Thanks to my friend John Pitocco, I ran into a pretty interesting article about the six verbs for the web, from senior Wired maverick Kevin Kelly.

He discussed these verbs during his opening keynote at the Web 2.0 conference, in which he believes are the prevailing forces shaping modern web culture.

They are: screening, interacting, sharing, flowing, accessing, and generating.

Come again? Can you make the connection between these six words and the interwebs? It’s not like they’re more popular words such as, say, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Quora, Foursquare, RSS, blogs, oh my! These are just normal words that could be used to describe almost anything.

But therein lies the magic. Allow me to explain.

  1. Screening. Twenty or so years ago, the prediction would be that the web would be like TV with a gazillion channels. But it turns out “they” were wrong. The “screens in our lives are taking the web everywhere, to the screen in Starbucks, smartphones, tablets, the living room, the workplace, etc.” He predicts that one screen could rule us all and whomever invents it was be really, really wealthy.
  2. Interacting. Remember when you saw the Minority Report and thought it was impossible that you’d ever be able to manipulate images on a computer like Tom Cruise did in that movie? Well, it’s here! Kind of. Kelly refers to the way we interact with content and how the web responds by adapting to our behavior. Now it’s possible for app developers to adapt their products and solutions to our emotions and our individual needs.
  3. Sharing. Everything that can be shared, will be shared and Kelly thinks we’re at the very infant stages of this movement as demonstrated by Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare (ah ha! There are those words). This won’t come as a surprise to those of you who use the social web every day, but sharing is going to continue enhancing the value of whatever it is we do decide to share. Meaning, if I check into Starbucks every day and I become the Mayor (oh wait! I already am), the information I’m sharing, from what time I check in to what I buy, is sent to Starbucks and they begin to target me specifically when they have a sale on lattes. We’ll get even more savvy about what we share and how we share it in order to help the companies that we do business with to customize our experience.
  4. Flowing. I think Kelly uses flowing instead of streaming, which most of us are familiar with (he’s just trying to be fancy, I guess). “Streams are everywhere now, on all of those screens in the screening trend. We can watch movies, listen to music, play games, and participate in conversations by tapping into these streams on the web.”
  5. Accessing. We used to own everything. It still kills me that we bought a server (for A LOT of money) five years ago and it’s already obsolete. Now, as long as we can instantly access what we need, we don’t care if we own it. That goes for files, games, movies, books, etc. Kelly says, “If you can access your collection from anywhere by logging into the cloud, you won’t need to own it. All of the music on the planet can now fit on one six-terabyte hard disk drive in a computer you can buy for $585. But there is no reason to carry it around.”
  6. Generating. This last one is something we’re thinking a lot about as we get ready for the full launch of Spin Sucks Pro (aka Project Jack Bauer) in less than a month. Anything digital that can be copied, will be copied. We can’t prevent it. Sure, we can put in things to monitor how our information is being distributed, but we really can’t prevent people from copying illegally. So what you really need to is what we’re doing: Focus on giving users the opportunity to generate their own content so it’s personalized and customized. Paul Sutton asked me a few weeks ago where I thought content development and delivery was going and I told him we watch the music industry pretty closely. That industry has seen a complete wipe-out because of digital piracy, but musicians now can charge more for concerts, and have them more more often and in smaller venues, because that experience can’t be replicated or stolen as easily.

What do you think about these verbs? On which of these are you focusing your business efforts? Or do you have a focus not listed here?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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