Web 2.0: Complete Loss of Business Perspective

Russell outlines his thoughts that the whole Web 2.0 thing is a bunch of hype.

From the post:

“There’s a few companies out there that seem to get it but just about every other new website I’ve seen lately is nothing but features parading as businesses. Sure, these guys get to be entered in the “Flip It Quick Acquisition Lottery”, but beyond that, none seem to be creating anything of any real value. Yeah, I’ve bitched about this before, but hey… today seems like a good day to start in again.”

I am going to argue with Russell, something I have never done.

“Let’s go back in history (2004) to the conception of the term “Web 2.0″ itself – the shining examples then were Amazon.com and eBay.”

I say, no: the first Web 2.0 company was Google.

Google epitomized everything Web 2.0 way before we saw it. Google embodied Richard Feynman and Edmund Tufte’s, principal: “simple design, intense content.”

Google looked at things globally then sought to meld as many useful data points into as simple an interface as possible. Amazon and eBay did make a lot of money doing what they did and developed the user created communities around that monatization, but Google ushered in the next revision.

For those unfamiliar with business thinking Web 2.0, Russell points to Doin Hinchcliffe’s “Thinking in Web 2.0: Sixteen Ways.” The post launched Russells tirade.

From the post:

  1. Offer/use rich user experiences.
  2. Embrace and enable rapid change and feedback.
  3. User-driven organization and filtering are not just nice to have.
  4. Provide data and services that are for user’s individual benefit.
  5. Granulate your data and services.
  6. Obey the law of unintended uses.
  7. Know thy popular standards and use them.
  8. Identity on the Web is sacrosanct.
  9. Everything is editable.
  10. Understand and embrace the “capability gradient”.
  11. The Web is the platform; make it grow.
  12. Be prepared to share everything with enthusiasm.
  13. It’s about data first, experiences and functionality second.
  14. Data belongs to those that create it.
  15. The link is the fundamental unit of thought.
  16. Before you even begin, understand your goal simply.

I am sure people on the west coast are tired of hearing how every web company is embracing Web 2.0. However, everyone else ( people with traditional businesses) could learn how to *move* business models into the next stage of internet utilization by paying attention to fundamental drivers that gave rise to the term.


About Daniel Davenport

Daniel is a digital media executive with internet and broadcast experience. Daniel is currently the executive strategy director at THINK Interactive.

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