The Internet is “live” – is your business?

The Internet is an ever-growing vast store of information and content. Want to download Shakespeare’s plays…? Well you can. Want to watch the footage of man on the moon…? Yes, that’s there too. And just about anything on any subject is sitting there waiting for you to find it. But therein lies the problem. We seem interested much more in the “here and now” rather than “old stuff”.

There is a basic psychological reason for this; a survival instinct makes us prefer “new stuff”. When we were evolving as humans we tended to find that those creatures which ate fresh foods survived, whereas those which ate old foods often got poisoned and died. Hence our brains favoured new things.

Today that is translated into preferring websites which are up-to-date and which have “the latest” new information. This is confirmed in new data which show that the material on Facebook has a “life” of around half an hour. This backs up previous studies which show that Tweets have a life of only an hour. In other words, Internet users live “in the moment”.

Evidence collected by marketing expert, David Meerman Scott, revealed the importance of being “live” online. His research found that companies which were online in “real time” had an increase in their share price over a year, whereas companies who used the Internet to present “old” stuff had a fall in their value.

It is a reminder of the fact that people want your business to be “live” online, to be presenting new material and to be working in “real time”. If your business online is “historical” then you are not working with the web as it is today, where information appears to have most of its impact within the hour it is published.

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