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I’ve been dealing with a few clients of late, most of which have heard the ruckus around this newfangled Web 2.0 thing, and most of which want to do something Web 2.0 with their projects. Some want to implement blogs, others are interested in Wiki’s and podcasting, and surprisingly most of them want some Ajax features. The list goes on.
That’s really good because I’m always happy to talk to people about getting more out of the web, specifically around creating better and more valuable user experiences, but the problem I have (and which I communicate) is that Web 2.0 doesn’t just stop at implementing a blog engine, podcasts, a Wiki or Ajax.
It will come as news to few that MySpace is the social media phenomenon du jour . Picked up by News Corp for $580m, 90m members, and that oh-so juicy teen demographic to market to when no-one under 30 is buying newspapers anymore? Strewth, Rupert Murdoch's got a fair dinkum bet there.
So you may be perplexed by this suggestion Rupert should spin MySpace off on its own, from MarketWatch's wonderfully named Bambi Francisco:
"Clearly, MySpace -- if it were a standalone company -- would be the hottest kind of stock, one that every sell-side analyst would gladly hawk. It's very likely the thought has crossed the minds of executives as well as MySpace founders. Prior to the sale to News Corp., MySpace founders had considered an IPO, according to someone close to the company."
The nearest thing the videoblogging arena has to a superstar has quit her show in a move that leaves its future uncertain.
Amanda Congdon has cut a dash at the anchor desk of Rocketboom, helping make the snarky, daily net culture news roundup amongst the highest-profile video blogs in the world with around 300,000 downloads per episode.
How many companies in the UK are blogging? Not many, it seems, according to a list compiled by Suw Charman . Not many at all. The list isn’t fully comprehensive, but it highlights the dearth of business blogs in the UK, compared to US.
So why is it that UK and European marketers / business folk are ignoring blogs? I reckon it comes down to one of the following reasons…
If you’ve been blogging for any length of time, you’ll probably feel that it’s old hat. The principle is simple – you talk about something that you’re interested and/or passionate about, and through that you find people that are interested in the same sort of things that you are.
Over time if you’re a good write or really passionate or you simply create / get hold of good content, you’ll rise to the top of that niche vertical interest, which in turn will result in more readers.
The problem is that until very recently blogging was kind of hard to do – you have to be at least a little technically literate to be able to use the blog software interfaces. The result being that until recently blogging definitely wasn’t part of the mainstream consciousness.
PayPerPost, a new service that helps advertisers pay bloggers for writing about their products, launched a few days ago to a predictable cacophony of protest.
"Get Paid to Blog", reads the blurb on the latest blog advertising network's front page. "Advertisers are willing to pay you to post on topics - search through a list of topics, make a blog posting, get your content approved, and get paid. It’s that simple.”
And PayPerPost tells its affiliated advertisers: "You provide the topic, our network of bloggers create the stories and post them on their individual blogs." Bloggers can earn $5 to $10 per post, writing about anything from loan sharks to bubble wrap.
YouTube has settled a six-month dispute with NBC, after the TV network decided to relax and climb into bed with the video-sharing behemoth.
The turnaround is unbelievable, and a huge positive for YouTube. Some months ago NBC’s legal department forced YouTube to remove the 'Lazy Sunday' sketch, taken from NBC-owned Saturday Night Live. Like much of the content on YouTube, the clip was used without the permission of the copyright owner, in this case NBC.
Want another example of how your customers can communicate your message for you? Check out upcoming new Australian band Wolfmother, which is asking fans to snap and send mobile video clips that will form the basis of the act's next promo.
It's supported by a moblog powered by the London-based moblogUK service, which was popularised when survivors of the city's 7/7 bombings posted camera phone pictures to the site last summer.
Web 2.0 means different things to different people, yet it isn't just about the web, but is also about how your organisation works. Think intranet, as well as internet. Does your organisation work in a 2.0 way?
At the moment there seems to be three primary focuses around Web 2.0:
1) there are the technologists who are figuring out new technologies (there are many libraries and frameworks out there already).
2) there are the marketers and entrepreneurs, who are trying to figure out how use new 2.0 technologies and principles to generate profits, or help empower consumers (call them business people for now) in some way.
3) and finally, there are the users, who are increasingly using and enjoying the results of these new technologies.
But how does all that filter into your organisation in a useful way, feeding into your own innovation cycle?
David Tran has launched an Ajax driven route finder widget for London tubes, with Rails driving the backend. And it works pretty much as it says on the tin too!
It used to be that there was this top down content pyramid in operation (operated by traditional media and the big online players), where the quantity and quality of news / content was controlled by relatively fewer organisations.
This is changing rapidly, becoming flatter and more diverse (we’re not really interested in the why’s right now), which can either be seen as an opportunity or a threat. Organisations that embrace this change are going to benefit (think Murdoch buying MySpace), so the question then becomes how one capitalises on the opportunity...
Let's look at some of the key strategic issues to consider.