in mind. Web 3.0 will require users to simply be more skeptical and a little bit smarter. It won’t be the end of the world and it certainly won’t be end of anonymity. At least, not for the majority.
Be smart, the next generation of the Internet is being designed to benefit businesses more than the individual. The Internet itself is a capitalistic world. Survival of the fitest. Know your digital imprint and don’t give it away for free.