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Monday, June 05, 2006

Web 2.0: What Will Be Different

It was little more than a decade ago when the Internet and the economy took off, leading to an unparalleled era of creativity, communication, cash, and then collapse. The Web 2.0 era, as outlined by BusinessWeek, will be different than they go-go 90's in several key ways.

1. Open and collaborative, not proprietary and individual. Before Sun, Netscape, and Microsoft were elbowing each other (and various startups) trying to get us to sign onto their closed systems for building and managing the web, but today it's all about building applications on open standards that can access data from whomever whenever. The first web revolution was about what you the individual could do online (order a movie, manage your appointments, wahoo!), but now it's about what you as a member of a larger group (friends, work colleagues, peers, fellow enthusiasts) can do together. To be more effective in our social and work endeavors, Web 2.0 asks us to share what we know, and how we found it. Collaboration also requires talking to the world through blogs and getting the essential critical feedback directly from users, not consultants and study groups.

2. It's the services, stupid. Instead of claiming that the web will replace functions that you do now, Web 2.0 is enhancing the things you are already doing online. Things like Ajax, mashups, and RSS enable you to present, collect, and deliver the information that you want through more effective channels. It's not replacement, it's refining. And instead of "new" products that focused heavily on retail (see Pets.com, Peapod.com), what will fuel economic growth is more efficient use of existing services.

3. No more cart leading horse. In the 90's you could get $10 million in VC for an idea, and then try to design a business plan before the IPO or the money ran out. With Web 2.0, the emphasis is on creating something useful, letting the world kick the tires in beta, and then mold into a product and revenue stream after you have a sufficient user base. Then you try and cash in (see Skype) on your fancy-pants idea.

4. It's an ad, ad, ad world. Advertising will pay for much of the new technology and services. While companies will generate revenue by licensing uber versions of applications to corporations, the masses will acquiesce to watching or scrolling past a few more ads so that they can email or talk for free. How to stand out from the increased ad-density will require targeting the individual based on their associations and past experiences.

By John Gartner at 01:57 PM | Comments (1)

(1) Thoughts on Web 2.0: What Will Be Different

I really enjoyed your article on Web 2.0! We are hosting an event called The New New Internet: Web 2.0 for business on September 20th in the Washington DC area. Michael Arrington, Stowe Boyd, and Dion Hinchcliffe are all supporting our efforts to make this conference a success as we help establish the East Coast as a viable participant in Web 2.0 developments. We would love for you to be there!

Suzanne Coffin

Comments by Suzanne : Friday, August 11, 2006 at 12:06 PM

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