Everything you know about internet url’s is about to change. Well, not everything.
According to a recent article in PC World, ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has given the green light for a change called IDN, also known as internationalized domain names.
IDN will allow non Latin characters to be used in the entire web address of websites. Prior to the change, domains could only use a few non Latin characters, but now their whole website name can be in non Latin characters. Some people are excited about the change because it will encourage more people around the world to use the internet. According to an article on CNET, “IDNs will let people who write in Chinese, Korean, or Arabic use their own languages to surf the Web, and is expected to jump-start Internet use in many regions across the globe.” For many around the world, especially in China the change is more than welcome.
However, some believe it’s opening the door for mishap. Since, the IDN will allow users to create websites in their native tongue, this means some companies will have to do more policing of their site names across the web, in order to protect them. Imagine, Walmart.com having to make sure there isn’t an imposter using their name in another language. Plus homoglyphs (defined by Wikipedia as one of two or more characters, or glyphs, with shapes that either appear identical or cannot be differentiated by quick visual inspection) may become an even bigger issue. It may be a little harder to tell real sites from fake ones. Do you see the difference between these two websites at first glance- google.com and goÃ³gle.com?
It should be interesting to see the difference this change will make on internet users as well as companies. It may not be as easy to find the bargain site on the internet when the url changes to non Latin letters. On the other hand, it will allow more people to interact with different cultures. Whether you’re for or against it, the change is taking place.
As the presidential inauguration approaches and the economy starts to rebuild itself, most people I know are reading top news stories on a daily basis. It comes as no surprise that in recent studies, it appears news readers are dropping print media and relying more on digital forms of gathering news. The Internet has now surpassed all media except television as a news source, according to consumers surveyed in December 2008 by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Last month, 40% of survey respondents said they rely on the Internet as their main news source, which is up 16% from 2007.
As you can see from the chart above, television is still the main source for national and international news. If the rest of the world is anything like me, I expect the Internet to surpass television in the near future as the leading news source. When you compare the delivery of the two, television sources feed you the news that they want you to hear. Internet allows you the choice of reading the headlines and viewpoints that are most important to you.
So how does this relate to you and your internet marketing campaigns? Don’t forget to include contextual advertising in your 2009 online marketing plan. Whether you plan to incorporate text, images, or video- online news sources are a excellent avenues to reach your audience. The Google content network is a great place to test some of these ad types on select news sites such as NY Times, Washington Journal, US News, Forbes, etc. If you would like to learn more about Google’s content network, please read Sonya Wood’s most recent blog post.
The internet has made our lives completely different! Almost everyone has an email address or the ability to access the internet in some fashion. Children as young as 3 along with seniors as old as 100+ are utilizing the internet for a myriad of purposes. Whether it’s for fun, general knowledge, or shopping…the place to be is online! Why bother to run out to the mall when you can likely get the same gift online for a better price, without ever having to leave the comfort of your home or office?
Take Ebay for example. Ebay offers the ability to shop online for practically anything your heart desires; usually for a reduced price. Not only is there an enormous inventory, you also get to participate in the auction element that Ebay is widely known for. The auctions are enjoyable for many people and can also be educational, for kids in particular. The thrill of being the highest bidder is truly a “win win”. A win because they got to pick out what they wanted; an added win because they are learning about how the marketplace works.
With the holidays fast approaching, sites like Email Santa are getting an increase in activity and are the perfect way for kids to tell parents exactly what they want! As a consumer, you should know that there are many online retailers who will literally stop at nothing to win your business. Take advantage of that mentality, especially given the current economy. Be a savvy online shopper! As a retailer, you should capitalize on the busiest shopping time of the year by offering as many incentives as possible!
The internet has indeed become an integral part of our daily lives. For business or pleasure, for children and adults alike, the world is at our fingertips now more than ever!