Home » Headline, Online Income

The Future of Making Money Online: Part 2

28 September 2010 14 Comments

If you read part 1 in this series, you read about the Wired article entitled “The Web is Dead” and some of my reactions from it.  In this article, I’m going to go over some big picture take-aways and trends that will impact all types of online businesses.

Trend #1 – A Shift Away From Search

Search has peaked in my opinion.  Search was the most important part of the first phase of the internet.  The internet brought more information at a single person’s fingertips than ever before in the history of the world.  The problem was searching and sorting through all that information.  Therefore, search solved the problem.

Again, search has peaked.  Now that people are used to the fact that we have all this information via the web, they are somewhat less fascinated with it and less interested in discovering it.  A quote from the Wired article:

But the Web is now 18 years old. It has reached adulthood. An entire generation has grown up in front of a browser. The exploration of a new world has turned into business as usual. We get the Web. It’s part of our life. And we just want to use the services that make our life better. Our appetite for discovery slows as our familiarity with the status quo grows.

Interesting, no?  That is the first cause in the shift away from search.

The next factor is our society is increasingly becoming more of a headline culture and more A.D.D.-like.  Americans are hardly read anything anymore.  Instead, they prefer headlines.  If a headline entices you, you might read half of an article or column, but rarely the entire thing.  This correlates perfectly with the rise of the tweet.  Short, instant information.  Not searching for information.  We like headlines and we like them thrown our way without having to exert any effort in finding them…. which leads us to the third factor.

The third cause in the shift away from search is the desire to have things found for us.  We don’t really want to go on a search of information anymore.  Instead, we want someone to find it for us and deliver it to us without us having to think, get up, open our eyes, etc.  And we want it now.  Enter apps.  The trend toward apps is simultaneously a trend away from search.  We download apps because it gives us information automatically instead of us going out to find it.

The following quote illustrates what I’m talking about:

Openness is a wonderful thing in the nonmonetary economy of peer production. But eventually our tolerance for the delirious chaos of infinite competition finds its limits. Much as we love freedom and choice, we also love things that just work, reliably and seamlessly. And if we have to pay for what we love, well, that increasingly seems OK.

Blame human nature. As much as we intellectually appreciate openness, at the end of the day we favor the easiest path. We’ll pay for convenience and reliability, which is why iTunes can sell songs for 99 cents despite the fact that they are out there, somewhere, in some form, for free. When you are young, you have more time than money, and LimeWire is worth the hassle. As you get older, you have more money than time. The iTunes toll is a small price to pay for the simplicity of just getting what you want.

The last and fourth factor contributing to a shift away from search is the growing “walled off” parts of the web.  The greatest example of this is Facebook.  Facebook has an insane amount of data and none of it is indexed via google (and other engines) and therefore, isn’t searchable outside Facebook.

The shift away from search has already begun and will probably intensify as new technologies are created, as the internet evolves into more forms in addition to forms such as the web, apps, email, etc.

For those of us looking to make money on the web, it will be important to understand this trend regarding search.  Search engines will not go away, but they might evolve, and the amount of internet usage that is dependent on search might decrease.  Your strategy should take this into account when planning long-term viability on the web.  If you need tips or ideas on how to plan for this shift, leave some comments, and let’s get a discussion going.

Trend #2 – The noncommercial aspect of the web is growing very fast

While the quality of traffic might be diminishing due to the quality of content diminishing on the web (a topic I briefly touched in part 1), the noncommercial parts of the web are thriving.  More people than ever before are using the web for expression and other user-generated content.  Whether it’s Facebook, twitter or a blog, zillions of people are pumping out constant noncommercial data.

The web is becoming less about selling goods and more about connecting and expression.  The following quote helps to explain this idea:

Ecommerce continues to thrive on the Web, and no company is going to shut its Web site as an information resource. More important, the great virtue of today’s Web is that so much of it is noncommercial. The wide-open Web of peer production, the so-called generative Web where everyone is free to create what they want, continues to thrive, driven by the nonmonetary incentives of expression, attention, reputation, and the like. But the notion of the Web as the ultimate marketplace for digital delivery is now in doubt.

Conclusions

The overall theme of this series is that the web is changing, and therefore, the players that make money on the web, must acknowledge the trends or they might find themselves out of business.

In this article, we discussed two trends that are very interesting and very important for any of us looking to connect with users and make a dime off of them.

In the next part, we’ll turn specifically to blogging and what it means for bloggers looking to gain an audience and monetize that audience.

Any thoughts or reactions to this?  I look forward to your comments.

14 Comments »

  • mybestfunds.com said:

    I totally agree with these themes, especially regarding search. With more and more information and information outlets available, it is exceedingly difficult to find quality content at times. I've seen the role of curator emerge lately. Themed sites that search the web and aggregate the best of the best are sites I use more often. Also, new search technologies that start answering natural language questions will be used more in the future. Love your site. Keep up the great work!

  • Tom said:

    Very interesting article. I wanted to respond to your claim that "walledness" is the future of the web. Yes, a few companies have been successful in this approach but they mainly produce content that isn't available elsewhere (e.g., WSJ–there really is no good non corporate alternative for business news). Attempts to make paywalls have been tried time again and have, and will continue to fail. Facebook, for example, has recently become much more open with the new default settings making most peoples' pages public (and indexed). Can you provide any evidence that this new attempt at making paywalls will be successful?

  • 20smoney said:

    Tom,

    I didn't say it will be successful, I said it's growing.. most of the Facebook content is non-indexed. Also even if its not walled-off, some data is just not really searchable in ways websites have in the past. For example, twitter is technically indexed, but most results from twitter when searching don't really make sense.

  • Imran Javed said:

    To establish your own money making websites, you won’t need thousands of dollars or savvy programming skills. All you need is a dream which you want to realize, and the goal of making money in the comfort of your own home.

    It’s easy to establish your own money making websites. Granted it probably won’t be an overnight success story, but you never know. As long as you’re having fun and making smart decisions along the way, then nothing could go wrong.

    Imran javed
    ccsp test

  • london van man said:

    Hi, I want to construct a site and upload plenty of pictures on it, all in the uniformed manner. The look of it is Really important. Does anyone know of a Really nice theme (cost-free or paid) that’s very good for numerous pics like this?! I already have Artisteer, but that doesn’t Really Help me with the pictures within the post. Appreciate any ideas

  • branding agency said:

    We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

  • fax2email said:

    Throughout the awesome scheme of things you secure an A+ for effort and hard work. Where exactly you actually misplaced me ended up being in your facts. You know, it is said, details make or break the argument.. And it couldn’t be more correct right here. Having said that, let me inform you what did do the job. The article (parts of it) is extremely powerful and that is most likely the reason why I am taking an effort to comment. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. Secondly, while I can notice a jumps in logic you make, I am not sure of how you appear to unite your ideas which inturn make the final result. For the moment I will, no doubt subscribe to your issue but wish in the foreseeable future you actually link your dots better.

  • singapura said:

    I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  • Gabriella Peskind said:

    How are you. I found your blog using yahoo. This is a adequately written article. I’ll be sure to book mark it and come back to read more of your usefull information. Many thanks for the post 🙂

  • lose weight said:

    wow.. this is what i am searching for.. nice post, i need something like this 😀 thanks., Bookmarked your fantastic website. Really good work, unique writing style!…

  • Greg said:

    This is a very nice blog, thank you, could you email me with similar information?

  • Lemo Jhon said:

    Your article let people thinking I read many classic statements and Nike basketball shoes come in many colors, sizes, and styles. you must like them!
    By voice of the trees

  • YOUPORN said:

    This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. You have got a design here thats not too flashy, but makes a statement as big as what you are saying. Great job, indeed
    YOUPORN

  • blogc2011 said:

    We take the approach that there is no simple way to make money online, it takes hard wok and dedication, just like best term paper writing http://www.research-paper.me/ ways to making money, be it in construction, a desk job or anything in between.