Hype or Reality?

Greetings. By the time you read this I'll be out with the gang speaking at Internet Advertising World. For those of you who aren't at the conference (gasp) or ran back to check your e-mail, thanks.

You know, before I left I was a bit startled in regard to something I read (and read and read over again). Did you see the Intel campaign entitled, "End of the World?" Many say the signs used in the campaign should be rephrase to read, "End of the World Wide Web." Apparently big wigs at AT&T, HP, and Cisco wholeheartedly agree. They say they are working under the gun (no pun intended) to save the Web.

As a media person I automatically thought we were reaching somewhat of a saturation point. I stand corrected. (However, I'm sure one of my buddies at Nielsen will post actual stats on the Spin board.) What's referenced as the end of the Web is due to technical overload. At Intel's technical conference, CTO Patrick Gelsinger said the Internet would weaken as millions of new users from developing nations begin to sign on. His solution is to construct a new network over the Internet that would monitor and direct traffic and combat security threats or traffic surges. "We're running up on some architectural limitations," Gelsinger was quoted as saying. I guess I never thought the Web could break. However, the cynic in me thinks this is just a farce to cause hype and then eventually drive purchase to each company's respective soon-to-be-solution. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to knock these giants (and ostracize myself from my tech/telco clients and prospects). However, don't you think this is a bunch of BS?



To top it off, such broad statements have caused a sea of Net rumors. Of course the statements have been taken out of context. It's caused publishers and advertisers borderline panic attacks. Many of us have been through enough: Struggle, hype, boom, hype, bust, hype, layoffs and job eliminations, more hype, Social Darwinism morphing into chest beating, hype, consolidation and integration, job elimination, and hype.

I think it's safe to say, those of us who have fought the good fight and still wrestle up passion, are here for the long haul. Why panic? Take a look around. Look at the conferences popping up. Is your calendar booked? Mine is so much so that I've had to miss events to get to other events. Companies are having parties again.

Scratch beneath the surface and you'll see that online ad spending is positive. According to eMarketer, there was a 20 percent-plus growth rate last year, and the same expected this year and next, eMarketer sees Internet ad spending surpassing $11 billion by the end of 2005. eMarketer projects that U.S. online advertising spending will hit $9.1 billion this year - $1 billion more than its previous high in the year 2000, at the height of the dot-com boom.

InternetWeek printed a concise list of comparative estimates of U.S. online ad spending growth for 2004: · American Technology Research, March 2004: 30% (as a percentage increase from prior year) · JupiterResearch, July 2004: 27.3% · eMarketer, July 2004: 25.2% · Smith Barney, June 2004: 23.6% · Forrester Research, October 2003: 22.5% · Piper Jaffray, November 2003: 20.9% · Universal McCann, June 2004: 20% · TNS/CMR, June 2004: 15.8% · Veronis Suhler Stevenson, July 2004: 15.8% · PricewaterhouseCoopers, June 2004: 15.3% · Merrill Lynch, October 2003: 10% · ZenithOptimedia, July 2004: 8% · Myers Report, December 2003: 3.8% · GartnerG2, July 2003: 3.2%

Whatever stat you look at, the outlook is positive. Check out what speakers have to say today and tomorrow . As far as the potential for Web breakage, I'm on the fence. I guess I am against the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." My faith is in the brains of the technologists. Until then, I'll be busy as hell with business. What do you think? Post to the Spin board.

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