In the tumultous world of online marketing, ideas matter only so long as they can be converted into liquid cash (preferably millions) in a short span of time (preferably months!). Nothing makes news faster than an upstart gathering eyeballs and revenues at the speed of light (thus catching the attention of the big 3) and becoming a ripe target for acquisition (read happy endings and private yachts for the young, smiling founders!).
If recent reports are anything to go by, the big future of the web does not lie in search. Personalization and behavioral targeting are the new buzzwords. Once upon a time, personalization was a big thing on the web and amazon was among the few companies that did a good job in using visitor behavior to present not alltogether irrelevant offers! Now “stickiness” through customized content is making a comeback and it’s myspace and social networking sites that are ruling the game. It will be interesting to watch how companies use personal profiles to finetune targeting and help users get to their end-goals faster (whether it’s information, purchase or entertainment).