Futureproofing: dead sites

NetVibes

If you look at — for example — at IGoogle, MyYahoo — in fact, my personal preference is a site called NetVibes. If you’re familiar with it.

The idea is that it’s simply a platform for widgets and feeds. I can control what I see and what I don’t see. I get to control the content on that page.

Back to the whole Top 12 idea — that’s my Top 1. I don’t go many other places. At least if I do, it’s from a jumping-off point of NetVibes. So I’m controlling it. Again, I’m sure you’re familiar with Firefox. The browser.

One of the things I love about it is the plug-ins. The add-ins. One of them is called GreaseMonkey. Granted, it’s a little geekier than most users are comfortable with — but GreaseMonkey allows you to edit JavaScript. There are others, of course, who’ve made their own edits. You can easily download and install them yourself.

I can choose to see your ads or to not see your ads. I can choose to take two totally different pages. I can take a competitor’s page and your page and smash them together on a single page. I can do whatever I want to do with content.

The point is — and I kind of hinted at this earlier… As marketers, we’d better wake up to that fact. Or we’re going to be left out in the cold. The consumer is in control.

Again, I think some of that is an emerging trend. There are definitely aspects of it that’ve been around for quite a while.

Futureproofing

MM: As William Gibson — the great Cyberpunk author said brilliantly — “The future arrives unevenly distributed.”

Exactly.

I think that for some marketers — unless they’re alerted sooner — it’s going to come as a big shock that, “Oh, crap! My online media isn’t doing anything for me.” Why isn’t it? Well, because it’s easy to ignore. It’s easy to block. It’s easy to mash up.

That’s the point.

Again, back to the site dying. If you expect your site to be one of their top-12 destinations, good luck! For some lucky few, that’s going to be the case. But you’ve got to realize that there are going to be an increasing number of consumers mashing up content and deciding what and how much and when, et cetera, they consume it. So much so that if you don’t start to approach it from that “preference center” mindset, they’re going to ignore you. Or they’ll choose to consume it however they want to, anyway.

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