Tuesday, October 11, 2005

How will 2005 avoid the pitfalls of 1999?

Browster CEO Scott Milener has written a post over on the Browster Blog, where I co-author, about Web 2.0...how it felt exciting, and somewhat like the heady days of 1999...which is also a little scary.

Scott is hoping that this time around we've all learned some of the lessons of the bubble. Sometimes it seems we have, and then sometimes a flurry of acquisution or merger activity hapens, and you gotta wonder.

What's also interesting to me about Scott's post is the way he talks about the next phase of search/online technology being about giving value to capture the customer...and then using anonymous data, or even shared data, to deliver targeted content, targeted advertising, a personalized and customized experience.

Of course he mentions Browster, but also such impending apps as Flock.

And all of this is reminding me a great deal of the "GoogleZon" Epic video that imagined a future of always on, always personalized content, communication and information. And the mixed reactions to the concept.

The key is the first part of Scott's formula: you better continue to focus on the value you're giving if you want to start controlling more and more of our data. I can hear the protests now: "but the user is in control!" Sure, of the superficial...the look, the feel, the order, the delivery channel.

But Web 2.0 companies are controlling our data. And that's a lot more monetizable (is that a word?) than eyeballs!

And perhaps that's how 2005 will differ from 1999.

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