Thoughts on the Internet cloud

The Internet cloud is probably the most amazing image we never see.

Think about it:

A — Millions of e-mails flying around the globe every day

B– Spam, phishing expeditions, spyware and adware attacks by the ton

C –Tens of thousands of pictures, taken, sent, stored

D — Hundreds of good, bad, funny, sad videos posted, downloaded

E –Radio news, commentary, information listened to anytime, anywhere

F — Music enriching our days, filling in time

G — TV shows unencumbered by networks and borders

From its innocent beginning in the early ‘80s the Internet has grown into an indispensable part of our personal and professional lives.

As bandwidth spread around the globe it fostered a new industry: the Web. This gave rise to heroes, billionaires, industry leaders and wholesale disasters.

The second generation Web cloud is being seeded by VC and M&A funds as lavishly as before.

VCs have warchests stuffed with over $15 billion, investing in anything with social media in its name. Media conglomerates are throwing big money at young kids to have a stake in the new media environment.

Folks use it to do product researches; enter contests; play games; listen to radio; share photos; comment on chat rooms, message boards, bulletin boards; stream music/video and yes…even work.

Photo-sharing sites, music sites, video-sharing sites, social networking sites, wikis, podcasts, RSS feeds and blogs are all the rage.

But financially seeding the cloud doesn’t ensure rain and a bountiful crop. Most of the time, all we get is a lot of thunder, lightning and parched land.

“Old” Web 1.0 produce-and-deliver locations are healthy, unexciting.

Web 2.0 self-production, self-controlled content wouldn’t have been considered without broadband.

High speed broadband was built to meet the needs of consumers and Internet storefronts. Iceland, Korea, the Netherlands and Denmark lead the countries of the world with broadband penetration.

100MB+ broadband service is on every nation’s to-do list.

The more that is available, the more it will be used.

We are on the leading edge of a new era of communications, one that is being shaped by the wants, needs, desires and demands of consumers.

Somewhere in this equation money is to be made!

Social Scene

“Everyone” is gathering on the social sites.

MySpace leads the pack with 54,522 unique visitors a month at mid year. This clear leader was followed by FaceBook, Classmates, MSN space, Xanga, Yahoo! 360, Flickr and others down the list.

The sites walk a thin line – a bevy of social discourse and money.

They make their money by attracting members with similar areas of personal, professional and school interests as well as marketer-sponsored locations.

Advertisers love the groups because they share a common profile.

Next came Internet video/photo hang-outs.

It is projected to be a billions-of-dollars business. It will lead the other “hot ideas” – podcasts and blogs.

Every VC has invested in 4-5 of them. It’s a lot like Las Vegas craps…spread the money around the table and one has to win!

Even communications conglomerates are scooping them up for stupid multiples.

Now all the sites have to do is attract tens of thousands of good, bad, insane videographers to drop in their content. Next, millions of unique visitors. Finally, hundreds of millions of ad dollars!

Easy!

The ad part is still a work in progress:

A — 30 second commercials won’t fly on the Web

B — Five second ads is about all multi-multitasking young people will tolerate

C — Demographics will be lower gross numbers but can be very precisely profiled so the cost structure will have to be different…somehow.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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