Sometimes I’m cautious about the content in my public posts. I don’t enjoy controversy, but I hate to see the public misled so I’m not about to shut up and play it safe.

This is one of those posts.

Web 2.0, Is it Hype?

I’ve been reading some other writers, bloggers, and marketers articles on the topic of Web 2.0. You’ve probably run across a few of these yourself. I’m talking about the writers who say Web 2.0 isn’t real, it’s all hype, just a joke to get you to spend more money on website creation software and scripts.

“Hello? Is anybody home? What part of the astral plane are you on, man?”

Web 2.0 is real, yes it exists and not only that, it’s stealing your traffic (and likely has been for quite a few months now, insidious and wretched beast!).

Tell me, in the past few years as online users has nearly doubled, if your traffic has doubled and held? No? Not on any of your websites?

Likely not and here’s why…

Web 2.0 has been slowly sneaking in the back door as the new and improved sister. It’s feature-rich and a lot more fun than the text and image sites of yesterday. As business owners we’ve probably looked upon these sites as time-wasters. It doesn’t matter really what you think of or call them – you do need to take notice of them as they are holding your traffic hostage with all their bells and whistles, groovy graphics and personality.

Web 2.0 is not hype. It’s just a new name for a new website flavor.

Web 2.0 is also not hype because the very lifeblood of internet business – traffic statistics – prove that 2.0 is stealing the show in popularity rankings.

Finally Web 2.0 is not hype because even the big offline businesses are taking note. As they do, they build sites to match their market. As a matter of fact just last month I was watching a television commercial for a hair care line and they promoted their interactive 2.0 style site at the end of the commercial. (As soon as I find it again, I’ll post it for you as an example – I just don’t watch much television so the product and matching site have now escaped me.)

Web 2.0, What’s the Hell Part of It?

Here’s the ‘hell’ of web 2.0.

If you’ve been creating websites as long as I have been you’ve been using:

  • raw html code (yes we did make sites that way back in 1994)
  • web design software such as FrontPage, DreamWeaver, etc.
  • automated portal scripts
  • automated article sites
  • blogging server-side scripts such as WordPress, Blogger, etc.
  • blog scripts coupled with other scripts to create online stores
  • rss scripts coupled with other scripts to create online shopping experiences

For over 10 years it didn’t seem to matter what turn the internet took, we could match the trend in a day’s time by learning the new software, script, or application to create websites that got results in the search engines and (hopefully) pleased the visitor.

But that ship stopped sailing at Web 2.0. This is where the ‘hell’ comes in…

You’ve decided you’ve learned enough now about Web 2.0, you’ve dreamt up a site, defined your target market for the site, and have a pretty good idea how you’ll make money from it. All you need is the scripting, or the software, or…

Hmmm, do a quick search on google or yahoo right now won’t you?

See what you can find for Web 2.0 site building software.

If you found a few good choices, go ahead and download/install/buy/try a few. Call me next week when you’ve ripped all your hair out.

That’s only the beginning of Web 2.0 Hell – site creation.

Once you’re over that hurdle you’ll then have to worry about getting your site to go viral (put that marketer’s hat on snugly, you’re in for a ride). And then, when the floods of traffic come, and after a few good site crashes, you’ll be porting it all over to a bigger, faster server…porting is it’s own brand of hell on earth for a webmaster.

Enough of the bad news! We’ll have lots of time to talk about those headaches later. What’s important now, while your idea is fresh, is to talk about the hope and the promises of a new internet surfing experience. The hope of your future on the wings of Web 2.0.

The Hope Behind the Web 2.0 Initiative

The ‘hope’ is in the window and right now it’s wide open.

Let’s say 10,000 web site entrepreneurs are building websites. They would be your competition; perhaps not in your direct target market but they are competing for visitors of some sort. Now 5,000 of those entrepreneurs are convinced Web 2.0 is hype (there goes half of your competition). 4,000 know it’s not, but they don’t have the tools, imagination, programming skills or funding to build a web 2.0 site (if you’re in this group fight tooth and nail to get out of it by learning what you need to know or finding funding for your idea). That leaves you only 1,000 out of 10,000 – 90% of your current competition could be blown away simply by you creating something that is innovative, interactive and fun for your visitors.

Therein lies the hope. The strong survive. Not the ones who have oodles of time to create junk site after junk site as we’ve seen in the past. The ones who’ll make it and make it big are the innovators, the hard workers, the ‘strivers’ willing to go that extra mile for their end user.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about the steps to take to pull off such a feat and the new way of thinking about website traffic.