The Future of the InternetTuesday March 31st, 2009
I’m calling it right now, the future of the Internet: Skittles.com. You might be confused at first, because the new Skittles website is actually just a small box in the top left corner of your browser that controls other web content. For example, click on ‘chatter’ and the window behind the Skittles box pops in a... View Article
I’m calling it right now, the future of the Internet: Skittles.com. You might be confused at first, because the new Skittles website is actually just a small box in the top left corner of your browser that controls other web content. For example, click on ‘chatter’ and the window behind the Skittles box pops in a Twitter search for ‘skittles’. The ‘friends’ link will take you to the Skittles Facebook fan page. The result is an ever-evolving, uncontrollable beast of a website that lives on its own, controlled by a small box, dictated by the masses. It’s not the first of its kind, although it’s the most pop-culture-successful… so far.
Modernista!, a forward-thinking creative firm, runs their company’s website in a similar way. I think it’s a lot cooler, but it’s certainly not as accessible or widely successful as Skittles. First off, Modernista can initially load right overtop of the site you are navigating from. And they don’t bother with the ‘optional’ instructions that Skittles offers up to keep from losing viewers. Modernista is truly revolutionary, while Skittles is just a little smarter… or should I say, they care a little more about losing potential customers who may be less Internet savvy.
If you didn’t click either link yet, try them out. Be open minded. The bottom line is that the Internet is evolving. Since it’s a completely new medium, it’s going to take shape more and more as time goes on. (It’ll be less like anything else, more like itself!) Just as I’m a strong proponent of sharing resources and leveraging partners to achieve greater goals, I also believe strongly in not re-creating what’s already created. Since millions of users are writing about you on Facebook, following you on Twitter, tagging you in their Flickr pictures, etc., why not provide that information directly?
There is, of course, an inherit danger in letting the people convey your brand to the world. But it’s only dangerous if you’ve got something to hide. When people love your brand, they love your brand.
So that’s the future of the Internet and the future of brands. Soon you’ll feel like you know your CEOs just as well as you know your ‘I want my filet-o-fish‘ jingle, and that can only be a good thing. So watch out for more feeds, widgets, mashups, API integration, etc. Look for better looking content provided by writers, followers and advocates. Look for less advertising fluff written by copywriters and coders. The future is now.