If You Don’t Embrace The Web, It Shows You Don’t Care

The platform where modern commerce, communication and business is done is online.  It’s where we share art.  It’s where we collaborate on ideas.  It’s the master copy of all media.   It’s not some parallel reality from where you physically function:  all critical infrastructure and management of business has steadily moved online.  The next generation (and every generation thereafter) will spend a majority of their time using web-powered media compared to other media.  If other forms of media even continue to exist.

Some are already far ahead, some will catch up, some will cling to the past.  But there will be less and less patience, hand-holding and opportunity for organizations, politicians and even professionals who don’t learn to function proficiently in an internet-literate society.  Whatever digital divide exists today will be a joke in the future, the analog side will be irrelevant.  As Seth Godin eloquently puts it:  we’ll see change and frustration.

Not that anything in the last 2 paragraphs is a surprise or revelation.  It’s all pretty obvious.  We’ve been headed in this direction slowly over quite a bit of time.  The shift to a digital world has not been fast – I’ve studied it’s effect on society and business since my 2,400 baud modem made me the envy of my friends.  And that’s exactly the reason for the title of this post.

If you don’t understand the web and strategic application as a marketer, PR professional or member of the media, it shows you don’t care.  There’s no way around this, if you truly cared about your profession and craft you’d embrace what’s new and ultimately better as opposed to rallying against it or outright ignoring the market.  The web isn’t new or novel, and if you think it is you’ve been too stuck in your ways to see the most clear trend of the last century.  Analog has no future in a connected society.

Sadly, many still rally against the web.  We’ve seen examples of this across industries.  From the obvious ones like media who irrationally fear a future of irrelevance instead of adapting to the times to, shockingly, political figures and government agencies.  But those who continue to fight technological progress – whether from fearing it is disruptive to what they do or simply misunderstanding it – will only succeed in looking Draconian as the rest of society embraces change.  In fact, to many it’s already beyond looking Draconian, they look absurd.

If you don’t understand/embrace the web at this point in any industry where communication matters, you don’t care about your industry.  Not really.  You care only about profit/revenue from the same sources you had in the past and fear change.  But you don’t care actually about your industry.  You only care about yourself.

The RIAA wishes they could turn back the clock.  Their actions state they don’t embrace what their own consumers or even artists actually want.  Many traditional media organizations continue to bite the hand that feeds them instead of embracing a potential future filled with possibility.

So how about if you’re not actively rallying against the web, but ignoring it?  If that’s the case, your clients and stakeholders will leave you slowly but surely for forward-thinking players.  And if you’re a professional why would anyone hire you vs. digital-literate peers?

Is it too harsh to say it’s 2010 and if you don’t embrace the web it shows you don’t care?  I don’t think so.