Oh, the Noughties.
We’ll remember you fondly.
In the age of the internet boom, stuff was new…exciting…there was a sense of expressive freedom. Essentially, most things were FREE. People shared their own (and others) property at will.
Perhaps you could argue we experienced an online version of the 1960’s.
To help explain, we need look no further than ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’.
Flashback to Google in 2003. Music, movies, images, and pretty much anything you wanted for could be downloaded at your fingertips. Remember Violet (you’re turning Violet, Violet)? Yep. We were the crazed kiddies hopped up on sugar.
Then things turned a bit crazy (common’ – what did we expect!).
People were creating things. Other people were claiming them (and making money). Lawsuits. Us vs. Them. Freedom vs. Regulation. Who owns what and how do we even begin to control it. Who do we blame – the uploaders or the downloaders? We were fighting over the last of the scrumdiddlyumptious bar and FRANkly, we were scaring people (Is it raining, is it snowing, is a hurricane a blowin’).
Then we got more reasonable.
The dust settled…and we all emerged OK. Looking around we realized that perhaps we shouldn’t have yanked that ever-lasting gobstopper from Gustav’s hand. People had taken our things; we’d taken theirs…so maybe we should call a truce.
Fast forward to today.
We’re in a good space. The anarchy has faded and we are ready to be a functioning society again.
There has been a shift in how we perceive online. It’s no longer just the (not so anymore) big music record labels being affected by our actions. Small businesses and entrepreneurs have flooded online, creating their livelihood from the comfort of their living room.
Whether you directly work online or not – most of our working lives are surrounded by the success of brands in the social space or are directly interacting with brands in the social space. We have found a mutual ground with affinity and respect for others property.
People are using online for genuine community building and sharing (some free, some not) – but there is an understanding.
So, why haven’t you learned?
Consumers have gone through a massive overhaul in the way they approach online. They have finally found that online is a space to communicate and try our best treat each other fairly.
So why are corporates and brands still approaching consumers with a push & shove mentality?
Consumers want to be respected, and in return will respect you. So, how do you approach your consumers – Join Facebook? Twitter? Google+? Pinterest? How about you get to know them first…
(Oh, this picture was found here through Social Media Memes: http://www.facebook.com/SocialMediaMemes)