If you promote your business using the Internet or you are an e-commerce company, and lets face it most companies fall into one of these categories, then Web 2.0 is a concept that affects your business. Web 2.0 may be a term that you have heard whispered by some IT guru, or seen on the Internet or perhaps it’s completely new to you. I can guarantee you that you have experienced Web 2.0 (you are experiencing it right now!).
So what is Web 2.0?
The simple way to describe Web 2.0 is the second generation of the World Wide Web where all Internet users are empowered and have the ability to create web content, collaborate and share information. Internet users are no longer passive, they are participants in the experience that is the World Wide Web.
How does this affect me?
Web 2.0 is a more social place and makes it easier for you to publish things to the Internet to share with people. You no longer need to have a degree in computer science to create a web page. Today, you can sign up to blogging sites and have your own page in minutes. The content of the Internet is no longer limited to the techies or the people with enough money to employ technies.
In a web where the Internet user is now a participant, the things you publish to the web can be shared, commented on and evening created collaboratively. Information is very much two way and rather that simply broadcasting yourself to the world, the world can talk back.
And so where does Web 2.0 come in and affect my business?
It is now easier for your business to have a web site and for you to promote your business through the web. Many businesses maintain blogs, not just to inform but also to promote discussion and to promote aspects of their business. Search engines love up to date and informative sites and so blogs get ranked highly; it therefore cannot be denied that blogs are a great way to get traffic to your site!
It is easier for your customers to write about your company / business, whether they are reviewing your products or services, or just generally blogging about you. Web 2.0 provides a way for you to gain more feedback from customers and clients to find out what their likes and dislikes are.
Social media and Web 2.0 go hand in hand, and you need to think about the online image and reputation of your business, and also that of you and your employees. I have a number of clients that have contacted me after looking not only at the iBox Solutions website, but also my LinkedIn profile. With Web 2.0 and social media it can sometimes be difficult to create a clear divide between you and your business; once you recognise this you can embrace it, but for those that haven’t thought about it before then you may want to check the sort of personal things you post on Facebook that could affect your business’ reputation.
So what now?
Explore Web 2.0 technologies! Read up on blogging, social media, online collaboration and sharing and look at how it could solve some of your business problems.