I’ve been doing some deep thinking about business again…and I’ve come to a rather interesting conclusion this time…

The Internet is a distraction to actually doing business.

But not in the sense you might be thinking…I just think that we place too much importance on the Internet for business.  Way too much importance in fact.

Here’s part of the reason why I think this (otherwise this post will get WAY too long, so I might have to break it up)…

Before the Internet became popular, we had the conversation between two people.  Then, we had radio, which allowed us to broadcast that conversation one way to a person or family.  Then, we had TV which allowed us to broadcast IMAGES along with that same one-way conversation.

So radio and TV started the distraction, then the Internet came along and at first accelerated the one-way conversation to an uncontrollable level as banner ads, direct mail letters converted to websites, brochure style websites, etc… evolved (this is before blogs).

But then, something very important happened, the social networks and bookmarking devices came along.  This allowed the two-way conversation between people to return, but with an unfortunate consequence…

There is too much conversation for the individual human being (that means all of us) to digest and take part in. And, the funny thing is, that’s exactly what we as human beings really wanted all along with technology like this…is to be able to carry a two-way conversation across boundaries.

Think about this for a second, in a normal day…

  • There are Twitter conversations.
  • There are Facebook conversations.
  • There are Email conversations.
  • There are cell phone conversations (and over the Internet).
  • And on, and on, and on…including texting.

So, we are seeking simple conversations…but because of the Internet distraction there are way too many ways to carry that conversation (ever had someone stop a face to face conversation with you to get a text?  Unreal.).

So how does all of this apply to business?

We used to do business face to face, with two-way conversation between people.  Then, when we liked a particular business enough to do business with it continuously, we referred it to others asking about the same type of business.

Then it seems we got away from that, and the Internet accelerated that process…but then also provided the means for two-way conversation between people to return to business.

Business is, and always will be about people…period. That will never change no matter what medium we use to communicate.

The Internet provides so many ways to communicate…it has become a distraction, because it allows business people to cheat…reaching more people faster, cheaper, and more frequently.

But when The Great Filtering happens…when people get sick of being interrupted and seek to return to more “normal” and digestible conversation between two people (which WILL happen at some point by the way)…they will find ways to do that, and the Internet provides those means.

So…if you’re using the Internet to market a business without being social…you’ll miss the opportunity because you’re distracted by the illusion that is “regular marketing on the Internet”…and you’ll be out of business.  You’ll have been distracted by the Internet.

Don’t let this happen to you.