The buzz has been growing since 2001 about Web2.0 and quite frankly so has the confusion. Talk to one developer and he’ll tell you Web2.0 is about style sheets, xhtml, ajax and an assortment of other technologies, talk to a web marketer and he’ll tell you Web2.0 is about wikis, social networks, tagging and an assortment of other means to communicate. But isn’t it really the mashup of old media and new?
It is no secret the web is beginning to allow users to set entertainment by their standards. Whether it be viewing a video of their subject matter when they want to listening to a custom radio station to participating in world wide discussions on topics they are interested in, the choice of how, what, when and where entertainment is delivered is now under the users control.
Old media dictates what program will be played when and unless you have a recorder it also tells you what commercials you will watch during the program, old media tells you what day you can read the latest version of a magazine, what time of day your paper will arrive and so on. New media tells you none of that. You decide what program you want to watch, what to read, what to discuss, all on your terms. New media also let’s you participate in the subject matter something the old guard cannot do.
So how does this relate to your website? Easy, you need to take whatever compatible elements of Web2.0 you can and apply them to your web presence. If you sell products, video is a natural fit and iCrossing’s recent survey on How America Searches reveals the impact of video and audio online. If you sell a service you should be active with a blog and/or a community feature like a forum to allow visitors a chance to learn more about you and your service and your industry. Everyone should be participating in mobile and have at least a simple mobile version of their website.
Web2.0 is here and it is the precursor to Web3.0 and whatever that brings so if you are going to compete online you have no choice but to move with the times but you don’t have to have every bell and whistle to do so, just the ones that make sense.