Doctor SpinPR TrendsBusiness ShiftsEnter the Money Web (2016-Present)

Enter the Money Web (2016-Present)

The social internet is morphing into a more transactional space.

Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer (Instagram)

The Hippie Web is dead; enter the Money Web.

Yesterday I gave a talk for a global investment firm. I told them that the Hippie Web (2005-2015) had died and that it was time to prepare for the Money Web (today and onwards).

The investment firm had flown in chief strategists from SOMO, Rapp, Qubit, Forward, and Whispr Group. We represented different types of digital agencies (mobile, digital advertising, conversion, search and social).

The firm’s investors wanted to inform themselves about the digital future for brands and were eager to hear us present our perspectives.

The other chief strategists pointed to countless examples of interesting trends and developments, but I wanted to discuss the digital transformation more from a birds-eye view. Since I was the last presenter to go up, I was happy with my decision to paint with broader strokes.

These were my talking points:

The Dot-Com Bubble gave way to Social Media. We all know how the dot-com bubble happened. Many of us saw the enormous business potential of the internet. But everything moved too fast, and somehow, we forgot two vital ingredients — e-commerce know-how and technologically adapted customers. In the wake of the dot-com bubble, social media found its place amongst the rubble.

Social Media gave way to the Hippe Web. Once social got a firm hold over the internet, the online revolution was powered by social interaction and information sharing, not commercial transactions. The adoption of social media was explosive, paving the way for a new class of social media naturals.

The Hippe Web gave way to Social Graphs. Brands were cordially invited to participate (“join the conversation”) on the Hippie Web, but at the core of every online interaction was the social graph (i.e. nodes in a network of social relationships). Online virality was among the first proofs of the social graph’s immense power.

Social Graphs gave way to Big Data. One outcome of how users connect and share with each via their social graphs turned out to be an incredibly valuable business asset — big data. By analysing online behaviours, we can learn to become increasingly successful in converting information consumers into buying customers.

Big Bata is now giving way to the Money Web. With big data, we now have the foundation for e-commerce know-how. And with 15 years since the dot-com bubble, we now also have technologically adapted customers. From here and many years forward, we will see online payments replace physical payments at a rapid rate.

What To Expect From the Money Web

Here are a few takeaways from my talk at the investment firm:

  • The Money Web will be a stark contrast to the Hippie Web.
  • Digital-first will forcefully drive digital transformation across markets.
  • Algorithms will replace direct social interaction as the prime driver for generating social graph data.
  • Companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple are well-positioned to generate vast amounts of commercial-type data.
  • E-commerce might have had a false start, but the industry seems to have a bright future (for real this time).
  • Other exciting opportunities might be found in traditional companies looking to move their business online.


Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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