Monday, July 28, 2008

A trillion things being said…

As a follow up to yesterday's blog, I was reading the Official Google Blog and was presented with this daunting statistic:


There are 1,000,000,000,000 (1 Trillion) Unique URLs on the internet – and it is growing at "several billion pages a day."


This is a phenomenal statistic – and if ever any marketer or other business person was ever looking for final reinforcement of the fact that this internet thing might be here to stay then this has to be it (trust me, I still get to talk to marketers who STILL perceive digital marketing to be a sideshow in their marketing plans!!). Once you step back from this massive global endeavour we are all a part of, you then get some insight into just what it is going to take to be successful in this digital world in which we live.

A trillion pages represent billions of sites, which in turn represent many, many millions of businesses – all competing for attention, for engagement and for business. Every single one of these wants to be the first result returned on a search, be listed on the first page of paid links and wants to have the hottest viral marketing campaign. Everyone wants to be number one.

In digital business terms, this represents both an opportunity and a threat. For big brands with big markets, the sheer size of the internet raises the bar for your digital strategies. All of the things I have been raving about over the last couple of years in this blog hold true – you need to invest adequately in everything to do with your digital strategy. Fail to invest to the right level on any component and your strategy is likely to be swamped by the competition. Inadequate technology will drive users to faster, better performing sites. Poor user experience and information architecture will frustrate users and send them to easier use competitive sites. Get your online marketing wrong and you just won't be heard… and so on. This is a strong sign that digital business is now the domain of specialist, expert companies.

The opportunities come from the sheer scale of the market – in any market this big there are clearly opportunities for well considered, well targeted offers. For businesses both big and small, there is great commercial potential in extending, marketing or modifying your offers to suit very specific markets which may now be spread anywhere around the world.

I also saw a very interesting and somewhat unique take on this from Julian Bajkowski in the MIS Magazine Online Edition. His take was to confront some of the other implications of such a massive and growing web – like maybe ending up with more destinations on the web than there are addresses to refer to them. Another sign of just how big the internet has become.

Having been in this industry for as long as it has been around in this country, statistics like this give me pause. We have REALLY created something which HAS changed the world … and as far as I am concerned, we have really only just begun.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

20% of the world is online … and China > US!

This week saw an article stating that the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) has released statistics showing that the total number of internet users in China is now 253,000,000 and now well and truly surpass the number of internet users in the US (215,000,000 as at the end of November 2007). This follows six months of remarkable growth, from about 210,000,000 at the end of 2007 according to

As you pore over the statistics, you start to get a sense of the true scale of the internet. So here are some things which stuck with me…

  1. The number of internet users in China compares to the population of the US (around 305,000,000), and at the current rate of growth (56% per annum) will likely surpass it before Christmas this year.
  2. Each of the number of users in China and the US now represent around 15% of the total world population of Internet Users of 1,412,000,000
  3. More than 20% of the world's population of 6,707,000,000 is now online
  4. Asia has the second lowest population penetration (14%) of the internet (after Africa) but represents the largest share of internet users. The US has internet penetration of 71% and 76% for Australia.
  5. China's internet population is now 16 times that of Australia (15.5 million)
  6. The
    article suggests that by 2012, the China internet population will probably reach 490,000,000 – even if we reach 20 million in Australia, they will outnumber us by 25 to 1. There are more than 530,000,000 internet users across Asia today.

There is much to be drawn from these statistics and I will devote more space to this in the future. My first observation is that while it is obvious that the internet is a truly global phenomenon, it is increasingly an Asia-centric one.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Look Behind the Noise to See What’s Going on ….

The launch of the Apple iPhone 3G is occupying a lot of media column space over the last week, and it probably should. Others can write about the technology – for me the significant impact we will see is the how it changes consumers' understanding of the capability of the internet and now the mobile internet. While the ability to browse, email, collaborate and connect via our mobile phone has been something us nerds (even us closet nerds) have been doing for a few years, the 3G iPhone puts it in front of and in the hand of the masses.


There is evidence that the iPhone is dramatically affecting the way the users are connecting. This article, for example, quotes Google as saying that the mobile searches from the iPhone run at 50 TIMES those from other mobile handsets – and that is the 'old' iPhone without the benefit of 3G connectivity and the MUCH faster data rates this affords.


I am also pleased to see that Australian businesses have been fast to offer iPhone optimised content. These purpose built mobile sites offer special purpose interfaces (designed to accommodate touch-screen navigation) and other iPhone features such as "shrink and zoom" of interfaces and making use of the inbuilt GPS functionality. Good examples can be found being delivered by News Corporation and Commsec – but there are plenty out there and we have been proudly building some of these.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Future of Mobiles …

I promised to both readers that when it was made available, I would share the link to the presentation I made at the 2008 Rainmaker Marketing Symposium in Sydney. This presentation was delivered to around 120 marketers from the A/NZ financial services industry and the feedback was reasonably positive.


These are, of course, my observations and insights from my position in a company delivering major new initiatives in the mobile space and I am sure there are those who both agree and disagree with my thoughts ….. enjoy.