Mayans Wrong – Was The Internet To Blame For The Hysteria

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Williams Commerce are a Leicester-based provider of online marketing and development solutions to businesses on an international level. In an age where public choice and mass interest dominates the dissemination of information, as coverage of the Mayan calendar demonstrates, businesses must adapt to survive.

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Was the internet to blame for the hysteria?

The Mayan apocalypse isn’t trending at the top of Google+ because news sources deemed it valuable, but because the hysterical passion of the online community demanded information on the topic.

In this age of connectedness and communication the very concept of news seems almost outdated, at least in the form it was once known. When countries were split by geographic boundaries information would trickle slowly between settlements and communities. Global information was sporadically introduced, as ports disseminated the knowledge of merchants and migrants alike. With the invention of the printing press in 1440s Germany knowledge took a step towards democratisation. With enough funds, any individual could spread the information they wanted, with whatever spin appealed to them. This was status quo for some time, as political and religious revolutions sprung from the technology with information able to reach and rile the public like never before.

The internet represents the next big evolution in the arena of information. The system of dissemination has been replaced by one of fulfilling public will. Geographic limitations are meaningless, with millions of wide, involved communities co-existing online based on shared interests, rather than their location and means. The public doesn’t read information given to them, rather they search for the information relevant to their own interests.

The process is easily visible in the way our news systems function. The Mayan apocalypse isn’t trending at the top of Google+ because news sources deemed it valuable, but because the hysterical passion of the online community demanded information on the topic. The articles on the internet’s top news distributors focus on human interest tales of individuals preparing for the supposed apocalypse. The size of the news distributors isn’t the reason for the topic’s popularity, rather the companies succeed because they distribute articles the public expressed a demand for.

Bending to public will isn’t limited to the news sector. At least on the internet, the success of advertising campaigns has become insignificant. Businesses subsisting on sales have come to realise that the public openly ignores or dislikes brands that intrude on their browsing experience. Instead, making oneself visible to consumers already searching for particular products and services is the most efficient way of generating custom.

A spokesperson for Williams Commerce outlined the reasons for their approach to online commerce, “In addition to affiliate and advertisement marketing, we’ve invested into a successful Search Engine Optimisation department. The core of SEO is helping businesses rank well on search terms customers are actively looking for. Advertising can help suggest ideas to customers, but they don’t tend to follow through once clicking on one. SEO is just another result of growing consumer agency in the marketplace. Customers develop their own interests as a group, businesses can only strive for visibility to any individuals finding them relevant.”

Williams Commerce is an ecommerce company providing online marketing and development solutions and SEO services to businesses across the UK. The company are working to adapt businesses to the online environment that globalisation and increased consumer agency has produced. The market has changed substantially and is likely to continue doing so, and only innovation and adaption to the public need will allow businesses to succeed.

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Clare Brace
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