Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Make the Web Come to You with Feeds and Widgets

Lately I have noticed that an entire day can go by without "surfing" the web. Instead, the web comes to me. I scroll through all of the news and information that I am interested in using Google Reader, and sometime dig into the things that people are linking. My iGoogle home page tracks stocks, weather, top newsfeeds, and other just-in-time information. About the only actual website I go to nowadays is Facebook, mainly because there isn't a widget that shows me the friend updates, especially about what apps they are checking out (which is of particular interest to me nowadays).

When I want to find out about something, I use vertical search in the Firefox toolbar to select Wikipedia, IMDB, LinkedIn, Dictionary.com, etc. I very rarely use Google search unless I am looking for something obscure.

Net net, I never see any advertising, especially with Adblock Plus. Nielson is cluing in to this, they just came out and said that pageviews don't matter. For example, I don't remember the last time I saw a travel-related ad, but I have the TripAdvisor logo on my Facebook profile on a widget that shows the cities I've been to and subscribe to a couple of travel related blogs.

What does all this mean? The web is getting turned upside down. Web sites will matter less than fragments of websites delivered through iFrames and widgets. Advertising is going to shift from push mechanisms like keywords and banner ads to opt-in pull mechanisms like widgets added to people's profiles and blogs.