Saturday, February 10, 2007

Web2.0 and the value of web2.0?

Before 2007, I knew little about web2.0. The concept of web2.0 in my head was almost the same with the concept of blog. The only web2.0 sites I could speak out were wikipedia and youtube. Although some classmates had shown some interesting web2.0 sites in recent classes, I am still not sure how I can precisely define a web2.0 site.

I found a list of top 100 web 2.0 sites online which was published by Web 2.0 Magazine on January 1, 2007. I was not surprised that wikipedia and youtube were in the list. But I was confused that skype, linkedin and even gmail were listed as web2.0 sites. So, what are the key characters of a web2.0 site?

Besides my confusion in the concept of web2.0, I am also not clear how web2.0 can add value to business. When some classmates presented web2.0 sites in class, in most cases we couldn’t tell the business model of these sites. I know web2.0 does give more freedom to end users, but what that means to companies? Do we already find some ways to apply web2.0 to companies' IT strategy or we are developing some ways? I hope if my boss asks me how our company can benefit from web2.0, I can give him a satisfactory answer.


Steven Talcott Smith said...

Web 2.0 is all about social networking and user-generated content. Not many people have translated this well into non-consumer focused businesses yet. Much of the revenue models are search-advertising driven as far as I can tell and the growth has taken place in tadem with the resurgance of online advertising driven in large part by Google.

I am moving my own business in a Web 2.0 direction by pushing the responsibility for creating and maintaining the content onto the users who benefit most from it. This allows me to scale the business without consuming lots of capital.

I would say the three essential aspects of Web 2.0 are:

1) Low Cost Scalability
2) Stickiness of Community
3) Winner Takes All

#3 was a factor in Web 1.0 as well and there certainly were community sites back before Web 2.0 so in many ways this is nothing new. It is just a label that helps to identify what we have learned about web-based business models over the years.

Jim McGroddy said...


A good example of web 2.0 in my view is the google image labeler:

In this example, google is using all of us random web surfers to label images. We get to play a game while google benefits from free labor. Google essentially gets improved functionality in its image search. This adds value to the google product which should make advertising with google more attractive to potential advertisers in the long run. While the business model is not easy to quantify, it is clear to me that some value is being created.