Interactive Relationships Between Consumer and Businesses
The Internet is a vast source of information. For years now, people have utilized the power of the web to find answers and make decisions. This became particularly evident with the introduction of major search engines like Google. However, the recent introduction of social community sites like Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare has really given rise to a whole new generation of knowledge discovery and evaluation.
You see, up until a year or two ago, some of the more market-rich portals like Facebook hadn’t really harnessed the full potential of their ability to bring people together through common interests. However, with some of their latest updates and the introduction of Google+, I think we’ll certainly begin to see a wave of influence based on social connections. In other words, people are now more capable and apt to view a friend’s interest and compare it with their own. A better example would be restaurants – Using any of the above, you’re now capable of seeing who’s been where. If a friend of yours visited a local restaurant and provided a review, perhaps you’ll base your next dining decision based on that review. This will become even more prevalent with Google’s recent purchase of Zagats.
Of course, Facebook has done an excellent job providing users with a great number of capabilities for introducing their ideas, products and experiences. But up until recently, not all of this was searchable via the web. Now, searchers are able to find user-specific posts concerning certain topics that they find interest in. For example, perhaps you’re an entrepreneur with a fantastic product that has not yet reached a broader market. With communities like Facebook and Google+, you’re not only able to see what people are saying about product-specific posts, but you’re also able to find this information via all major search engines.
I believe the realtor-home seeker example is an excellent one. If you were a real estate agent who’s interested in acquiring more clients, it would unquestionably benefit you to have a page on Facebook’s domain describing valuable information, including where you are and have been. Similarly, this gives you the opportunity to present information about homes you’ve visited and let’s users know about open houses. From there, people can go on and comment about what they liked, hated and perhaps saw potential in.
Lastly, Google+ has an excellent feature that I believe has great potential, and that’s Sparks. The concept is simple, if you have an interested in movies, then you can simply select that as a top-level category of interest. From here, you’re able to see what others are viewing/saying about specific movies, producers, upcoming releases, and so on and so forth. Although it’s primitive right now, it’s based off the same principles as Facebook’s “like feature.” Yet, neither company has really found a way to organize the information in a way that’s easy to view and capable of bringing about more connections and engagement.
Ultimately, the web is in the process of undergoing a huge overhaul, and we’re beginning to see a shift in the way companies and individuals portray their information, along with how users interact with it. Sites like Facebook and Twitter will most certainly not make traditional web development obsolete; everybody should have a website. But, it will forever change the way we view the web and shed light on the way in which people connect and intermingle.
Image credit Scott Maxwell