Last Wednesday morning I got myself onto my bicycle at an unearthly hour to attend a breakfast meeting in the trendy Soho London area to learn a bit more about social media hosted by a web company i-level, who are keen to attract some new clients. As I wandered up to the glitzy reception desk complete with designer furnishings I reflected on how many companies must have had to tone down their HQs in these recessionary times.
The company had wheeled in a professor to wax lyrical about how behaviour on the web was changing as people use even longer word strings and browse more sites than ever (often 10) to find their dream holiday. They spoke of how even the phone companies such as Nokia are making investments in social networking sites and how the travel industry has embraced social media more than others. They covered some of the new models continually evolving and how you needed to innovate to stay ahead of the pack. The speakers polled the room to find out which players had made it easy for customers to ask a question and had a live “click to chat” facility on their websites.
What I found interesting was that despite the increasing popularity of downloading applications from the web for your mobile phone, their eventual life was relatively short and likely to be only 30 days at the most. This means you need to keep generating new applications. As I investigate the options of tagging all our images and geocoding our properties so they appear in Google I realise the enormity of the task ahead in managing hundreds of thousands of key words and tagged images.
If only life was getting simpler rather than more complicated. However there was a glimmer of hope as I learnt that the AA have now got downloadable videos you can store on your phone so that you can get a tutorial on how to change your tyre if you are one of those people, like me, who never got around to learning how.
The future is also all about looking down your camera lens and seeing web content to describe whatever monuments you are looking at so you have your very own tour guide at any time. Apparently the future is all about “Value Exchanges” e.g. giving some good content in exchange for value back such as simonseeks website which gives you 50% of any travel revenues you generate from your travel writing. Maybe it’s time to dig out my travel diaries to earn some money, rather than rambling on about social media models.