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Web 2.0 defined by Chris Anderson

Web 2.0 is a term being thrown all over in Internet business discussion today. It comes from the innovation we’re seeing as a result of a surge in the technology market (maybe it’s the innovation which is driving the surge). The changes are bringing real innovation to the area of Internet marketing. My goal is to keep LexBlog up to speed with those changes to add greater value to our customers.

Not being able to put my arms around Web 2.0, I liked Chris Anderson’s (Editor in Chief of Wired) general principals of Web 2.0.

  1. The Long Tail. Small sites make up the bulk of the internet’s content; narrow niches make up the bulk of internet’s the possible applications. Therefore: Leverage customer-self service and algorithmic data management to reach out to the entire web, to the edges and not just the center, to the long tail and not just the head.
  2. Data is the Next Intel Inside. Applications are increasingly data-driven. Therefore: For competitive advantage, seek to own a unique, hard-to-recreate source of data.
  3. Users Add Value. The key to competitive advantage in internet applications is the extent to which users add their own data to that which you provide. Therefore: Don’t restrict your ‘architecture of participation’ to software development. Involve your users both implicitly and explicitly in adding value to your application.
  4. Network Effects by Default. Only a small percentage of users will go to the trouble of adding value to your application. Therefore: Set inclusive defaults for aggregating user data as a side-effect of their use of the application.
  5. Some Rights Reserved. Intellectual property protection limits re-use and prevents experimentation. Therefore: When benefits come from collective adoption, not private restriction, make sure that barriers to adoption are low. Follow existing standards, and use licenses with as few restrictions as possible. Design for ‘hackability’ and ‘remixability.’
  6. The Perpetual Beta. When devices and programs are connected to the internet, applications are no longer software artifacts, they are ongoing services. Therefore: Don’t package up new features into monolithic releases, but instead add them on a regular basis as part of the normal user experience. Engage your users as real-time testers, and instrument the service so that you know how people use the new features.
  7. Cooperate, Don’t Control. Web 2.0 applications are built of a network of cooperating data services. Therefore: Offer web services interfaces and content syndication, and re-use the data services of others. Support lightweight programming models that allow for loosely-coupled systems.
  8. Software Above the Level of a Single Device. The PC is no longer the only access device for internet applications, and applications that are limited to a single device are less valuable than those that are connected. Therefore: Design your application from the get-go to integrate services across handheld devices, PCs, and internet servers.

I have always viewed Web 2.0 as the new technologies – blogs, RSS etc. But technologies change all the time. Definitions around changing business markets and principals makes more sense.

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