A new wave of on-line auction applications is hitting the Internet. A few weeks ago, Joe Mele showed me a web site (www.talkmarket.com) for people who were auctioning off their stuff using self-produced videos. Despite the fact that most of these videos were not professionally done, the people doing them really presented their product well. Some of my favorites were by musicians who played portions of their music on the video so people could decide if they liked it before ordering a copy of the CD. It reminds me of the line in the Disney Movie “Ratatouille:” ‘Anyone can cook!’ Well, now: Anyone can sell. I see this new application becoming a very powerful way for people to market their goods and services without the costs of commercials or advertisements. Just look at a few examples and you can see how video is a lot more powerful than simple images or text commonly used at other auction sites.
More recently, I have seen an announcement that YouTube is getting into the act with a service that incorporates buttons underneath certain videos that link to other web-based resellers. It will be interesting to see if private enterprises can take advantage of this too, perhaps with some ambitious individuals who could produce interesting content and then release short clips on YouTube with the option to buy the whole content via a link at the bottom.
I could easily see the next leap forward being the “virtual” shopping mall. Essentially a video-game type front end that allows people to navigate a “Mall” of specialty stores with virtual sales people selling or auctioning goods from anywhere. I don’t think this is a good thing for the concessions industry or local tax revenue, but combine it with a good social networking tool and I guess I won’t have to deal with my kids wanting to hang out at the mall in the near future.