New President, New Era, New Internet

President Obama was responsible yesterday for a significant slow down in much of the Internet. During his inauguration more people than ever before decided to watch the speech online, rather than on TV. More people than ever before posted status updates on Facebook, saying they were watching the speech. And more people than ever before logged onto news sites to see what was happening.

Much of America has been waiting for the dawn of a new era following eight years of the Bush administration. They certainly got it yesterday. Even before President Obama had finished his inaugural speech, he had set new records heralding in a new era of Internet usage.

What does this tell us? Does it suggest that he is some kind of superhero? Is President Obama really special? Is he such a good orator that people flock to hear him in their millions? Maybe.

But what it really does show is that the Internet has finally come of age. It is now mainstream. Indeed, it appears it was the principal way in which most of the world caught up with the events in Washington DC yesterday. Far from being an additional source of information, for much of the world it was THE source of information.

If you run an online business this is an important step in the evolution of the Internet that could be as significant as the ending of Neanderthal Man. Modern humans coped better with the new world as it was back then, 30,000 years ago. The Neanderthals did not cope with the new world and died out.

Online, yesterday could be as significant. The way everyone turned to the Internet for information marked a new world. Businesses that exist in the “old world”, where the Internet is an “add on” to their work, will go the way of the Neanderthals. The Internet should now be your businesses principal focus of activity if you wish to survive; that’s what yesterday’s record numbers of Internet users are pointing out to us.

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