Web 2.0 Day

Today was “Web 2.0 Day”, with an entire track devoted to Web 2.0 and its applications like social network software.

Each person on the opening panel was asked to define Web 2.0, and it was very interesting to hear the variety in the definitions. Nic Newman from the BBC Search Futures said it was people interacting with information in different ways. Other panelists defined it in terms of features, capabilities, or even a business model.

An often cited comment by Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the Web, who thinks that Web 2.0 is nothing new, is often mentioned when you ask people to define it. One thing is certain: There are many revolutionary changes afoot! The old “Find” model has been superseded and is broken because of the enormous amount of content now available. New technologies are being applied to help people find the information they need and to unlock the value of media archives. Newman thinks that metadata will be a major key to success in the Web 2.0 world.

In contrast, Stuart Kauder, CEO of a new search engine company, Accona, thinks that acquisition of companies and platforms is the new business model for Web 2.0. He points to the recent acquisition of YouTube by Google for $1.65 billion as a good example because Google has the traffic to support the acquisition. According to Kauder, one of the sadder truths of the internet is that the better the content, the less the revenue per user, and to be successful a content producer cannot afford to share advertising revenue with a broker. His advice for providers:
• Relevancy will be extremely important.
• Hybrid business models have great promise.
• You must establish relations with advertisers.
• Don’t be afraid to consider new revenue models.

This was a highly interesting introduction to Web 2.0 and its technologies. We have a lot to learn!

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today

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