With some perspective about Web marketing since '94 when I started at AOL, I began thinking about why online businesses are really different now. Everyone is feeling and declaring a change, but why?
Here's my take on 5 things that are influencing it:
1. Things always change when fear enters the room
With the economy negatively affecting everyone, it's hard not to want to re-think everything you believed about your business, your bank account and your life. So everyone is rethinking something. It's axiomatic.
2. Boomers are taking the time to re-assess retirement
As the largest generational cohort heads toward retirement, Boomers are looking back to a time when 'giving back' had some meaning for them. The 40th anniversary of Woodstock is causing them take a look at what they've been doing these last 40 years. Some feel that pull towards "making a difference" again.
3. With information so readily available, it’s easy for Gen X and Y to see what they don’t want to do
With the internet flattening the world, it's much easier for people to see how they fit into the bigger picture. When you have a sense that your world isn't 'one block long,' you think differently.
4. Social Media gives you the tools to talk back
Social Networking allows people to exert "personal influence." That's a responsibility as well as a gift.
5. Why couldn't my business be a positive force in my customer's life?
Online business owners are realizing that no matter what they are selling or who they are serving, they can provide a tangible value.
These are by no means the only reasons for a shift in thinking, but are influencing factors. What do you think?