J. A. Russell
Villa Maria Estate
Scenic Hotel Group
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Allan Kent [Guest]
Surprisingly Web 2.0 is not a technical term at all. It refers to the interactive way we now use the internet. In actual fact a more descriptive definition could well be - “Democratisation of the web”, meaning that it’s not just website owners that have their say on the net, we all do!
The term came about to explain the evolvement of our use of the internet when interactive sites such as Facebook, e-Bay and Trade Me and Friend Finder came on the scene. At about the same time wikis and Blogs suddenly became main-stream. What they all have in common is that they expect interaction – audience participation. Indeed to a large extent, their viability depends on it. This type of internet usage differs hugely from the early days of the internet where websites were generally information based with it controlled by the website owner/administrator. Most company websites were simply online versions of their brochures.
Should you make your site a Web 2.0 one?
That’s hard to say – it really does depend on what you want your website to do for you, i.e. it's role. However, what I will say is – if your audience expects online interaction and you don’t have that ability, you will be at a disadvantage to those that do.
Consider this analogy. You’re selling a new car. It has a good engine, good looks, is well built and safe! That’s all that should matter, right? What if it doesn’t have cup holders or a docking station for your iPod? These aren’t essential, but people do expect them. If they are not available you will have fallen short of their expectations and will be at a disadvantage – perhaps even against inferior modules, but which do include them.
How can I make mine more interactive then?
Some of the simplest ways are listed here:
Our final word of advice?
Business always runs smoother if you are able to meet or exceed the expectations of those you want to do business with. Take a good look at websites in your industry and then at yours. If others are actively involving their audience, then you should be too. If they are not, but you can see scope in doing so, then you will immediately be giving yourself a competitive advantage.
As interaction is the name of the game here, please – do give us your feedback below. Do you agree with what we’ve said here? We look forward to hearing from you.
11:50 a.m. Friday, 18 November 2011
You're quite right - Web 2.0 has been around some time now, but there are still a lot of very static sites out there wondering why they're not getting the results they'd hoped for!!
Web 3.0 is rolling in though I think it will take some while yet to become the standard for all websites. Basically Web 3.0 takes engagement (which is Web 2.0's fundamental concept) one step further in that sites will be tailored to provide unique experiences for each visitor.
For example if I went to a camera website, the first time there I'd be presented with a range of banners showcasing different camera ranges, accessories and perhaps some tips and tricks. If I click on a beginners camera, the site will then know that I'm likely to be a beginner and will start presenting me with more beginner information (entry level tips and tricks and point and click cameras). The deaper I go into the site, the surer it becomes in regards to my interests and the more targeted the information it will supply.
If on the other hand I click on a professional camera I will be taken down a completely different route altogether. So 2 people could visit the same site and see completely different information.
At present, this type of interactive CMS is typically only available on the more extensive, high end platforms, but over time we expect this type of system to filter down and become part of our everyday internet usage.
Sharon van Der Merwe
2:34 p.m. Friday, 18 November 2011
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