Web 2.0 as a Mindset

7 06 2008

“Web 2.0” is a somewhat abiguous term. We have debated the phrase internally to see if we could try to define what it really means. And, the truth is that, in our opinion, Web 2.0 is as much a mindset as it is a tangible change in the way the web is used today. Wikipedia defines it this way:

Web 2.0 is a term describing the trend in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, and, most notably, collaboration among users.

This is a good general definition. But, Web 2.0 really goes beyond the physical “things” that a web site does, or even the information it provides (or conversations it creates). In order for an organization’s web site to truly enter into this new era of communication, there must be a change of mentality in an organization. Just having a blog or adding a video or two to your web site doesn’t mean you’ve reached the next level!

Web 2.0 is a mindset. Setting up a blog on WordPress or becoming a “friend” to someone on MySpace doesn’t constitute a successful leap into the world of Web 2.0. These tools must be embraced, nutured and enhanced to create a desired goal of “X” (whatever your X might be…Stronger relationships with customers? Peer to peer knowledge base? Increased product trials?).

As your organization considers upgrading or completely revamping your site to address Web 2.0, I would suggest taking a long, introspective walk to be sure that you’re ready to do it right. In some cases, baby steps might be okay. But, as fast as things move now, those baby steps will be trampled by the “other guy” who’s making giant leaps toward Web 2.0.

To learn how to do business in a Web 2.0 world, visit The Impact Group or e-mail mwhite@igpr.com.