Iâ€™ve been following Google and Wikipedia closely. Iâ€™m constantly impressed with the various ways they have permeated from the internet into mainstream culture. I expect that they would be known to people who use the internet. However, both are growing at an incredible rate not just online, but on television, news, and in popular culture generally.
Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, is rather geeky. Anyone can contribute and edit an entry about just about any subject. However, Wikipedia became a major news portal during the Virginia Tech tragedy.
CNN quoted Wikipedia and students were learning about what was happening from Wikipedia before the school released comments. The page about the tragedy was constantly updated. Over 2,000 people edited the site.
This New York Times article is titled: The Latest on Virginia Tech, From Wikipedia. Notice itâ€™s not the New York Times on Virigina Tech. In the story it says the entry about the murders got 750,000 visits in its first two days — an average of four visits a second! The second America knew the name of the killer, Seung-Hui Cho, there was a detailed Wikipedia page created about him too.
Both companies have made their mark creating incredible value for people. They accomplished this in a relatively short time. Each is less than 10 years old!
The internet opens up incredible opportunity. Companies that come up with innovative ideas can surpass established companies and industries very quickly, more quickly, and for less money.
This week Google was rated the worldâ€™s most powerful brand. This brand was started in a garage in 1998. Now itâ€™s a powerful brand valued at $66.4 BILLION. Google rocketed from #7 last year to #1 today. Google surpassed well-known brands like Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and General Electric. Several of these companies have been around for centuries.
This is why I love the internet. It levels the playing field. It lowers the cost of business. It is innovative and dynamic. In short, it creates incredible value in our world. Itâ€™s never too late to jump in and start. There are infinite niches and opportunity is everywhere.
By Janet Meiners