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Mapping Web Futures' Digital Plateau: New Cloud Talk vs. Old Market Research

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While mobile computing holds fast to its steady upward trend via the addictive connectivity of social media, it is the only thing driving the wide worldliness of the web. Meanwhile, for the first time in its history, the overall growth of Internet consumers is said to be leveling off. Before the dot com bust, E commerce was dominated by business productivity and the idea that just about anybody could use a PC to make a living. Now that only cloud gatekeepers profit while the rest of us are too busy communicating, that entrepreneurial spirit is lost and we are seeing newbs driven away by a fickle net crowd scene of all cloud talk and no action.

An Internet defined by interactive communication alone loses sight of other ways to create consumers beyond the auspices of cloud computing. If everyone is too busy texting friends and family or responding to news and current events, then they are not spending money aside from the bill of their ISP. This is a limited dual income source where only connection costs and ad revenue make up the profit margin of telecoms. Stats that show less users from here on in are a sign that the Internet needs to evolve into more than a cyber town hall for electronic attention whores.

The genesis of the digital age was a rogue garage tinker operation where social networking led the dream team makeover of our E future. So pioneers leading the way to invent the Internet and PC never did much market research to find out what consumers want. Instead, everything was marketed like beta software to be new now and improved later. Of course, the better business school way of doing things is the other way around. But with the net this has rarely been done because in the beginning market predictions were too easy to contemplate to worry much about foresight incidentals such as what consumers will pay for and what they will come to expect for free.

The result of a lack of consumer feedback study is that we have a one size fits all Internet where untargeted fans, special interest groups or niche demographics are ignored to reach an audience that is treated as if everyone were the same when this is hardly the case. Young millennials may look at web surfing as a natural extension of TV media, but older mature users weary of half a century of television screens may not want a net experience where an ad supported video pops up at every web site. While E age tech may have made libraries obsolete, treating the Internet like a library is relaxing time out away from the babble tower that the net has become.

Moreover, lack of directed preference doesn't only pertain to forums, formats or portal designs. It also applies to content itself. Rather than to host surveys based on content already produced, webmasters need to question surfers on content they would like to see. It's the rare site that performs this simple task. StumbleUpon seems to be in on the message of giving us what we want. You enter your subjects and surf destinations are supplied based on your input. The setup of the search pref site is is a built in direct ad marketing business model that start ups would do well to emulate, if for no other reason than to link specified ads with special interest material.

For the cloud to keep up with the wants and needs of youth market taste, much of the present and future has been digitized. However, the past not as much to preserve old school sensibilities. It seems Netflix offerings are slowly phasing out their DVD selection in favor of streaming the latest new release. As long as they make sure that classic entertainment options are available digitally online, this is an inevitable change with the times. But all in all, it's not something that consumer feedback wouldn't answer if more sites like this would take the time to profile their membership with in depth questionnaires to compliment queue lists and thumbs up or down algorithms.

The modern entertainment world, in its millennial yearning to be different, is a closed circle of creative media giants oblivious to mass appeal. Its power to define rather than reflect or mirror it loses sight of the big picture. The Internet allows the option for interaction to gauge public consensus. But if cloud business treats content as something to get for free or do-it-yourself, at some point the ways and means of distribution will be devalued as well. This is why Internet usage is not growing. When powers that be turn the web into an auxiliary extension of mainstream media, this is a turn off for newbies. The net works best for hard to find and not easy to hate content.

The net boomed as a media island oasis, not an intermediate E ghetto for communications addiction. If diehard habits jump the shark as a tech vice, web entrepreneurs can break from the clique of unpreparedness that permeates standard media by talking to consumers and not at them. That way more might be willing to pay for what they want as opposed to settling for free for all pop culture. Since cutting edge shelf life of what's new can't compete with free 24/7 oldie competition, the more the foolhardy effort to merge TV/cable interests with web futures fails, the better chances the Internet will experience a renaissance to offset cloud computing overflow.

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