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It's The Eyeballs Stupid

Aug 17, 2007
Ask an 18 year old today if they read the newspaper and you generally get a laugh. Being 49, I recognize that laugh. It is the same one I gave my parents when they wanted me to put water and a little dab of Bryl Cream on my hair and cut my hair above my ears back in the 1970s. It was sooooo outdated.

You see, the newspaper world just does not get it. They think the same eyeballs that read a newspaper are going to read the same copy online. What they are unable to do is monetize effectively the online eyeballs. Thats because their investment is still tied up in big buildings, huge printing presses, enormous staffs, cutting down millions of trees and spending millions on gas to get the newspapers to the people that are no longer reading them.


Have we seen this all before? Remember the railroads? The railroads are the classic study of how an industry has it all and loses it. They failed to recognize they were in the transportation business in what is taught in chapter one of Business 101 in every college. So, the airlines came in and took over the monetization of moving people from point A to point B.

When Bill Gates and Steven Jobs were going door to door with their silly little operating systems, the IBMs of the world laughed them out of the conference rooms. Why? Because America was built on manufacturing. Appliances and machines and ships and tanks needed to be built. Designing software was something for college geeks. It was a role Gates was obviously type cast by God to fulfill!

Jobs and Gates looked at each other as if to say,
They dont get it, do they?

And countless billions of dollars in lost revenue later, the IBMs of the world finally get it. And Steven Jobs finds himself as CEO of Disney, not exactly the fifedom of the geeks, is it?!

Ironically, the newspaper world is selling ads in their newspapers and in the process you can get a banner or something like that on their respective websites. Why? Because they think the battle is about content. Its not.

Look at Myspace.com and Youtube.com. Sure, there is lots of content on both, but the reason they exist is for connectivity. What the newspaper world has failed to realize is that we are no longer in the Information Era. We are headlong into the Internet Era where Connectivity is King and content is measured by volume, not quality.

Still dont get it? Look at the emails of anyone under age 25. Check their spelling. If content is king, spelling would be queen, right? LOL Spelling doesnt matter any longer. Just communicate and do so with volume and rapidity.

There are lots of sites built on content. Yahoo is indexing over 12 billion pages. Type anything into Google and see how many matches you get. That is because we have too much information. In the Information Era, information was king. If you owned the Information you had power. The Information Era birthed, yes, you guessed it: Information! You do not have to be a geek to figure that out. But something more important was occuring as we went through the Information Era. So much information was generated that every piece of information now has a counter part. Whatever you believe or say, someone else is published saying the opposite.

So where is the truth? Remember, to the victor go the spoils? Right. The victor in the Internet Era wins on quanitative grounds, not qualitative. In the Internet Era, truths first cousin is called volume.

Now, thanks to the Internet, the first entity in the history of mankind not owned by anyone, information has lost its grip on power. To gain power on the Internet, you need connectivity. Once you achieve connectivity, you get eyeballs. Write something or sell something from one site and see what reaction you get. Then write or sell the same the thing and get it visibility on 100,000 sites.

This is the whole point. If you miss this one, you will miss the entire Internet Era. You will find yourself thinking it is about Google or Youtube or Myspace.

Heck, even the newspaper world will tell you that the more eyeballs you get the more money you make. But they still think you get the eyeballs with a great article or a great writer. No, you get eyeballs with any article on 100,000 other websites. And guess what? Many of the editors of those sites will never even read the article. Why? Because its not about content, its about connectivity.

Connectivity gets you eyeballs.

Its about eyeballs stupid.

Because without eyeballs on the Internet, there is no cash. And cash is still king. At least until we move to the retinal eyescans and finger print verification through the Internet. Then, cash will be laughed at the same way 19 year olds now laugh at the concept of a newspaper.

Look next time for The Death of the Information Era.
About the Author
Tim Dillard is CEO of DLB, an Internet Marketing & Branding company based in Houston, Texas. He is founder of North Pole Network,shown in malls in 36+ states at Christmas-time. His company owns Tops In America.com, and more than 5000 websites. http://www.dlbllc.com
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