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?