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In Internet marketing, does the song remain the same?

I am going to act as if you care about my musical tastes (you may skip directly to the next paragraph rife with Internet marketing wisdom if you don’t want to indulge me–I won’t mind). I grew up in the era where what is considered classic rock now was called AOR (album oriented rock) then. Led Zeppelin pulled a rare triple play in that era by releasing a live album (yes, as in vinyl) of a Madison Square Garden concert, that was turned into a movie that was named “The Song Remains the Same” which was actually also a song from a previous album thus tying in a lot of product in one fell swoop. In today’s Internet space people would laugh at such simplistic cross promotion because of the new world order of marketing brought on by the Internet.

The Song Remains Insane album cover

Image via Wikipedia

On to the point. While I still enjoy the music I don’t embrace the messages like I used to. I’ve changed. In fact, to play in the Internet marketing space you have to come to grips with the simple truth that nothing remains the same for any extended period of time. Change is the true constant and as Internet marketers. Or is it?
Take Twitter, for instance. With all the momentum that has been built up over the past six months including the Pied Piper like behavior of those who actually care about Oprah Winfrey and Ashton Kutcher, you would think that the meteoric rise of the service was at its critical mass and just ready to move to auto pilot. Not so fast. There are new studies that are showing that Twitter may be losing some feathers. A new study from Harvard tells us that 90% of the tweets come from 10% of Twitter accounts.
The other, from HubSpot, tells us in just a nine month period the percentage of Twitter users who have filled out a bio went from 80% down to 24%. That means that most newbies on the Twitter roller coaster aren’t even engaged enough to fill out some basic data that would help them connect with others. There is now a report that Twitter traffic has, gulp, flattened out or dropped off. If Twitter went away would we truly change?
Do these kinds of changes suddenly render Twitter useless as a business tool? Absolutely not, but it certainly can change the opinions or plans of those who are considering how they integrate it into their Internet marketing mix. Many bigger companies took that nine month period where the change occurred just to formulate a plan only now to be given this new data that might change their plans significantly.
I had a friend say to me recently that there was no reason to worry, though, because the next cool social network will show up soon enough.  Remember Friendster? It’s still around but it doesn’t show up on the cover of Time anymore. Maybe that’s what will happen to Twitter. Maybe it won’t. There may be change or there may not be. Either way I have to figure out how to deal with it.
Is change the only dependable facet of Internet marketing? For all the change that we talk about, maybe the song really does remain the same after all. It’s the song of communication. We just adjust the tune a bit each time the Internet version of “the greatest thing since sliced bread comes along.”
So relax. No matter what the vehicle it’s still communication, not brain surgery. Maybe as Internet marketers we need to talk about communication and de-emphasize the fads. I don’t have the answers. I think I’ll just wait a while to see what’s next and see if it really changes anything.

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