Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The Internet, the Worlds biggest Ponzi Scheme?

Not to long ago, i attended a one of those Internet Business Meet up groups. Not many people turned up, certainly no one with success or money to invest. One of the guys there had produced tens of sites, promoted up the hundreds of thousand of hits per month level, but total failed to monetize the sites, despite Google Adsense and various affiliate programs. In his bitterness, he describe the Internet as the World biggest Ponzi Scheme. Is the Internet or part of a Ponzi Scheme? A Ponzi Scheme, named after Charles Ponzi any pyramid marketing scheme that make the early adopters money, by dragging ever more new people to invest in it, and then dies when it runs out of suckers.

Technically of course, the Internet, and the web, aren't any kind of money making scheme at all, there purely enabling communication protocols. Never the less, there is an over large part of Internet business involved purely in promote other parts of the Internet, commonly known as SEO, or Search Engine Optimising. If your involve in any new Internet business you'll want to get in Marketed and if like the majority, you don't have much money to spare, this often means SEO. The nature of Google and most of the modern search engine, is that the more your pages are linked to, the more search hits you get, so the more people see you. While goodness will out, its otherwise a self-reinforcing systems, keeping the old and already popular businesses at the top, and producing barriers to entry for any new operation.

Because of this a major industry of SEO, and Internet promotion has sprung up often promising at lot more traffic and advertising money than is reasonably believable. Many sites, and chat room posts, will inform you of how to start a blog, how to get traffic for it, and write of successful bloggers that have made big money out of it. Showing the self referential nature of the net, many of the these most successful blogs are themselves about SEO, and that part of the Net almost qualifies as a Ponzi Scheme. Fads on the Internet come and go. At the moment Tweeter is in fashion, Tweeter is real time chatting, and doesn't (yet) favour old established sites, yet if you only did Tweeter and ever stop your Tweeter marketing, your find no record of your messages no links to your website or business. Many SEO sites recommend Tweeter marketing it, to my mind it might as well be vapour marketing. We've yet to see what comes out of the growth of Tweet Marketing, as expect nothing, at it to be replaced by a newer fad, but I've been wrong before.