Thursday, March 12, 2009

Web 2.0 - The End of Surfing

“Web surfing” is one of those early internet terms, like “information superhighway”, that now seem so anachronistic; so five years ago.  Web 2.0 has changed the way people use the internet. 

Instead of surfing, where web users went where the wave took them, they are more like web jet skiers, going where they want to go and using an accelerator to get there.   

What is Web 2.0?

It’s the second generation of the internet. The web’s coming of age as a collaborative communications medium where the message isn’t “pushed” to web users, but “pulled”, authored and edited by them. 

So what?

Web 2.0 means doing business differently on the web. 

Web 2.0 users want what they seek and nothing else. 

For example, before Web 2.0, if you wanted a pair of red leather gloves, you probably used the following process to find them on the web:

  1. Think of all the stores in the area that might carry gloves.
  2. Enter the name of the first store followed by “.com” into your net browser.
  3. Hope the store has a web site. 
  4. If it did, you would go through pages of merchandise, looking for gloves
    1. then leather ones
    2. then red, etc..
  5. You would repeat steps 1 to 4 for the next store.
  6. And the next store.
  7. Then you would call the winning store, hoping they have the right size.
  8. Put on a jacket and drive to the store.

For Web 2.0 users, the process is:

  1. Google “red leather gloves”. (Go ahead, click it, but be sure to come back!)
  2. Choose the most appealing results until you find something you like.
  3. Ask your friends on Facebook what they think.
  4. Order online.

Web 2.0 users are savvy and they know they can find what they want and avoid everything else.  They don’t want to go through your web site looking for what they need.  They don’t have to surf your wave.   

Fortunately, Web 2.0 means you can know precisely what your customers are looking for on the internet and, even better, you can give it to them in a number of ways.  When you do, get ready for the jet skis.

By Stephen Da Cambra

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