Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Guest Blogger: What is Web 2.0? Interactivity and Social Networking are taking over!

Our Guest "Phlogger" this week is Deborah Geiger, APR, of Content Fresh LLC

Are you running Web 2.0? A dramatic shift has occurred worldwide on the Internet that will impact your business whether you follow it or not.

Web sites of the last century were diverse, and one common characteristic was that content was driven by the corporation. Polished and informative brochure-style sites contained loads of information on company history, products, purchase information, and other static business information and resources. Researchers from institutions, marketing and sales divisions of corporations and information sources loaded the Internet with information and valuable content.

The new Internet, or Web 2.0, is driven by individuals.

A Wikipedia definition: "Web 2.0" refers to what is perceived as a second generation of web development and web design. It is characterized as facilitating communication, information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web. It has led to the development and evolution of web-based communities, hosted services, and web applications. Examples include social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, mashups and folksonomies.
[Citation: Web 2.0. (2009, July 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10:14, July 10, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Web_2.0&oldid=301344373]

While companies are still posting and adding content in scores, the change is in the fact that the majority of what people say online is no longer managed by corporations or their staff. Millions of people share information daily on social networking sites, such as Facebook (over 5 million members) and Twitter. In fact research shows that searches for social networking has FINALLY surpassed porn!

“According to Bill Tancer, Hitwise's general manager of global research, Web searches for social networking sites have finally surpassed searches for pornography.” [Source: Gina Hughes: The Techie Diva, blog, Yahoo Tech!, Tue Sep 16, 2008 7:39PM EDT]

By enabling and allowing information sharing and collaboration, the Web has become a shared “application” where the content begins with PEOPLE, not business or companies. Smart companies are joining in the conversation by adding corporate blogs, joining Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and more.

Leading edge are letting their customers post actual messages and receive feedback in real-time on their sites. It takes guts to allow your customers to post their true feelings about your products on your Web site, but the companies that do this are seen as sincere, honest and businesses where you will want to spend your money! Are you ready to give it a try?

Deborah York Geiger, APR, owner of Content Fresh LLC, maintains a blog at www.geigerpoint.wordpress.com. With 20 years experience in marketing, public relations and business, Deborah writes about technology for business professionals. For more information, visit www.myfreshcontent.com.

SPRF (Southern Public Relations Federation) is conducting a survey about use of social networks. If you are an SPRF member and have not taken the survey, please use the link below and take part. And if you do not belong to SPRF, please take the survey anyway. Here's a link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=6V1DTiyALEIcBDa6IIdTbA_3d_3d

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