Web 2.0 is about online interactivity and linking people through web technologies. In a sense Web 2.0 is a buzzword used to signify new and developing Web technologies. In addition to the widely recognized sites, there are also many thousands of websites that take advantage of Web 2.0 technologies. The concept of Web 2.0 is a move away from static websites to a more interactive and dynamic World Wide Web.
Internet users no longer want a one-way interaction with a web page. Visitors are looking for a chance to get involved though user-friendly interface. Whether to leave comments upload photos share music or to be involved in a community, it is clear that the needs of the user are evolving as quickly as the Internet itself.
A Web 2.0 site gives its users the free choice to interact or collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where users (consumer) are limited to the passive viewing of content that was created for them.
The Rise of Web 2.0
The term began its rise in popularity when O’Reilly Media and MediaLive hosted the first Web 2.0 conference in 2004. In their opening remarks, John Battelle and Tim O’Reilly outlined their definition of the “Web as Platform”, where software applications are built upon the Web as opposed to upon the desktop.
Key Web 2.0 services/applications:
There are a number of Web-based services and applications that demonstrate the foundations of the Web 2.0 concept, and they are already being used to a certain extent in education. These include social-networking sites, blogs, wikis, video-sharing sites, hosted services, content syndication, podcasting and content tagging services. These are not really technologies as such, but services built using the building blocks of the technologies and standards of the Internet and the Web.
An example of a Web 2.0 Social Networking application
LinkedIn (Relationships Matter)
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. As of 9 August 2010 (2010 -08-09), LinkedIn had more than 75 million registered users, spanning more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. The site is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
Some LinkedIn facts
The site has over 75 million members
A new member joins approximately every second
Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are members
With 75 million users, LinkedIn is ahead of its competitors Viadeo (30 million) and XING (9 million). The membership grows by a new member approximately every second. About half of the members are in the United States and 11 million are from Europe. With 3 million users, India is the fastest-growing country as of 2009. The Netherlands has the highest adoption rate per capita outside the US at 30%. LinkedIn recently reached 4 million users in UK and 1 million in Spain.
The purpose of the site is to allow registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business. The people in the list are called Connections. Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection. LinkedIn also allows users to research companies with which they may be interested in working. When typing the name of a given company in the search box, statistics about the company are provided. These may include the ratio of female to male employees, the percentage of the most common titles/positions held within the company, the location of the company’s headquarters and offices, or a list of present and former employees.
The feature LinkedIn Answers, similar to Yahoo! Answers, allows users to ask questions for the community to answer. This feature is free and the main difference from the latter is that questions are potentially more business-oriented, and the identity of the people asking and answering questions is known.
The searchable LinkedIn Groups, feature allows users to establish new business relationships by joining alumni, industry, or professional and other relevant groups. LinkedIn groups can be created in any subjects and by any member of LinkedIn. Some groups are specialized groups dealing with a narrow domain or industry whereas others are very broad and generic in nature.
In October, 2008, LinkedIn revealed plans to opening its social network of 30 million professionals globally as a potential sample for business-to-business research. And, in doing so it’s testing a potential social-network revenue model-research that to some appears more promising than advertising.
In October, 2008, LinkedIn enabled LinkedIn has launched its OpenSocial-based application platform called InApps – an answer to the platforms found on social networks like Facebook and MySpace which is called “applications platform” that allows other online services to be embedded within a member’s profile page. For example, among the initial applications were an Amazon Reading List that allows LinkedIn members to display books they are reading, a connection to Tripit, and a Six Apart, WordPress and TypePad application that allows members to display their latest blog postings within their LinkedIn profile.
Apps won’t be allowed to use third party ad networks – instead, they’ll have to work with LinkedIn’s ad system and will be allowed to charge users for individual goods, and can also implement a paid subscription service (launch partner Box.net is using this model).
LinkedIn and Business
LinkedIn is the most powerful social networking site to help grow business. It differs from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in that it focuses on business. If someone (whether a professional or business owner) wants to hang with the big players—a place where connections are made, leads are generated, and deals go down—then he needs to spend more of his time on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has become an essential tool for employers for headhunting and employee validating, and is used by business-to-business (B2B) marketers seeking for potential partners and buyers.
Business organizations usually generate and promote their business in LinkedIn by creating a company profile; it will list everyone who works there and some information about the company and make the company looks complete.
Business also starts groups and promotes them through discussions and asking questions. With Groups, it can build thought leadership, share expertise, email newsletters, market its brand and grow its network.