What is Web 2.0 and does your business need it?

In its simplest form Web 2.0 empowers the small business owner to make decisions based on business needs, not technology. Web 2.0 provides a large resource base of pre-written and tested web applications, the small business owner can mix match applications, graphics, templates, databases and API’s (Application Programming Interface) to accomplish customer relationship goals that two or three years ago were simply a dream and/or beyond the reach financially of many small businesses. This new technology allows small businesses to compete with the big boys for the first time since the inception of the Internet. Used correctly Web 2.0 can empower the small business owner as never before.

TimO’Reilly, founder of O’Reilly Media, regards Web 2.0 as any business embracing the web as a platform and utilizing its strengths (global audiences, for example).  O’Reilly considers that Eric Schmidt’s abridged slogan, don’t fight the Internet, encompasses the essence of Web 2.0 — building applications and services around the unique features of the Internet, as opposed to building applications and expecting the Internet to suit as a platform (effectively “fighting the Internet”) gives any business a real advantage.

Here is a Wikipedia summary of the term Web 2.0: It is a term describing the trend in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, and, most notably, collaboration among users.  These concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based
communities and hosted services, such as social-networking sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies.

So what does all of this buzz about Web 2.0 mean for your business?  In short, it provides a low cost way to engage with your existing and potential customers and begin to build relationships with them no matter if they are next door or halfway around the world.  The application of things like a blog, webinars, how-to tips on your site and streaming video product demonstrations into your website builds trust and confidence in your company’s brand.  Once trust is established a long term relationship and loyalty to your brand can begin.Is it worth starting a corporate blog on your company’s website?  You bet!  It’s the simples and most cost effective way to begin to interact with your customers.  Use it as a tool to share your insight into the problems your products solve for them and welcome their comments.  Even the occasional negative ones!Ready to starta blog on your website?  There’s nothing we love more than sitting down with our clients and
collaborating on innovative strategies that produce the results you’re looking for.  Contact us with your questions so we can help you start enjoying the benefits of Web 2.0.

As always, we welcome your comments and thoughts.

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