A recent snippet I’ve written for Campaign magazine about UGC, prompted me to stop for five clicks and look back. Being a digital oldman (a term coined by @paulpod), I have been with the internet from day one. When a thing called portals was all the rage and emails just started to exist. The portal was an idea that luckily didn’t survive for very long. The internet thought it could tell us what to like. Now it’s how it should be, we tell the internet what we like.
At some point Google came along, all the photo and video uploading sites got overtaken by Flickr and YouTube. All this just happened, without a big bang or something, just gradually and quietly. I remember a time not so long a go when simply sticking a video in a banner was enough to get people’s attention. Now it’s the norm and we have to work hard to get that click.
As I type this there is another of those quiet shifts happening. Did you notice? The microsite is dead. There are still quite a few out there and some of them are very good, but we are looking again at a shift from dwell time driven creative to something far more exciting but more complex and fragmented. Yet again, film is king, but not any old film works online. They need to be “films the internet likes” (a thought stolen from @faris).
Successful communications now happen all across the web. A clever URL won’t do anymore. A clever URL and a TV ad won’t do any more. A campaign needs to have social currency, it needs to become popculture to cut through. It’s not as easy to get people’s attention online anymore.
I am so happy that finally the internet is not about the internet anymore. Just about good new fashioned ideas.