Web 2.0  – The most important principle

Web 2.0 may be the most over used buzz phrase on the Internet today.  Anything with soft graphics and some VC money behind it seems to be a “New Web 2.0 Company”.  Yet the concept known as web2.0 is real and it is important to be implementing some web 2.0 principles if you expect your efforts to continue being successful into the future.

Of all the concepts of Web 2.0 there is one that to me truly makes or breaks a company as being Web 2.0 or not.  That principle is –

To illustrate this I will go over a few Web 2.0 Companies and note how that concept applies.

Google as Web 2.0

Google – Most people don’t think of Google as Web 2.0 simply because it has been around for longer then most companies that we call Web 2.0.  Yet think about it, the more people that develop for and search for content the better it becomes both for advertisers, searchers and of course Google and their share holders.  Every time a person searches on Google the clicks they make are added to the data that drives the search algorithm.  In time Google has improved their results to the point where Google=Search in the mind of most Internet users.  While this is true to some degree for all the major engines Google has refined it to an art.

Other Web 2.0 Sites

YouTube –  This one is simple to understand, since all the content is user provided the more users the more content becomes available.  Users then help to determine what content is most popular and then most viewed.  AsYouTube grows this will become more and more the case especially now that Google owns YouTube.

Every Active Online Forum and/or Blog – Yep the good old forum or blog, both are the epitome of Web2.0.  Simple more users, more content, more value to the average visitor looking for information and answers.  To a lesser degree the same with blogs and the comments visitors make and answers to them by the blog ownership.

LimeWire – Yep the file sharing network is Web 2.0 to the extreme and in fact more so then most companies.  On LimeWire the more users the more content available.  Yet LimeWire takes it to another level.  Why?  Because the users share the content off their hard drives, so the more users with the same content the faster it will download, then when a new user downloads a copy they also become a source of the file for new users.

There are quite honestly thousands of Web 2.0 sites out there  but I just wanted to point these four examples out to help our readers think about this concept as they develop new sites and products.  One question you should ask yourself with any new product is

This may sound simple and optimistic but it is key if you want to really play in the real Web 2.0 world.  The one to really think about is LimeWire because not only do users provide the content they also help to provide the resources.  Now that may not be the way you approach Web 2.0 but thinking about it may be key to finding a way to really make this principle work for your site or service.


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