The Interactive Age

There is no question that the internet is changing everything.

From marketing to entertainment to simply communicating and working, everyone is flooding online, and there is seemingly no end to the number of programs, types of content and ways of doing things that are finding a ‘net-based incarnation.

But while all this is happening, there’s a whole other transformation at play. Actually, because this is happening, there’s a whole other transformation at play.

The internet is becoming our new dominant medium. And if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know by now that the medium is the metaphor. What that ultimately means is that the internet is becoming the lens that we look at the world through.

It also means a lot more than just getting your self, your product, your whatever online. It means that every other form of media is going to have to find ways to be more like the internet in order to survive.

It means your company, your organization, your products, your store are all going to have to adopt a more internet-like way of doing things.

I believe that there are four main principles in the way the internet is changing things:

Interactivity– this is at the core of any successful online venture, and the more interactive offline ventures can become, the better.

Collaboration– the internet is inherently collabor­ative, and collaboration is quickly becoming the hallmark of successful ventures and projects in all kinds organizations.

Links– the humble hyperlink is the backbone of the web, building connections, combinations and access that never existed before. Think the print newspaper is dead? Think again. It may not have got off the ground, but iA’s attempt at making a more interactive newspaper is a step in the right direction. TV didn’t kill newspapers, it radically altered them. Find ways to create links, mashups and intercon­nections in every offline venture.

Openness– the internet is built on open stand­ards, open information and open technologies. Proprietary systems rise and fall, but the long-term, steady and stable growth of the net is built on the ability to build on what came before because of openness. The more you open up, the stronger you will become.

Welcome to the interactive age, where everything needs to be more open, more intercon­nected and more collaborative.