The Human Side of the Internet
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At nearly 25 years old, today’s modern internet is continually evolving. For the first decade or so into it’s history, when it was just sprouting, the internet was commonly known as the information superhighway. And although that phrase still applies, we now tend hear that term increasingly less often. But it’s not just that term that’s disappearing. It’s the powerful concept that it carries.
As the internet was quickly growing and developing, it was known for the amazing amounts of information that could be made available instantly in our homes. Entire libraries could be replaced with Google books. Encyclopedias were loaded onto websites. Dictionaries became available online. News began popping up at Fox News online, CNN online and others. The internet was information. The internet was consumer content.
Information versus Interaction
About a decade ago, the phrase Information Superhighway began to slip away from the front and center drawing in all the attention. It’s not because there was less information available online then there had been in the past. In fact, online information was and is still continuing to grow at a staggeringly fast pace. Yet somehow information has been replaced as the prominent feature of the online world.
The new trend of social networking took the internet by storm. First Myspace, then Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and others have grown to control strong portions of online traffic. Internet users are drawn now to genuine connections not just valuable content.
Average people spend two or three hours each day online not for the information…but for the interaction.
If you ignore this powerful fact then you’re destined to miss the dramatic potential that the internet has to offer for you or your business. It’s no longer good enough to steadfastly focus on building outstanding content while ignoring the opportunities to build relationships. Our readers’ focus changed a long time ago and if you haven’t already adapted then you’re behind the curve.
I don’t want you to produce less amazing content. In fact, I want you to continue learning how to improve your writing. I want you to find better facts than ever for your readers. I want you to continuously improve the design of your blog or website. But more important than any of these, I want you to focus on connecting with real people and building valuable, genuine relationships.
The New Rules of the Road
If you want to take your online presence to the next level then you’ve got to start focusing on the human side of the internet. Think about these principles and let them guide your actions online.
Influence: Remember that 1,000 visitors a day is nothing if they all immediately click away. Fifty visitors who interact with your content, purchase your products, and bookmark your site to return again and again is the most valuable thing you could hope for. The difference? 1,000 random people are useless. They’re only numbers that look nice in our stats. Building your influence with 50 people is priceless.
Integrity: Being honest and standing for what you really believe is a powerful tool for a successful leader. It’s this kind of character that inspires people to rally around someone and support their efforts.
Generosity: This simple principle can be summed up in this simple quote from New York Times Bestselling Author John C. Maxwell, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
As the internet continues to evolve, how are you adapting to overcome the challenges that it creates? How are you reaching out to your peers to create new and exciting relationships? Or are you even reaching out at all?
What are you doing to develop your presence in the social media circuits like Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus? Or do you even have a presence at those sites?
It was Theodore Roosevelt that opined, “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” It was true in his day and even now with all of our technology clouding up our focus it still holds true.