I can’t imagine life without the Internet. I love the Internet.
There’s often negative stories in the press about all the bad things which happen on the Internet but recently I’ve been looking at all the wonderful things we can now do.
Many of you will remember a time before the Internet existed.
***Please note:*** When I say the Internet, I’m actually referring to the World Wide Web, but I know most people refer to it as the Internet and in the main don’t know the difference. So before any of you techy pedants pull me up on the fact that the Internet is not the World Wide Web – yeah I know! But for the purposes of this post it’s the Internet.
For those who want to know the difference click these links:
The World Wide Web
Where was I? Oh yes, many of you will remember life before the Internet. But there’s a whole new generation who have only known life with the Internet and mobile devices and computers.
I was thinking over the holidays about all the things we now use the Internet for and how it’s always there; just a mobile device away and at our finger tips. Whilst broadband isn’t available to all people yet, in the UK a recent report by Ofcom – The 2014 Communication Market Report – states that household Internet access was at 82%. And then there are places with wi-fi and most people these days have mobile phones which give access to the Internet via 3G or 4G.
Think about all the things you do on a daily basis which you use the Internet for.
Think about how we used to buy books and how Amazon has made it so much easier. I’m a huge book lover and still love the feel of an actual book in my hands and turning the paper pages. But, I also love reading books on Kindle. It is just so easy and quick. I’m often at conferences and business networking meetings and reading blog posts where I learn about interesting books. With access to Amazon on my iPad and iPhone I can search and buy the book and be reading it in minutes. I love that!
Imagine if you were thinking about publishing your own book in 1980 – how would you have done it?
In 2012 I wrote my first business book; “The 31 Mistakes Every Online Business Makes”. I published it using Lulu.com and via Amazon onto Kindle. It was so simple and straight forward. Two years later and I’m still getting paid Royalties every single month! I couldn’t have done any of that without the Internet.
I still find it a little weird that I can go online to a supermarket’s website, place an order for my food and grocery shopping and the same day, a driver in a van arrives at my doorstep with my shopping! And at a pre-booked time of my choosing!
And then there’s places like Amazon. I love Amazon!(irrespective of how much tax they do or don’t pay) For me it’s all about convenience. I’ve got an Amazon Prime account so most of my shopping via Amazon gets me free postage and I can watch TV boxsets and movies on Amazon Prime and they are free. Last night I watched a great film called “Unthinkable” with Michael Sheen and Samuel L Jackson on Amazon Prime via my new Xbox One.
I did most of my Christmas present shopping online this year and it seems that I’m not alone!
Over £440,000 was spent every minute on Christmas Day in 2014! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2885900/Millions-shop-minute-gifts.html
Hotels & Travel
Do you remember those places called “Travel Agents”? I know they still exist but I can’t remember the last time I was in one. I book all our holidays and my business trips online.
Last year I went to Spain twice, Singapore and Las Vegas on business and I booked all my flights and hotels via the Internet and I got some great deals too. This year I’ve already booked a holiday and 2 business trips and again I don’t know how I would have done this so easily without the Internet.
I can’t imagine how families coped in the old days when relatives lived abroad or were away on holiday, or when children were on their gap years travelling across the Far East. The only way to communicate was long distance via the telephone and that was really expensive or by writing postcards! Can you imagine that today?!
Now we’ve got things like Facetime. It’s brilliant. We were with some friends over Christmas and their son lives in Australia. It was awesome to watch them Facetime! He could see his parents and they could see him and they could catch up on news and share the Christmas spirit in a really special way. And of course, it was completely free!
And then there’s voice over IP apps like Skype and Viber which allow you to make free phone calls all over the world. We use it almost every day in our business for calling clients in the USA. It’s a great service and it’s free with a wi-fi connection and it’s so clear, in fact. in most cases clearer than using the telephone and without those awkward time lags. It’s just brilliant!
I left school in 1983 and I remember having to use books from the library and encyclopaedias as reference books to help me answers questions for my homework. Can you imagine how much easier that would have been if I’d had Google and Wikipedia back then?!
I was watching Queen the rock band on TV on New Years Eve. Someone asked when we thought Freddie Mercury had died. A quick search via my iPhone and I had the answer at my finger tips in seconds. It was 24th November 1991 in case you wondered!
Setting up new income streams
At a business networking event a couple of years ago two people gave me the idea of a new product which I could create and offer to people who needed motivating.
Within hours I had bought the domain name, created a WWordPress website and www.mondaymotivation.co.uk was live to the world. Within 7 days I had written and recorded the first few audios and within 2 weeks I had 10 subscribers each paying me £9.97 a month and within 3 months I had 34 subscribers!
I can’t even begin to imagine how I would have done this prior to the Internet.
A friend of mine a few years ago was down on his luck and was struggling to make ends meet. But he had a skill. He had learnt web design and was really good at it. After much persuasion by me, he set up his web design business and he hasn’t looked back. He needed a way of bringing in money quickly to meet household bills. He charges about £800 for a 5 page website and he gets 50% of that up front. So all he needed was one customer and he would have his first £400. He contacted a local Bed & Breakfast business who he knew and he knew they didn’t have a website. They were his first customer and since then his business had blossomed.
Gary Vee as he’s known on Twitter is one of my social media mentors. I love Gary! His passion is incredible and he hustles like I’ve never seen anyone else!
He helped his parents’ off-licence business (liquor store in the US) grow into a $60 million business!
Find out more about his story here: http://www.businessinsider.com/gary-vaynerchuk-wine-library
You should buy ALL his books – they’re awesome!
The Internet is such a great enabler for growth like that.
Frank Kern is an Internet Marketing Guru who I love. And he really is one of the few guys I would class as a Guru. He’s been making fortunes from Internet Marketing for many years now. Check him out on his Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/Frank.Kern.Page
In 2012 he shared the story about his friend Trey Smith on how he created a app game which cost only $500 to develop and in its first year it grossed $40,000! He couldn’t have done that before the Internet.
You can read it here: http://www.frankkern.net/469/trey-smith/
YouTube is one of my favourite places. I watch lots of videos on YouTube from people like Brain Tracy, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn and Les Brown and Darren Hardy.
There are some fantastic videos available. Check out an old blog post of mine from 2009:
The Power of Positive Thinking
YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google. You can search for anything via YouTube and in most cases, you’ll find what you’re looking for.
I got an Xbox One for Christmas! It’s superb! But I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed Black Flag and got really frustrated with one section where I had to save a guy who was being hanged. Thanks to a quick search on YouTube I found a walk through guide for that bit!
There’s a new generation of celebrities coming from YouTube often called YouTubers or vloggers. These are people who post videos on YouTube and have huge numbers of subscribers.
One of the most popular female YouTubers is Zoella (real name Zoe Sugg) with nearly 7 million subscribers! Her YouTube videos have been watched over 328 million times! https://www.youtube.com/user/Zoella280390
Check out her promo video below:
Zoella has recently been given her own Radio One show with 2 other vloggers – http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/28894740
Another vlogger who’s found fame and fortune from his YouTube channel is a guy called Alfie Deyes and in fact he and Zoella are going out together.
Alfie’s YouTube channel is called Pointless Blog – https://www.youtube.com/user/PointlessBlog
He has over 3.5 million subscribers and his videos have been viewed 175.7 million times!
Alfie recently had a booked published. “The Pointless Book” launch in November 2014 in Birmingham caused quite a lot of chaos!
They couldn’t have done this without the Internet!
The list of great things the Internet can be used for is endless. These were just a few which sprung to my mind.
Please feel free to share the things you love about the Internet by posting a comment.