What is Web 2.0…A Personal Experience

September 10, 2007 at 7:25 pm 2 comments

This is the first of a three part series on Web 2.0. It is not going to be the typical academic review of what Web 2.0 is or isn’t. There are dozens of brilliant people who have covered this topic exhaustively (follow links at end you’ll see what I mean).

I’ve resisted writing about this because the complexity of the topic makes for either a very short, easy to read blog entry that is essentially meaningless, or a meaningful entry that is too long for most reader’s interest. I’m compromising by splitting this up into sections: What is Web 2.0… A Personal Experience, Why Every Business and Organization Needs to Understand Web 2.0, and Ideas, Tips and Resources for Playing in Web 2.0.

What is Web 2.0…A Personal Experience

Web 2.0 is basically adaptation of technology. The way people are using the internet has matured from the dot com portals and software into more web services. As a personal experience, I find myself interacting with businesses and the communities that are built around them. If you find yourself collaborating and participating on a topic, you have probably experienced the difference between Web 1.0 and 2.0.

Here’s some of the applications I use and examples of businesses that are leveraging the opportunities.

Upcoming: Upcoming.org is a social event calendar website that became a part of Yahoo! in October of 2005. I use Upcoming mainly to for conferences and Web 2.0 Lunch information, but also to see what some of my friends are planning. Here’s an example of a business use of upcoming. Edelmen, a global PR firm is hosting the End-of Summer social event for members of the local AMA (American Marketing Association) at their new office location. The event is listed on upcoming. That makes it easy for me, a PSAMA member, to add it to my events and promote it to my friends and groups.

Blogs and Blogging Communities: Business Blogging is still at the cutting edge of Web 2.0 and will continue to be one of the best ways to engage customers and community. I’m not sure I could find a business category that isn’t represented in a blog. Just as an experiment, I googled Mary Kay blogs (thinking that would be the least likely) and there are even a few representatives from this rather old school business (more that blog about it negatively than as a business tool though).

Real Estate Agents blog aggressively. A glimpse into the size of this growing trend is Active Rain, a portal that allows people in the real estate industry to blog in a network. The community is growing at a rate of 450 users a week and they expect to be
at 100,000 members by the time they celebrate their 2nd birthday.

Attorneys are blogging (Real Lawyers Have Blogs).

Oracle blogs (duh…all technology companies have been blogging from the start)

Financial Planners blog (a few…)

You get the picture. I read blogs via google reader and can quickly scan through the new posts on all my favorite blogs. Nothing revolutionary about the way I use blogs. The question is, have I bought anything or used a service because of a blog? Absolutely. Everything from the type of groceries I buy (mostly PCC) to clothes, books, lessons for my kids, landscaping products, my car, the restaurants we go to, my digital camera, web hosting, printers, all start with reading information (mainly through blogs) before purchasing. Lot’s of mom’s talk and trade secrets via blogs, and we all know the person who is really responsible for almost all purchases, right?

Podcasts (check out itunes podcast directory), You Tube, Slide Share, and Webcasts are basically the same as blogs. It’s the place I go for information. I listen, watch, and learn. .

Social Networking: I use Biznik, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to stay in touch with business contacts and friends.

I use Wiki’s for collaborating on projects and organizations like my Toastmaster group.

Until you have a network of people you like, trust, and want to collaborate with, the social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and such won’t hold value. The value comes from the use. It’s like a rolodex on your desk…only useful by the information you put in. These applications are all easier to use and better than the old rolodex.

I’ll conclude part one of “What is Web 2.0”. The point (I hope I made about my experience) is that by participating, getting inside glimpses and information (from people, not just the company) I’ve built relationships (in relatively short periods of time) with hundreds of people. That is pretty cool.

What is Web 2.0? Twitter sums it up with this question, “What are you doing?”

links: Academic Approach

Boxes and Arrows

O’Reilly Radar

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Entry filed under: Web 2.0.

Kudos Why Every Organization Needs to Understand Web 2.0

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Frank Selden  |  September 25, 2007 at 1:46 am

    Sometimes I think I must be the only attorney without a blog. I write articles, I have a book published, but something about blogging just turns me off. Thanks to Tami I am warming up to the idea. I kinow even less about Wikis, podcasting and electronic networking. One of these days I hope to be comfortable if not proficient. I am starting to believe I can actually do this.

  • 2. Don A Anderson  |  September 25, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    This article by Tami Smith has inspired me to explore ways that I can utilize Web 2.0 to market my “specialized reporting” for small businesses, as well as for personal use.

    I have been reluctant to jump into these areas, because it seemed like trying to find something in a dense forest. Tami points out the beginning of the trail that may well lead to success.

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