Twenty-one short years ago . . .
- a web was a delicate structure made by spiders to ensnare food.
- A website was a corner in the garage where spiders would consistently rebuild their webs, soon after you swept them away on those rare occasions when you cleaned out your garage.
- Yelp was something your dog would do if you accidentally stepped on its tail.
- Google was a word you never heard, much less would use as a verb in daily conversation.
- A yahoo was an unruly sort of person, probably not anyone you’d look to for advice or information.
- Mail was something you put postage stamps on, and would get from one place to another in a few days or so.
- Tweet was a sound made by a small bird. A twitter was only used by hunters or bird watchers, consisting of repeated tremulous sounds intended to attract birds.
- If you heard someone mention Instagram, you’d probably guess they were headed to Western Union.
- Mention of a laptop in a conversation might have you thinking the story being told was set in a gentlemen’s club.
- Before a couple decades ago, a mouse was a rodent you set traps for — not a tool to embrace in the palm of your hand.
Back in those days if you had any sort of business at all, you simply had to be in the Yellow Pages of your local phone book. Display ads there were essential but very costly — sometimes hundreds or thousands of dollars a month, depending on the size of your ad. Each year you would meet with the phone company’s Yellow Page representative, and she would inevitably try to convince you to buy a bigger ad in the next edition. The bigger your ad, the better your placement! Remember that? Today phone books are a relic of the past, and advertising in their yellowed pages is the last thing you’d think of to promote your business.
There was no Facebook. No Twitter. No Google Plus. “What’s a google?” you might have asked, if you ever heard the word. But you wouldn’t have, because it was not commonly used. When used at all it generally described someone’s eyes, as wide and staring. There was no LinkedIn, and no talk of social media or mobile devices. Cell phones were used only by executive types, and were the size and weight of a brick. Bing was a singer with a distinctive bass-baritone voice, named Crosby.
The world was a very different place, just 20 years ago.
But today, if you are in business and do not have a website — you’re pretty much already NOT in business. If you have not cultivated a good reputation on Yelp, are not indexed by Google, do not use Google Plus, do not have a Facebook fan page, and do not capitalize on social media, you probably won’t be in business much longer — even with a full-page Yellow Page ad.
Imagine, twenty years ago, overhearing an ad salesman from the future talk of the need for schema and open graph to get the most out of social media. You wouldn’t have a clue what he was talking about, but you’d probably figure he was from California. Even then we knew that everything weird and unintelligible came from there. But today, if you need to promote your business and you do not know what those terms mean, as Oda Mae (Whoopi Goldberg) said in the movie Ghost, “Molly… You in danger girl.”
So, do you drop everything you are doing in your business, and learn this stuff? Or do you continue doing what you know, and hire an Internet Marketing professional to put these things in play for you. If you wake up with a toothache one day, enrolling in dental school is probably not the best course of action. Instead, turn to a professional who understands your pain and how to cure it.
That’s where we come in. This is a job for the Gorilla Team, where we do the Internet, gorilla style. Call 760-459-0245 and lets talk about putting a member of our team to work for you.
Hi, my name is Mike Sandburg. It seems like a lifetime, but it was only about twenty years ago that I discovered the World Wide Web (“www” for short). Commercial use of the Internet was in its infancy then, and the concept of “local Internet marketing” was as new as a tadpole. Looking back, the Internet then resembled the Internet of today about as much as a tadpole resembles a bullfrog.
In September of 1995 I started to promote a tourism region near my home. I did so by building websites for local businesses, motels, hotels, restaurants, retail establishments, fishing charters, etc. Before I introduced these businesses to the idea, none of them had ever thought of using the Internet to promote their businesses — or of promoting the entire region as a whole.
The locality of which I speak is the 1000 Islands, today an international tourism destination encompassing communities on both sides of the border between the United States and Canada, along the St. Lawrence River. It was always an “international” tourism region, from the standpoint that it straddles that international border, but not in the same way it is today. In those days the 1000 Islands was a popular Summertime tourist destination, but little known outside the Northeast United States and Eastern Canada. I’m pretty sure I was among the first website developers in the region. In truth, I knew of no other at the time.
But soon after the 1000islands.com website was launched on the World Wide Web, the businesses throughout the region started to see a truly international clientelle, from Europe and the Pacific Rim. Local Internet Marketing is a term that has become in vogue today among IM professionals, but was born perhaps first in that website I began building in 1995.