Who needs a Web site anymore?

I use an iPhone app to handle my banking transactions. My sister follows her favorite restaurant’s menu on the restaurant’s Facebook page, which is their only digital destination. My friend, someone who never bought a Tivo, now loves ABC’s iPad app that enables him to watch any TV show at any time in beautiful HD-like quality.

I can’t wait to see Wired magazine’s upcoming iPad publication, which might prove to be the future of publishing. Penny-pinchers eagerly await their daily Twitter coupons. A former colleague of mine views shared imagery from his various friends on his Apple TV. Our walled and password-protected worlds of social environments and content are available to us on a myriad of devices but often are unavailable to search engines. One friend of mine told me a few weeks ago he unsubscribed to all his e-newsletter subscriptions and gets fresher content via RSS feeds on his mobile device.

The digital world is experiencing a dramatic change. People are going to digital destinations to share and receive content on a variety of devices. Forrester ably labeled this phenomenon, which has crept into our world over the last few years, “The Splinternet.” And that is just what it is; the fragmentation of online destinations. For me, it is typified by clients asking: “Should I be spending my allotted Web budget on the corporate Web site, or Facebook?”

Do brands still need Web sites? Yep. One foot in the old world and one foot in the new world will serve most brands well. The time is now to embrace all these new platforms, but only if you are clear that your users/customers/prospects are already there or will be soon.

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