Online Marketing Strategies – EverEffect


Introducing Web 2.5

Posted in Uncategorized by Jim Brown on May 21, 2007

Wait… Web 2.5?? What happened to Web 2.0.

It’s a buzzword that by now we are all familiar with, and most – are tired of hearing. But what exactly is ‘Web 2.0.’ Is it really the stage of the Internet revolution we are currently experiencing?

To answer that question, let’s actually take a step back and figure out what Web 1.0 was. Web 1.0 viewed the Internet merely as a proprietary means for delivering content. During this time Netscape actually coined the term ‘WebTop’ in hopes of replacing the ‘DeskTop’ that Microsoft was the King of. The problem was, a browser was not going to eliminate the need for a desktop. What it ended up being was a server to control the data. With that theory company websites were simply online brochures. For the most part, you couldn’t interact with the content or really even DO anything with it. The companies controlled the dialogue. Their marketing message is all you got. What if you wanted more information? What if you had suggestions for use, or even feedback on how a product could be made better? Your best bet at that time would have been to contact the ‘Webmaster.’ Everything worked in silos – rarely, if ever, interacting with other websites or applications.

Okay – Web 1.0… silos, pushing information, owner controlled data… then what exactly is Web 2.0?

Originally coined by O’Reilly – Web 2.0 is viewing the internet as a platform, where YOU control the data! The best example of how Web 2.0 works is Google. Now, the fact that they are a mutli-billion (billion with a B) dollar company, it’s easy for them to be the leader. However, the examples that I will explain is what I’m trying to focus on. Google’s original business model was simply Internet searching, a model that has not changed significantly since the 1970’s. The basis of an Internet search is composed of three elements: the crawl, the index, and the query processor. So, how then did Google explode the way it did, and why is it a good example of Web 2.0? (The Search by John Battelle)

Google is not a stand-alone operation. As you surf the net, try your hardest to avoid Google… and I don’t mean Google.com. Try to avoid using one of its API’s (Application Programming Interface) that another web developer has implemented into its site. Try to avoid Google AdSense – a network of hundreds of thousands of website all displaying Google search or ad content. Okay, so you see how everyone else is using Google, so does that make it a Web 2.0 example? Not completely. With that example alone it may just sound like a good software program that people have found to make them more successful online. The Internet is a two way street. All those examples showed how you can use Google on other websites, but what else can you do with Google? Google not only pushes its content out to other websites – it pulls content from other websites to be displayed on a personalized homepage. In simple forms its an RSS reader, where you can pull sports scores from ESPN, or headlines from CNN, or new posts of your favorite blog, but if you’re not aware Google basically has its own version of Microsoft Office. The difference being – it is completely online. Google Docs (Microsoft Word), Google Spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel), GMail (Outlook)… and where do you save all of these files?? Answer – Online. Google epitomizes using the WEB as a PLATFORM. Going back to what Netscape TRIED to do in the 90’s… Google is replacing the need for a ‘DeskTop.’

Okay – Okay... at this point you may think I’m working for Google, and am just an advocate of their products. Unfortunately that is not the case. 🙂

Web 2.0 is about Harnessing Collective Intelligence.

When was the last time you shopped on Amazon.com? You probably realized that it is a lot more than just books these days. However, I will use its origins for this example. Could you not go to BarnesandNoble.com and do the same search for a book that you could at Amazon? And, could you not get the same results, and pay nearly the same price? Of course you could. But what makes Amazon.com so powerful? YOU DO! User participation in rating the books, customer data in search vs purchases, all of this enables Amazon to lead with the most popular selection based on what people like YOU have said and or done.

With the Amazon example you start to see how YOU are a big part of Web 2.0. One of the most unusual applications of Web 2.0 (at least for me) is Wikipedia. The reason is because again… YOU control the information. Wikipedia is a online encyclopedia that is comprised of data and information supplied by its users. It can be edited by anyone. The thought behind it is with enough eyeballs on it – the bugs will work themselves out. I guess this means there will be no more door to door Encyclopedia Britannica salesmen! 🙂

In summary Web 2.0 is all about you. Your thoughts, your information, your knowledge, your habits, etc.

Now wait a second… isn’t the title of this piece ‘Introducing Web 2.5??’ It sure is!!

Web 2.5 is all about what we do next. We now have all of this user data… now what do we do with it? Web 2.5 is about the MEASUREMENT and relevance to business objectives. How can we take all of this user content (Videos, Blogs, iTunes Syndications, etc) and bring them together via XML or other web services that can easily be consumed on a computer OR more importantly ANY portable device? How do we learn from the lessons of Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 to better engage audiences with interactive experiences? How can businesses leverage ‘Web 2.0’ and provide CLARITY on not only what all of this information means, but how it is all related (Key Performance Indicators and the RIGHT metrics)?

The new model for Web 2.5: FIND. GET. KEEP… all backed by: MEASUREMENT!

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