Who is a Social Proprietor?
A social proprietor is anyone and everyone on the internet. We are all connected now, demonstrated by Facebook passing the 1 Billion users mark. Interaction by digital means is how we communicate.
This has profound implications for small to medium businesses. Yet, many business operators are reluctant or fearful when it comes to developing their web presence. This where I believe that the concept of social proprietors offers a clearly defined path, where our strategies will lead to measurable rewards and our guidelines will assist us going forward.
On December 1994, Netscape was launched. This was the moment that internet took off.
The first multi platform web browser launched something that we take for granted today. One wonders how many Facebook users today, even know what Netscape was or its importance. Key to its success was the idea that you could try it for free. Getting it into the hands of so many users lead to an explosion in demand for content and applications. This concept continues today in that some of the most powerful internet tools today are completely open source. Collaboration leads to a more satisfying experience and using this collective knowledge will help us achieve our goal of building social proprietors.
It is critical that that this open access to the internet and the software that powers web applications continues to evolve and grows more powerful. Business operators need to be secure in the knowledge that the tools needed to carry out our strategic web presence will not be taken away, monopolized or priced beyond our means. Netscape, by pioneering this idea, help to shape the internet as we know it today. By 2005 there were eight hundred million computers connected to the internet.
Change on this scale is hard to imagine and at the time, Netscape’s inventor Marc Andreesen, had this to say, “it takes people a long time to change their habits and learn a new technology, but people will change their habits quickly when they have a strong reason to do so, and people have an innate urge to connect with other people.” He continues, ”when you give people a new way to connect with other people, they will punch through any technical barrier, they will learn new languages-people are wired to want to connect with other people and they find it objectionable not to be able to.”
So what are the barriers we need to overcome and allow us as social proprietors to interact through our websites. The hard costs of websites are very low. Hosting plans cost less than ten dollars a month. Compare that to the cost of having a business phone line! Your web presence is available 24/7. Compare that to placing an ad in the newspaper! And because of search engines, your customers are actually looking for you and the search terms they are using provide the means of communicating with them!
In our next article we will review the software platforms that can be used most effectively. WordPress is the core of this strategy as it will allow you to integrate everything that you need to be a competitive and successful social proprietor. Currently powering over 30 million websites it meets our criteria of being an open source tool with very dynamic base of applications and developers.