By Stephen Rhodes
Web 2.0 gets people excited, even when they are not really sure what it means.
Web 2.0 is the next generation of the World Wide Web; technology that enhances communication and encourages collaboration online.
George Orwell’s 1984 is tame compared to the possibilities. Just this month Google announced a mapping technology that allows you to track the movement of your friends.
Social networks, video and picture sharing, wikis, blogs, podcasts and RSS feeds are at the heart of Web 2.0 and it is still evolving. It changes the way we utilize the Web by sharing your data – mixing global and local content – with new ways of searching and accessing the content.
The philosophy is built on the notion that people, who consume information online, shouldn’t just passively absorb what’s available (Web 1.0) but rather contribute to the discussion.
The danger, as my colleague Jeff points out in his column this month, is how trustworthy is the information? We are all aware of spin doctors.
At this point you’re thinking I am still trying to figure out Web 1.0, which largely involves static web reading.
The business implication in Web 2.0 is staggering, but not for the faint of heart. Companies who claim to want our feedback can have it, instantaneously. How many of us already review hotels, resorts, restaurants movies etc online before darkening their door?
When thinking about embracing Web 2.0, consider what you’re trying to accomplish, how much you’re willing to invest and what time frame you are working on. Plan ahead.
Web 2.0 may have a social interactive bent but it still relies on good content. Bad content is bad marketing, no matter how you dress it up. Be relevant, interesting and real. Be intuitive, understand what your customer wants and give it to them. Help inform you clients. Anticipate their needs. Help educate them. Web 2.0 is not a high pressure advertising vehicle. It’s about building trust and credibility that lead to long-term relationships.
Technology makes the transition easier than it used to be. Buy a simple camcorder or audio recorder and you too can generate your own podcast or be on You Tube.
Start with a simple blog. Be an expert and share with others. Blogger and WordPress are simple free blogging tools that can get you started. Surf other blogs to learn how to improve.
Visit YouTube, Digg, Technorati, Del.icio.us, Reddit, and other social media websites to better understand the Web 2.0 culture and whether it might be a good fit for your business.