I’m pretty fascinated by Web 2.0 and how it’s changing the way we do things online. While Web 1.0 was basically going to a website and reading the information and content on the page, Web 2.0 is about going to a website and interacting with the page- adding photos, comments, videos, etc. Here the users have more power and are more active agents in their interaction with the website. Quintessential examples of Web 2.0 include Facebook and YouTube.
I looked at Web 2.0 t-shirt company Threadless and Web 2.0 homemade craft company Etsy for an assignment last semester which looked at how Web 2.0 devices can be used by businesses. Web 2.0 devices are absolutely crucial to these businesses. With Threadless, users design t-shirts, which are then voted on by other users. The most popular designs are printed. Users also post photos of themselves wearing the t-shirts and post on forums and blogs about the t-shirts. The active Threadless community is central to the company’s success and profitability.
I am surprised by some of the winners and placegetters in the SEOmoz 2008 Web 2.0 awards. Twitter came first in the ‘Social networking mainstays’ category, while the vastly superior Facebook took second. I am a member of both sites and can’t see why Twitter is better than Facebook when Twitter is basically only Facebook’s “Susanne is…” section. On Facebook you can post photos and videos and connect with people. Strange decision.
I’m impressed by Lulu, which won the ‘Books’ category in the SEOmoz Web 2.0 awards. This is a self-publishing site that allows people to produce their own books and CDs. It’s a great idea, and it’s another step forward in the flattening of the world – where individual users have more power to create their own content from the bottom-up, rather than the old top-down process of writers submitting their manuscripts to a publisher. It’s so interesting how all these traditional power structures are breaking down and more power is being given to the individual through the Internet and Web 2.0 devices.
Being a librarian and a former student of English literature, I find it hard to even contemplate liking Imcooked, which won the ‘food’ category. Unless ‘Im’ stands for something, it should be ‘I’m’! It is, however, another excellent new Web 2.0 site, where users upload videos of themselves making recipes.