I was at a presentation recently where the speaker presented what he referred to as “the five pillars of the Internet”, his categorization for the entire Internet. I’d never heard the categorization before so it caught my attention. I’ve been musing over these pillars ever since and have decided to hold them as “true” until someone comes up with a better categorization. So here they are, as proposed, for your debating pleasure:
- Search: Finding the stuff when you need it
- Content: The stuff you actually need (words, data, pictures, video, music, etc.)
- Marketplaces: The exchanges for goods and services
- Payments: The central mechanism to trigger the flow of goods and services
- Communications: The function of interaction (email, chat, voice, video)
You’ll notice that Advertising is not one of these pillars despite the fact that Advertising essentially funds the Internet. I would guess that the rationale is obvious in that Advertising can’t really be a pillar in the Internet anymore than it can be a pillar in the traditional media (The Shopping Channel maybe as a notable exception) and instead acts as more as the cement mix in most of the pillars keeping them standing (ok, I know I’m killing this metaphor). Is this it then, the final blueprint for the Internet? Or is there something missing? Feel free to comment at will.