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Web 2.0 for the Enterprise
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I just attended a Webinar on Web 2.0 for the Enterprise. The Webinar presented by the American Marketing Association and RedDot Solutions discussed new technologies and how they can be leveraged in the Web 2.0 World and how these new technologies enable users the flexibility to access the information only when they want it.

Summary of the Webinar

As online experience expectations rise, Web 2.0 technologies are becoming mainstream on the Web. Blogs, wikis and RSS feeds are gaining popularity as a way to engage and persuade the growing online audience. Figuring out the best way to communicate to your various site visitors can be challenging but with Web 2.0, new experiences can be delivered to provide a participative environment that will generate increased traffic and repeat visitors.
  • Imagine the possibilities of a Web 2.0 driven Web experience.
  • Face-lift your existing site with AJAX, RSS, Personas
  • Attract power users with exposed content through MashUps and Wikis
  • Optimize the experience with analytical driven content and tagging
  • Deliver a community with Blogs and Forums
What I liked about the webinar was they discussed a little about the evolution of Web 2.0 and the impact on organizations. There was discussion as to how static websites are beginning to adopt dynamic elements through things such as AJAX, syndication of content through RSS, social tagging and the like. Dynamic rendering of Rich Media provides a clean look and intuitive navigation. Here is a little more of what was discussed:

When delivering content, the options available are not restricted just to the Web. Think mobile marketing and applications for things like iPhones. Some of the benefits of Web 2.0 mentioned in the webinar included:
  • Offestting lead generation costs
  • increased Web traffic
  • database management replaced by wikis
  • Improved SEO rankings (Universal Search Results)
Visitors can interact with your site looking for general information, further research, or are looking to be persuaded to take an action. The next generation of the Web will be:
  • Multi Channel
  • Highly contextrual user experience
Innovation is moving from a top down to an outside-in model. Social computing means attracting outside influencers where the value is shifting from ownership to experience. In addition control is moving from institutions and marketers to influential communities and destinations (Facebook).

When setting up your website, focus on what the visitor really cares about. Collect feedback and address success/failures in an honest manner. Transparency can be a great thing.

Finding a way to effectively embrace Web 2.0

Ask yourself, how can you leverage Web 2.0 in a manner that makes sense for your business? You might want to begin with a smaller section of your site. Start with small things such as setting up RSS feeds.
  • Wikis - initially use them internally. Allows people to share knowledge (ie sales teams)
  • AJAX - this is more of an IT item that can improve the user experience with your site
  • Ratings - allow users to rate items on your website. Is this whitepaper of benefit to me?
  • Mashups - another IT resource. Taking information that was separate and combining the information together. Help provide all of the information that the user may be looking for whether it's inventory levels, price comparisons etc.
  • Blogs - the least adopted Web 2.0 item (due to the overhead associated (legal issues etc.) is use of blogs. Blogs give you a direct connection to the users looking for that information. Blogging can engage the user like never before.
  • Instant Messaging - some companies are adopting this to provide customer service right around the clock. Instant access to customers and employees.
The value of Web 2.0 when combined has a better return on investment. ROI has about a 6-9 month residual. It does take time to see the return. Start off with small steps. Begin with a minor "facelift" to your website (AJAX, RSS). Attract power users with exposed content (more interactivity, Mashups, internal wikis etc.). Optimize relevancy of your content (analytical driven content, tagging). Make use of community driven content with things such as blogs, wikis and ratings. Let the users help you. Consider user driven creation of content.

Keep in mind that first impressions counts. Don't throw up a blog just for the sake of blogging. Take your time with understanding the Web 2.0 items that will work for you. Web 2.0 can be useful when incorporated for usability but try to find a balance with regards to SEO and the user experience.


posted by Jody @ Tuesday, December 11, 2007  
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