The business community in Australia sorely remembers the first internet boom that occurred over a decade ago. Millions and millions of dollars were pumped into start-up internet companies who promised unheard of return on investment figures. The first internet boom was not a mere bust, but rather, a cosmic explosion or meltdown. Sadly, and in some cases tragically, many investors were burned enough to swear off internet company investments forever.
Australia’s present internet boom is nowhere near as meteoric as the original. The pace is more along the lines of a strong tide rolling in with loud and powerful crashing waves hitting the beach. The beach is the Australian public – the internet users of today. The wave is the internet and the mighty strength is this man-made creation’s ability to reach anywhere in the country and throughout the world in an instant. Australian businesses must once again grab a board and hop onto this magnificent wave to ride to success. There will be business pitfalls to navigate around, just as there were in the original internet boom. What businesses have now, that they did not possess before, is knowledge and experience. The first internet boom was driven by hopes and speculation. Australia’s current internet boom can be managed with this acquired knowledge and experience.
The Australia Media and Communication Authority (ACMA) have released some startling numbers in 2010 concerning internet usage by the Australian public. Internet users who report themselves as “heavy users” have doubled from 14% in 2005 to 28% in 2010. The internet is being used much more, and not just for entertainment purposes. Social networking is going on to the tune of 8.7 million visits to social websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Travel and business are hot topics for Australian internet users and 86% of the users take advantage of Google search to find what they need. One final fact to solidify the presence of the new and second internet boom is that Australian businesses with websites are growing 46% faster than businesses not on the internet.
So there are thousands, perhaps millions out there looking and searching on the internet right now, but they are like fish in the sea. If you can’t catch them, they swim away without every feeling threatened. Australian internet users are as savvy as any of their international counterparts. The internet user of today is as information hungry as at any point in Web history. They will just not grab or bite at any bit of information, but want the information they need and they want it fast. Therefore, web content must be updated constantly; because once a site becomes stale, users move on without any loyalty whatsoever. The constant control and selectivity of the new internet user cannot be underestimated.
Australians have benefited by the new internet boom by increasing their ability to access the information they want – when they want it. There is no sign that internet use in Australia is going to wane and go down. Business must understand the new market place to be successful in the new era of internet use. Business will need to bring in as much traffic to their websites as possible, but large numbers alone will not make them successful. The right people, i.e., clients, customers and buyers have to be informed, impressed, and excited enough to either make internet purchases, or go straight to any traditional business outlet touted by websites.