How Web 1.0 is like a Las Vegas Casino

Although I’m currently in Barcelona, I spent 4 days in Las Vegas. It doesn’t take long for anyone to come to the realization that Las Vegas (and just about everything in it) is designed to take your money.

A big indicator is the lack of transportation infrastructure on the strip, taxis are a form of a ‘dongle’ requiring guests to use them to quickly get around. The strip is large enough to accommodate a tram system or even a train system. The existing train systems are inefficient and expensive.

Once inside one of these gambling monoliths everything has been designed to keep guests in: Lack of lighting, confusing signage, not a lot of clear exit signs, flowing drinks, and no clocks to remind you you’ve missed dinner with the spouse.

[Like Las Vegas casinos, websites were previously designed to Centralize customers and make it difficult for them to leave]

Websites in the first wave (Web 1.0) are a lot like modern Las Vegas Casinos. Transportation systems are designed to reel users in (from search campaigns to affiliate link agreements) those content portals are designed to suck users in, and keep them there using internal linking systems, and most outbound links are in the form of advertisements.

Imagine if communities have assembled on the streets, on the strip and are starting their own parties and gambling tables. They’re using cheap and easy-to-use technologies to create their own casinos complete with buffets and they don’t necessarily need a casino to be there. Fortunately for the real Vegas, this type of activity is illegal.

Sadly, for the modern web (what many call Web 2.0) the party has already taken to the streets. Consumers, members, and users are creating their own websites, communities, and are attracting advertising. They’re talking about their your brand and mine, and are influencing others.

[Now, customers are creating their own communities in the ‘streets’ we must plan for a Distributed Web Strategy as we join the party]

Savvy brands will need to go to the streets, where the community is, and join the party in addition to continue building their own house out. This is why we need to open the door, after looking out the window, but not stare in the mirror.

Embrace the distributed web strategy.

Are you in Bareclona? I’m here at Forrester’s Consumer Forum as a speaker, and am also co-organizing a community event for any Barcelona bloggers in the area on Thursday, hope to see you there.