The age of Wikipedia
Published on September 22, 2010
Ever gotten into a good natured argument with a friend about a fact neither of you are totally certain about? For example, are Baboons monkeys or apes? This simple question, completely unrelated to anything important became a hotly contested item of debate for one CMAEON staffer. She solved the problem the way so many people in her generation do - she checked Wikipedia. Victorious in her assertion that Baboons were monkeys, life went back to normal.
Situations like this probably happen millions of times a day, all around the world. Why?
Today, people are increasingly dependent on the Internet and sites like Wikipedia for instant information. If you have a question, you don't ponder or go to the library - you Google it. Need to check some facts? Settle a bet? Want an opinion on a restaurant? Get an opinion from your peers? Internet. The quest for information isn't a one way transaction where the consumer passively absorbs it from a book, a map or a newspaper anymore - it's a conversation now.
"Can anyone recommend a good Italian restaurant for my big date?" "What's the best route to get to the train station?" "Who is a good realtor?" Our conversations and quests for information drive us online to websites like Wikipedia, Yelp, Twitter and Facebook in a way that's completely new and still evolving.
So what does this mean for businesses, and more importantly, what does this mean for a small business without the money to sink into Google AdWords and expensive online marketing campaigns? How can they be successful in this business climate? It means a successful business is able to tap into the conversations that are already happening online.
People constantly want information; therefore, if a business can join the conversation and respond to people with the specific information they want, that business is going to leave a positive impression. It'll become a trusted brand. It'll become the Wikipedia of a specific area of interest. It'll be truly connected to its market and the needs of its customers. That's the power of the Connected Market Space in the Age of Wikipedia.