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Financial Crisis and Economic Downturn - The First Big One Since We All Went Online

Michael Davies

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So, will the fact that millions of us are now online make a difference to our survivability? In all honesty, I think the answer is both yes and no.

No internet back then

Back to the last major downturn in the mid-late 1990s, especially here in Asia, the Net was in its infancy, very few people were online, and of those who were, just about all were only on dial-up connections. The whole online scene was not really a factor at all.

If you were unfortunate enough to be retrenched back then, your chances of quickly securing another job were slim, and opportunities to earn an income through your own efforts and resources, were very dependent upon your wits, your ingenuity, your skills and probably most of all, your courage.

We have probably all got examples of where friends or relatives showed amazing resilience and started little cottage industries, in their own locations, which managed to keep the wolf from the door.

Must be selective

However, to be realistic, relatively few have the resources, skills or ability to start their own, even very small scale business from scratch. Now, though, with the advent of the Internet and what massive, and often free, resources are available, things can be very different. But we still need to take great care, and be very selective.

That selectivity also means we have to be very careful of to whom we listen. The first people that, in my view, we should be extremely cautious of are the so-called Internet Marketing Experts . . . I refuse to use the Hindi word ‘Guru’ meaning ‘teacher', as most of these “experts" wouldn't teach unless thousands were paying them a large amount - have you noticed how many times $97 or $67 comes up? $97 must be the new $99 and right now, we just dare not risk that kind of money.

When the first “expert" writes to his opt-in list, with a message that is genuinely free, in these very troubled times, and is helpful both in information and financially, I will then put out the flag and run it quickly up the flagpole. I will not hold my breath, however, for this to happen any time soon.

We're all affected

While I might write fairly regularly on internet and affiliate marketing, I do so as a user, an experienced business consultant, not a teacher, and certainly not a ‘Guru’. This is important, for it means that I am just as affected as the next man or woman by the downturn and crisis, but perhaps the only difference is that I've been lucky enough to be blessed with a small ability to put pen to paper, and if the results of that helps others, then that is terrific.

The affiliates that I deal with continue to offer a 100%, no questions asked, 45 or 60 day money-back guarantee, in the event those who sign up are dissatisfied with the service received. Yes, these are affiliates to whom you pay a small, one-time-only fee (usually around $15-$29), but all this means is that the directories they maintain, to send to those who sign up, are as up-to-date and as accurate as they can be, and in today's marketplace, with companies going under, this is an important point. The free sites cannot afford to pay staff to keep their directories up-to-date.

Opportunities are there

Those who find themselves redundant this time around, have an amazing number of opportunities online to continue to earn an income, hopefully sufficient to help them and their families through the hard times ahead. This was just not around at the time of the last, big economic downturn in the mid to late 90s.

Whether it's getting paid to drive your own car wrapped in an advert, or paid to be a secret shopper, movie reviewer, tester of video games or whatever else, there really is no reason why people need be quite so despondent as their counterparts of a decade or more ago. The opportunities are out there, all you need to do is go look. Even these may be less than a year ago (after all, no sector is completely unaffected by the downturn), but you may be quite sure that they are there now, and waiting for contact to be made.

Michael is a British citizen, but long term resident of Asia (Hong Kong and now Malaysia). After 25 years with a global banking leader, he's now a partner in his own Management Consulting Company, and today this successful business has branched out to include database/direct marketing as well as Internet and Affiliate Marketing. Michael's contact is (usual email format) and just about all the pages of his site at are appropriate to this topic.


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