Introducing the Integrated Web

What’s new in the new year?

As the 21st century wraps up its first decade and prepares for adolescence, it’s only natural to pause a moment to reflect upon the decade we’ve resigned to refer to as the ‘aughts’.

In a way, the title is oddly appropriate – the decade continued to defy our expectations of the way things ‘aught’ to be; the way business, government, advertising, politics, and technology ‘aught’ to function.  The result was a decade of upheaval and shattered conventions.  And nowhere was this more apparent than in the digital world.

Investors watched in awe as 20th century non-factor Google and the rest of the digital revolution upended industry after industry.  We saw the silo’d and stagnant “World Wide Web” transform into the integrated, dynamic, and user generated “Web 2.0.”  We saw the fragmentation of media and the decline of traditional channels.  If nothing else, the one consistency of this millennium’s first decade was disruption and change.  Out with the old, in with the new.

So what’s next to go?

Our bet is on the stand-alone microsite.  That isn’t to say that brands won’t be producing interactive experiences or even dedicated URLs to host initiatives – sometimes those things make sense – but initiatives will no longer be floating islands.  They will increasingly have ties to other platforms: the social web, mobile, CRM databases, SEO-friendly sister sites and more.

The walled gardens on the web began to crumble last year as API’s came into full force (most notably Facebook Connect) and we expect that to continue.  A brand presence is no longer simply a collection of .com’s but a growing ecosystem of blogs, social networking pages, mobile sites, e-commerce and more.  Brands will require more advanced command and control CMS systems that allow data to be updated seamlessly across all their platforms at once.  You’ll see brands investing more in back-end infrastructure to update and monitor their growing digital empires.

2010 will be the year of the integrated web – mobile, .com, social, eCRM, display advertising, and more.  Is your brand ready for it?

Photo Credit: PuffinArt