Monday, December 25, 2006

The Year that was for Internet: Future & Even Beyond

With every passing year, the world is moving towards its realisation of being a global village. Information, connectivity is reaching to almost every nook and corner of the world. Internet now is both maturing and evolving. Maturing in terms of its reach, which signifies its increased business sense; to quote Michael Bloch The days of Anglo-Saxon “domination” of the online world are surely numbered! and evolving in terms of modes of information dispersion through blogs, wikis, etc.

Below are a few statistics from
Internet World Stats

  1. Developed Countries like USA, UK, Canada and Australia have nearly matured in terms of Internet Penetration. (US: 69.9%, UK: 62.5%, Canada: 67.6% and Australia: 70.7% of population)
  2. Asia is all poised for world domination. Internet penetration in India and China is only 3.6% and 9.4% of their population. As a percentage of total internet users in Asia, India stands at 10.6% and China at 32.5%
  3. Internet penetration in other Asian economies is maturing in Japan (67.2%), South Korea (67%), Taiwan (60.3%) and approaching saturation in Malaysia (40.2%)

Indo US Comparative analysis

  1. US with nearly 209 million internet users at 69.9% penetration accounts for 19.4% of world internet users. India on the other hand with just 40 million internet users at 3.6% penetration accounts for 3.7% of the world internet users. Indian internet users' population has grown by nearly 700% since 2000

Near Past, Present and Near Future

Internet as a medium has also graduated from Read Only to Read-Write & Share or simply putting it as from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. (Read my previous post on Web2.0) Web 2.0 has also its share of criticism prior to Google's acquisition of You Tube for $1.6 Billion. Web 2.0 has again boosted the confidence of investors to an extent, but is web2.0 another bubble? Om Malik has rightly put it The Myth of Web 2.0 is the investment opportunities. The reality of Web 2.0 is too little original thinking. Web 2.0 is also a group of enterprise that offer too similar products / services. Take for eg: You-Tube and BlipTV. The major source of their earnings is onsite advertising.

Web 2.0, simply put, is a set of technologies and a new kind of thinking, which companies like Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and AOL are incorporating in their products. Om Malik:The Myth, Reality & Future of Web 2.0

Again he says,

The way I see it, there is a lot of commonality in Indian food and Web 2.0. Even as early as 1990s, Indian food was not familiar to the American palette. It took a long time before people got used to the earthy aromas and spices. But once they did, the Indian restaurants blossomed in America. But even now I don't think people are adventurous enough to try anything other than Chicken Tikka Masala and/or Daal (Lentils) with rice.

Is Web2.0 another bubble?

Sourced from IndianPRwire; it is too early to say so, and various reasons can be given for both pros and cons. On one hand 455 million of 1.63 Billion VC funding so far (through the third quarter of 2006) has gone in to 79 web2.0 companies. Free flow of money has been on a mere buzz word called "Web 2.0". On the other hand, Web2.0 is being seriously taken up by enterprises like

  1. Intel which have recently announced about launching an assembly of a software suite that includes blogging, wiki, and content syndication software
  2. AT&T's Blue room
  3. Oracle is planning to deploy a web2.0 platform to undertake the integration of the recently acquired products
  4. Today enterprises are launching corporate blogs and RSS feeds
  5. American Express is experimenting with internal use of wikis. It uses RSS, and invites its customers to provide feedback to influence product design

Some of the findings from the China Web 2.0 Market Annual Report are

  1. As Internet user market develops, Internet enters user's life and show clear characteristics of sociality. With the prevalence of technologies like XML, Tags and Ajax, there is a tendency of smart network. Internet has more and more characteristics of semantic network
  2. Competition convergence will become the biggest problem of Web2.0 service providers. Innovators face the danger of reproduction in service, application, business mode or even Web site interface
  3. Mainstream Internet portals keep provide Web2.0 service products. And the target users are the same user group. Web2.0 market will face more fierce competition
  4. Providers of fundamental platform with user participation mode and providers who can aggregate and reconstruct user content can win user stickiness. Leaders of market segmentation will develop rapidly
  5. "Forever Beta version" will be the developing trend.

And now Enterprise 2.0

What is Enterprise 2.0?;Watch the slide 9 in the presentation below

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