Web 2.0 means different things to different people, yet it isn't just about the web, but is also about how your organisation works. Think intranet, as well as internet. Does your organisation work in a 2.0 way?
At the moment there seems to be three primary focuses around Web 2.0:
1) there are the technologists who are figuring out new technologies (there are many libraries and frameworks out there already).
2) there are the marketers and entrepreneurs, who are trying to figure out how use new 2.0 technologies and principles to generate profits, or help empower consumers (call them business people for now) in some way.
3) and finally, there are the users, who are increasingly using and enjoying the results of these new technologies.
But how does all that filter into your organisation in a useful way, feeding into your own innovation cycle?
David Tran has launched an Ajax driven route finder widget for London tubes, with Rails driving the backend. And it works pretty much as it says on the tin too!
It used to be that there was this top down content pyramid in operation (operated by traditional media and the big online players), where the quantity and quality of news / content was controlled by relatively fewer organisations.
This is changing rapidly, becoming flatter and more diverse (we’re not really interested in the why’s right now), which can either be seen as an opportunity or a threat. Organisations that embrace this change are going to benefit (think Murdoch buying MySpace), so the question then becomes how one capitalises on the opportunity...
Let's look at some of the key strategic issues to consider.
There's an interesting piece of advice from
using sites like Digg for PR
. In short, don't!
In an interesting move, Google has started offering cost-per-action advertising to selected website owners on the Adsense programme. In short it’s aimed at getting around the click fraud that is becoming increasingly worrying for Google – where advertisers only derive an income when the website visitor completes an action.
There’s a pretty great post on
about the kind of questions VCs ask when you’re doing a startup, so I thought I’d highlight them here as there seems to be a profound lack of 'noisy' UK-based Web 2.0 startups, and maybe finding finance is one barrier for entrepreneurs?
Where are all the UK web startups? Maybe everybody is just being very quiet (to fail in complete obscurity), or perhaps things are as dead as they seem to be (more than likely). The UK seems almost entirely barren compared with what's happening in the US.
It’s probably worth noting that local VCs seem to be a little behind their US conterparts (two local startups that I can think of off the top of my head have been approached by US investors – names of the innocent withheld). This too could be part of the problem.
Web 2.0 isn’t all about rounded corners and social software – there are real benefits to leveraging the Web 2.0 philosophy and technologies in business, but the key is selecting the right entry points to start conversations with your customers, and then to grow from there, using the community you’ve developed as your sounding board.