By Sean Fenlon on August 13, 2007
In the last edition of PositiveWire, I used the term “Voice Traffic” several times. It prompted many questions, and most of the questions had the same theme in common – what is “Voice Traffic?” I am certain we can all understand what a live human voice is, but what exactly is the meaning of the word “traffic.” Certainly, we’ve known the word “traffic” ever since there have been cars on roads (and probably even before that). We hear the word “traffic” today continuously, but usually with respect to the car-driving patterns in most in major metropolitan areas, and unfortunately, quite often appended with the word “congestion” as a qualifier. For the past 10 years or so, however, we have heard a lot about “Internet” traffic. So, what in the world does “car traffic” and “Internet traffic” have in common?
Hmmm… now, that is a good question. The answer to that question is probably the best definition for the word “traffic” in general. Here’s my theory… I believe that traffic is a phenomenon observed at the highest possible perspective, whereby the moving parts appear random or near-random in their movement, such as an Internet traffic report or a car traffic report as observed by a traffic helicopter. Drill down to any one moving part within the traffic and it is determined that movement is NOT random, but rather, driven by intent.
Hmmm…. This is beginning to sound a lot like the Duality of Waves vs. Particles that troubles most Quantum Physicists. In other words, the helicopter flying at 5,000 feet (and reporting on the “random flows/waves” of traffic to listeners on their car radios) can drill-down to “observe” that a single person in a single car is not a random wave at all, but rather a single “particle” (or live person in this context) with a defined intent. In other words, what appears to be random (traffic/waves) is actually deliberate (intent/particles). Phone calls have historically been extremely NON-random.
Most phone users are quite deliberate of their intent (thus far) vis-à-vis the number they dialed. However, if phone usage ever became LESS deliberate and looked more like random traffic, advertising will soon follow. In fact, this concept has already begun the snowball process with many adveritsing-supported tele-plays.
Identifying and routing the defined intent of consumers on the phone for a profit is essentially “trafficking” in live human voice. Hence, the use of the new term “Voice Traffic.” Presuming that you buy into my theory, you will probably also agree that DoublePositive understands “Voice Traffic” perhaps more than any other company.
This is just one more step in the evolution of how Internet Traffic is monetized via online performance-based marketing.