In the beginning of the 1990’s, the World Wide Web saw a significant boost in usage, after the introduction of one of the first ever web browsers which was developed for home use, the NCSA Mosaic. The browser was developed by Marc Andreassen, a computer scientist who believed that the potential of a web browser that could provide images, texts and several types of multimedia to its users through the internet was too good to pass up on, and he was right. After its release, the browser was purchased by Microsoft, and Internet Explorer was modeled around Mosaic.
Andreassen’s thoughts regarding the potential of such a project paints a perfect picture of what was to come for the World Wide Web. After finding its place in the mainstream and entering countless homes, the internet in today’s age has the flexibility to be molded into a personal assistant for any individual to have. The countless hours and resources that are being poured into internet-based projects are attracting investors from all over the globe, and developments through the platform constantly send shock waves through culture, commerce and technology.
Just by thinking about it for a couple of minutes, one can realize how many large companies, organizations and even governments have made their services, not only available, but dependent on technological devices and the internet. Lately, especially with the astronomical rise in the usage of social media, internet based platforms have become something of a virtual office for many individuals, especially through social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or livestreaming websites such as Twitch, Periscope or YouNow. Countless users have found success in building themselves a brand that manages to have a reach over millions of account owners and opened themselves doors to business opportunities that has earned them a considerable amount of wealth and networking.
As somebody who spends a lot of time on the internet on several different mediums, I tried my best to observe the steps that should be taken while aiming to create one’s own “virtual kingdom” and questioned why the internet might be a good platform to invest time and effort into. After some time, I’ve realized that the best place to start questioning from would be the “internet celebrities” I enjoy following myself and come up with a small list of things I believe are important.
Before listing some of the elements that I’ve found to be important, it is important to understand one major feature of the internet and social media: It brings the world together. The networks large capacity, combined with individual interest has the ability to bring together users from across the world together on several different occasions.
Like any other job an individual might have, being skillful in a certain area can be used as a great tool while working towards establishing a profitable online presence. As I’ve mentioned earlier, the internet can give people opportunities for exposure that they may never be able to find in daily life, and in the most unexpected times as well. Admirable levels of skill in a certain activity, especially in rather trivial areas such as music, arts, or even video gaming can help users find professional opportunities they would struggle to find otherwise, or market their craft online through streaming services or online stores. Even mega pop stars like Justin Bieber and Dua Lipa were discovered through cover songs they’ve uploaded on YouTube at a young age.
On top of skill, personality also works as a huge element while establishing an online brand for one’s self and may even go as far as surpassing the importance of skill. Many users have found success without specializing in anything of mechanical substance. While trying to come off as wholesome and positive might be a safe choice, many internet personalities have found success in coming off as unique, enigmatic, or controversial. Controversial figures and their polarizing thoughts/behavior is likely to attract a lot of traffic their way, regardless of what genre of content they’re into creating. Therefore, it can be said that, regardless of how the personality of a person may come off as, it is important to aim to be interesting and relatable to amass a following on the internet.
The last element I want to highlight is effort. While it is realized by many that the internet offers a wide range of services available to its users, one might be surprised at how little of it we take advantage of. To amass a decent following, users are required to network as much as they can, and push their brand name in several different platforms constantly. Multitasking between separate social media platforms is important in increasing reach, as ones product may go to places never expected. Paid promotions have made their ways in to social media platforms more prominently and have become a huge part in online exposure.
In conclusion, many parallels can be drawn between what must be done to find success online, and in real life job opportunities, as finding success is a universal goal and is being valued by similar virtues and elements. However, it is of utmost importance to understand that an open mind and an ambition to embrace change is what is required to form a successful brand online. Since the concept of a virtual office acts as an outlier from the traditional work sense, it is important to understand the magnitude of the opportunities that it may create without prejudice, and some effort must be shown into learning the technicalities to be able to get started on creating your own online brand.