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Web 2.0 Defined: Do You Need It?

Web 2.0. It’s all the rage. For the past few years, it’s dominated online activity. Does it dominate you?

While some perverse folks dismiss the term ‘Web 2.0′ as meaningless, most agree that it’s used to describe ‘collaborative media’ or ‘social filtering’. Web 2.0 is all about interacting with your users/visitors/customers in an intimate and compelling way.

And, importantly, it’s about turning those people and interactions into a real community, allowing your site users to interact with each other. It’s brave. It exposes you to the judgement of the masses (or “the wisdom of the crowd”). It’s cool. It seems scary.

It’s not.

This Web 2.0 movement is marked by socially-orientated sites that utilise tools such as:

  • blogs
  • polls
  • wikis
  • RSS aggregation
  • Twitter
  • tagging
  • tag clouds
  • bit torrent (and peer-to-peer generally)
  • folksonomies
  • microformats
  • podcasts and vodcasts
  • user reviews and ratings
  • mashups.

So what does your site need? Anything here? Or does it all sound like gobbledygook?

What websites need is a clear strategic vision, not the latest widget.

Knowing your business and knowing your website visitors’ needs will let you figure out what tools to provide, and how to deploy them. Web 2.0 is not technology: it’s a mindset that lets users share and collaborate.

Is it a mindset that would help your business?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Are you a fish and chip shop? Chances are your web visitors want to know your address, opening hours, prices and contact info. Chances are they don’t want to hang out and discuss frying techniques…

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Date: Friday, 23. October 2009 11:55
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Subject area: Trends, Web dev
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2 comments

  1. Hackpacker
    Sunday, 25. October 2009 12:36
    1

    Couldn’t agree more. My hairdresser recently asked if I wanted to join their twitter and I said “What for?” They told me “to find out about offers and stuff”. I’m not sure there’s a good offer they could make for my hair.

  2. John
    Sunday, 25. October 2009 16:46
    2

    You want an offer for your hair HP? I’ll chip in $30.