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What Is the Web For?

We know telephones are for talking with people, televisions are for watching programs, and radios are for listening to chat and music. So what is the Web for?

Here are a few suggestions of what is drawing us to the Web: the ability to broadcast ideas and news, access to information, connection to other people, and entrance to communities spring to my mind. Commerce too.

One thing is strikingly clear though – our culture’s pulse is clearly pounding the World Wide Web. One insightful LOCAL example is the Banburyshire Info Facebook group

Everything is connected.

These recent positive examples of our local community spring out to me.

  • One business person offered a couple hours of her time to anyone who wanted help. Another offered a cake in the same thread.
  • One business person wrote a little ode in reply to a poem by a lovely lady who regulaly waxes lyrical about topical themes. That jesture made the lady’s day.
  • Two cars have been given away to help others in need. Both from different business people.

Oh I could go on about the value of online communities…..

  • Last year business people went down to help fix up the vandalised childrens garden in people’s park Banbury when the news broke on the group forum.
  • The business people who share the good news stories from the group – in their newsfeeds. Or the stories that call for help in recovering something stolen, joining in the appeal to help find a lost dog. And not forgetting help to find missing people.


I also always see people looking for recommended solutions too. A need for a quality builder, a painter and decorater, a child friendly restaurant, a carpet fitter, someone who cleans ovens as a few examples.

Another one was the restaurant owner asking the community where they can source duck eggs for his restaurant. Attempting to buy locally as much as he can.

The list of community minded people working together online is endless.

As business people, we know the challenges of community woes are ours to help fix. After all, that is why we’re in business to solve problems. Isn’t it?

What should a business owner do?

Some of you may know I am an advocate – preacher even, most definatley someone who lives by the thoughts of the Cluetrain Manifesto.

In a large part, the book is the reason I had that extra excitement in starting a business online. Once I had read the book I could see instantly the value of being part of online communities. And then, actively adding value.

A few of my favourites from the book….

  • Companies need to come down from their Ivory Towers and talk to the people with whom they hope to create relationships.
  • Smart markets will find suppliers who speak their own language.
  • To speak with a human voice, companies must share the concerns of their communities.
  • But first, they must belong to a community.
  • Companies must ask themselves where their corporate cultures end.
  • If their cultures end before the community begins, they will have no market.

They, and others predicted nearly 20 years ago ‘The End of Business as Usual”. It seems they were right. The book is a worthwhile read for anyone in business. Try your local bookshop, or if you must, try Amazon and decide for yourself.

Happy to answer any questions in the comment box if you have any.

Thanks for reading

Ian Gentles

Editor of Banburyshire Info

Oh, I have a website too www.iangentles.com

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