Crunch immunity for digital biz?

personality.jpgThe Digital Pulse for July has just been published, showing an increase of 1.14% increase over June. That’s right, an increase in market confidence. Only small, but it’s there. The Digital Pulse is Chinwag's barometer of confidence across the digital sector.

Even before the woes of the 2001 bubble burst, the now-ancient Internetters amongst us remember the splash as the first wave of web companies discovered economic gravity in 1996.

So what makes things different this time around or is this just some weirdly anomaly? Perhaps it’s just a blip, but this is the second month in a row that the Digital Pulse has shown a small rise in confidence, in June, the Digital Pulse rose 1%. Maybe the Summer sun has cheered everyone up and made everyone feel more positive. Will the shorter, darker, colder nights of Autumn change that. Not if global warming has anything to do with it, probably.

There’s certainly room for optimism, as traditional media battles for audience figures and revenue, there’s a definite shift to digital. This shift may just be insulating the online advertising business from the general economic downturn whilst marketers take advantage of the discount by avoiding the hefty premiums charged by TV and print publishers.

Across the pond where every economic story seems to come with a large helping of gloom, some analysts think the digital sector’s future smells of roses, $42bn of them. The same is undoubtedly true in the UK, consider how the media companies are investing in their online operations. The pot of cash available online is certainly growing, but tapping into it can be a tricky business as Ashley Norris, founder of Shiny media points out.

The last two crashes were caused by over-estimating the short-term impact of the Internet, but this time things are very different. The web, the internet, mobile pervade so many aspects of our daily lives that it’s unlikely we’ll see a repeat of 2001.

One sign that digital isn’t immune from the effects of the wider economy is a drop in satisfaction with salary levels. Looks like those generous pay rises and freelance rates might be under pressure as pennies are counted more carefully.

Cautious optimism is the order of the day, although according to the Digital Pulse results, you can be more optimistic if you work client-side, in ecommerce or a digital agency. As the return-to-work blues kick in, will confidence take a knock?

Why not take August’s Digital Pulse and tell us how you’re feeling. It’s only six questions and takes less than a 30 seconds. Plus 25 pence is donated to WWF for each completed survey.

[Pic: courtesy of Linds K]