I think it is absolutely fascinating that Time Magazine named the users of internet, web2.0 applications, bloggers, open source developers, and anything that involves user generated content as its Person of The Year.   The applications they site include MySpace, Wikipedia, and YouTube where virtually all of the value comes from the content their users generate and the overall value is a function of the number of active users.  They also site Amazon which one might not consider a user generated content site, but their user recommendations is one of the things that makes shopping there so valuable.

This prompted me to do a quick lookup of the top 10 most visited web properties as measured by Alexa Most of the top 10 now are sites whose main value is the content produced by its users, not by the site creator itself:
  1. Yahoo
  2. Google
  3. MySpace
  4. MSN
  5. eBay
  6. Amazon
  7. YouTube
  8. CraigsList
  9. Wikipedia
  10. Facebook

I think this Time Person of the Year article is mainstream's society's acceptance that the web has turned the corner from a one way broadcast model (editor to audience) to a two way collaborative model (audience to audience and back again).

I could not help but think about our small business readership and customers.  Most of the folks we talk to have traditional, offline businesses like law firms and consultancies.  Most of these companies leverage broadcast model websites that give them very little leverage.  It might take awhile, but I suspect in a few years we will look back and wonder how small businesses survived without rich internet two way properties that attracted customers through seo and engaged potential customers on their own terms.

-- Brian Halligan.


internet marketing kit

Originally published Dec 17, 2006 11:02:00 PM, updated March 21 2013