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Are You Taking Advantage of Web 2.0?

So asks David Pogue of the New York Times, who describes the benefits of Web 2.0 as offering "a direct, more trusted line of communications than anything that came before it."

Around my office we have discussions about just what "Web 2.0" means. I usually interpret it in a more technical, feature-oriented fashion, saying that it applies to sites that have near-real-time interactivity with a web site, using AJAX to make themselves appear to work more like a desktop application than a page-request-based website. My boss thinks of Web 2.0 as meaning that a site has a user community and user-contributed content. There probably isn't just one meaning to the term, anyway. But Pogue gets the point-- it's no use talking about what Web 2.0 means. You just want to concentrate on what benefits it has to your company:

"When a company embraces the possibilities of Web 2.0, though, ... it [will] gain trust, goodwill and positive attention. You'll put a human face on your company. And you'll learn stuff about your customers that you wouldn't have discovered any other way."

Completely true. And here are other ways that your web site reflects the character of your company:

  • The design: does this company have enough money to afford a good designer?

  • The copywriting and layout: is the company smart and detail-oriented?

  • The server uptime: is this company reliable?

  • Graceful degradation: does the company think about its customers and their needs?

  • Snazzy, cool AJAX features: does the company willing to explore new ideas?

  • Splash page: is this company so into its branding and so clueless about what users really want to know that it throws a useless splash page in their way?

Comments (1)

Splash pages: Sometimes, like in the case of fashion designers, its all about branding. A well done splash page can set the whole mood for a visitor and prepare them for what is going to be presented to them. Versace or Yves Saint Laurent are all about style and selling that style. Their branded logo means more to the customer than, say, Stanley Tools. Their customers want to see that style and a splash page is a perfect place for it.

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