The Social Web Economy: Consumers

This is a continuation in the series on “The Social Web Economy

I didn’t forget them! I chose to put this last because so often in the social web economy and the general digital economy this is where “average” consumers get placed. Outside of the people and companies that I listed above (who also happen to be consumers), the general consumer frequently gets left out of the equation. The systems are frequently built for the digital experts not for the average Joe.

These are probably the most important individuals in any economy. Without them there are no advertising dollars to be spent. On the social web the users spend their time playing games, viewing media (photos, videos, audio, text) and creating media. All of these things can be boiled down to one thing: communicating. As opposed to traditional media, new media is all about two-way communication.

The products and platforms being built for consumers currently help make communication more efficient. While in the main economy, consumers pay for their goods and services, most often users don’t pay for products in the social web. This is because most revenue is driven by advertising. All that consumers are limited to is attention and that’s what sites are competing for in the social web economy.

While the sustainability of an advertising driven economy is questionable, for now the battle is over attracting the users. This is the single most significant challenge for any product or platform in the social web economy. Even if you can get developers to build great products on your platform, there’s no guarantee that consumers will use it.

Next Post: “The Social Web Economy: What Are These People Building?