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What's On My Mind Today: The Impact of the Internet

Kristen Fowler Lindsey - Thursday, May 19, 2005

I spent some time last night with an e-business class for MBA candidates at a local college. The purpose of my visit was to share my perspective "from the trenches" of what future trends I see in e-business.

We discussed a variety of hot new trends in Internet marketing, but the conversation often strayed to the more general concept of the Internet's impact on our personal lives and society. During the class, I suddenly and inadvertently boiled down so many things that I see every day - Internet marketing options like pay-per-call and blogging - into a larger concept:

  1. The Internet has changed every way we communicate.
  2. It has changed irrevocably all industries and processes of communication -- advertising, public relations, the postal service, publishers, and more.
  3. The Internet for the foreseeable future will drive trends in fields not fully engaging the Internet. It will be up to companies in those fields to either embrace this influence of become a dinosaur.
  4. And really successful companies in these fields will incorporate the influences of the Internet in society and take them a step further, creating a dialectic between traditional communication and Internet communication.
  5. This not only applies to companies but to individuals as well.

This means that merely looking at the Internet as "another" community or sales channel or advertising media may be short-sighted. Only seeing it as a core driver of human interaction will allow us to see it clearly and plan for the future, either as businesses or as individuals.

If you are a business or individual looking to grow or succeed in the future, it will be impossible to do so without considering the impact of the Internet's influence on all aspects of your field, business in general, and society. Whoa. Pretty deep for a Wednesday morning.

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