The Web continues to evolve, the Information Web, it is shutting down newspapers, wiping out travel agencies and electronics resellers, has overthrew Arab dictators and turning into the Social Web. The former was about knowledge, the latter is about people - you. It's all about you and everything about you that the Web and Big Data analytics can gather and process. The end result is a scarily true-to-life online portrait that businesses can use to target messages to you, and equally important that you can trade on to get what you want. It is very powerful and the foundation continues to be laid.

That message above was from a session at the Inc. 500 conference, led by Inc.com columnist, entrepreneur and Flashpoint Academy CEO Howard Tullman. Tillman's thesis is that the era of what he calls "hyper-personalization" online will transform advertising (yet again), retail, corporate power (it's a Facebook world), notions of privacy and even the use of data. "Personal data is the oil of the digital age," to quote Tullman.

Tullman will cover the implication of the social Web in his own Inc.com columns to come, but let's start now with a key point that every business owner should know: There's not much time to get ready. The process is already much further along than you probably realise, the most common reaction to Tullman's session at the Inc. 500 was " OMG ... I had no idea."

Take a look at these eight numbers, which are symptomatic of the impact that social media--facebook in particular--are already having on your world:

 

3 billion

The number of searches on Google every single day. For a little perspective, there are circa 7 billion people in the world. And remember: Each of these searches generates data that can be used to flesh out the growing picture of who you are, what you like, what you are about to do, whether you know it or not.

10 Million

That's how many new users began coming per week to two video sharing sites, Viddy and Social Cam, after April 24, when Facebook began highlighting them in its news feed. The point is that Facebook is the kingmaker of the social Web, a role that seems all but inevitable when you realize that people spend more time on Facebook than on YouTube, Wikipedia, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo combined.

12 to 18 

The number of months it takes for the amount of online sharing to double, according to Mark Zuckerberg. Remember Moore's Law? Sharing content is on the same exponential growth curve as processing power when Moore made his famous prediction.

1500

The number of new retailers per week that join Payment, a social commerce site that allows users to set up stores on Facebook. Last monthFacebook launched Facebook Gifts, which allows Facebook users to send their friends real gifts over Facebook (publicly or privately). "F-commerce" is the term Tullman prefers. You will here this more and more, so we may want to get used to it.

28%

Share of all ads now served online that appear on Facebook.

3.3 million

Facebook is not the only king/queen maker on the social web. 3.3 million is the number of Tyra Banks' twitter followers--and a key reason that her forgettable book Modelland  was number one on Barnes & Noble and number two on Amazon its first week on the market. 

48 hours

The amount of video uploaded every minute to YouTube. That's one reason video is the new medium of communication on the social web.

80 million

The number of virtual farmers on Farmville. Just for reference: There are 1.3 million real farmers in the U.S.

 

 

On the social web, marketers no longer need content to approximate who a given audience is, because everyone who wants to reach you will know exactly who you are, exactly where you are and what you're likely to do at any given moment. Who you are will determine not just what marketing messages you see, but also what price you pay for things, compared to others with a different profile or reputation. Maintaining your social status and reputation on the social web will be as important as maintaining your personal appearance--and that's just the beginning of changes already under way.

If you are in business and want to harness social media and not sure where to turn, come see us for much needed help, we will guide you and prepare you for bigger things to come!

By the way - the above numbers quoted were out of date minutes after quoted at the conference, Tyra Banks is upto 7.3 million follows, how huge is that?