The Perils and
Possibilities of Web 2.0
     Matt Machell, Evidence Base
      www.eclecticdreams.com
I build websites
The Web’s a pretty
 confusing place.
 You need a map.
From the excellent xkcd.com/
Or maybe a guide?
Peril #1: Getting
distracted by technology
Good technology
     solves problems.
• “How do I?”
• “I wish I could...”
• “if only there was a way to...”
Latching onto buzzwords is
        dangerous
“Make it look more web 2.0!”


       “We need a blog and a wiki!”

“The kids love Facebook! If we
use it the awesome will...
Possibility #1:
Remember it’s about
  tasks and people
What problem does
your service solve for
       “me”?
Social sites work best with a
           purpose.


• What’s your site’s purpose?
• Just what are we here to do?
People talking
generates ideas
If you build great things
 people will use them.
Peril #2: People spend
  99% of their time
       elsewhere
If a blog launches on
the web, does anybody
          care?
• Technorati says the blogsphere doubles
  once every 6 months...
Launching a new
website means nothing
 if nobody can find it.
How do people find
     websites?

• Google?
• Other websites
• Recommendation
Go where the
 audience is
• Blogs, Myspace,
  Facebook, Bebo,
  Digg, Orkut, Twitter,
  mailing lists, forums, and so
  on, and so on

• Might not b...
Respect the spaces you enter.
Be human, not a marketing troll.
Be part of the
            community
•   Go out and find your users

•   Build mutually beneficial relationships

•   Conver...
The Art of Successful
          Blogging
•   Talk like a real person!

•   Be prepared to actually
    listen

•   Ask que...
Possibility #2: Harness
 people’s passion for
 finding and sharing
Link sharing is
             everywhere
• Del.icio.us, Stumbleupon,
  Ma.gnolia.com
• Comment constructively
  on other pe...
Peril #3: Believing your
       own hype
“our site gets a
million hits a day!”
• A single page view can generate 50 hits
• What if the path to the good stuff takes
  you through 5 pages?

• An elegant ...
• What do you need to measure?
• How do you measure it?
Meaningful interactions
• An event signup: No. of people registered
• A forum : Contributions favourited by users
• A blog : Inbound links, commen...
Possibility #3:
Measure success in a
  meaningful way
•   Use a good analytics
    package

•   Discover who actually
    visits your site and why

•   Evolve to take advantage...
Peril #4: Live by the
 crowd, die by the
       crowd
The web gives the illusion of
       anonymity.

Anonymity breeds contempt
The users
   are
revolting!
• Teenagers change online identities with
  regularly

• People will say what they think, and you
  won’t necessarily like...
Possibility #4: Groups
 can be self policing
• Set solid, but not anti-social, levels of
  etiquette

• Reward good behavior
• Be careful of unintended consequences of...
Akismet is your friend, akismet.com
Peril #5: Not Working
     with the Web
Make it easy to link and
      contribute
(re)use existing
  technologies
Be agile and iteratively
       improve.
Possibility #5:
 With good people
building things is easy
Employ web
              professionals
(not your IT support guy, a windows programmer, some guy with Frontpage)
Sometimes you can get
professionals by proxy
Example:
A Quick Mashup
Question: What might be
a good tool for linking a
  library to teenagers?
• People have interests. They blog about
  them. They categorise those posts.

• People want information about their
  int...
Techie Stuff

• Apache - PHP - Simplepie RSS – Amazon
  web services
• Pull data from recent blog posts, send to
  amazon ...
• Could be done with any system that
  provides simple hooks for open data.


• Time to implement: 1 evening
http://www.eclecticdreams.com/books/
Does it avoid our
           perils?
1. Task not technology driven
2. Can be easily promoted elsewhere
3. Can track succes...
Summary
•   Remember it’s about people

•   Look beyond your own site

•   Measure meaningful outcomes

•   Cultivate comm...
Or...

•   Engage with people

•   Provide a valuable service

•   Cultivate community



                                ...
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Perils and Possibilities of Web 2

  1. 1. The Perils and Possibilities of Web 2.0 Matt Machell, Evidence Base www.eclecticdreams.com
  2. 2. I build websites
  3. 3. The Web’s a pretty confusing place. You need a map.
  4. 4. From the excellent xkcd.com/
  5. 5. Or maybe a guide?
  6. 6. Peril #1: Getting distracted by technology
  7. 7. Good technology solves problems. • “How do I?” • “I wish I could...” • “if only there was a way to...”
  8. 8. Latching onto buzzwords is dangerous
  9. 9. “Make it look more web 2.0!” “We need a blog and a wiki!” “The kids love Facebook! If we use it the awesome will rub off on us!”
  10. 10. Possibility #1: Remember it’s about tasks and people
  11. 11. What problem does your service solve for “me”?
  12. 12. Social sites work best with a purpose. • What’s your site’s purpose? • Just what are we here to do?
  13. 13. People talking generates ideas
  14. 14. If you build great things people will use them.
  15. 15. Peril #2: People spend 99% of their time elsewhere
  16. 16. If a blog launches on the web, does anybody care? • Technorati says the blogsphere doubles once every 6 months. • Blogpulse say that might only be 30% that's active growth.
  17. 17. Launching a new website means nothing if nobody can find it.
  18. 18. How do people find websites? • Google? • Other websites • Recommendation
  19. 19. Go where the audience is
  20. 20. • Blogs, Myspace, Facebook, Bebo, Digg, Orkut, Twitter, mailing lists, forums, and so on, and so on • Might not be on the web… • What’s appropriate for your project?
  21. 21. Respect the spaces you enter. Be human, not a marketing troll.
  22. 22. Be part of the community • Go out and find your users • Build mutually beneficial relationships • Conversation takes time and effort • People who meet in real life, have more long- lasting web connections.
  23. 23. The Art of Successful Blogging • Talk like a real person! • Be prepared to actually listen • Ask questions • Solicit opinion • People love lists... Recommended: copyblogger.com
  24. 24. Possibility #2: Harness people’s passion for finding and sharing
  25. 25. Link sharing is everywhere • Del.icio.us, Stumbleupon, Ma.gnolia.com • Comment constructively on other people’s blogs • Help people on forums
  26. 26. Peril #3: Believing your own hype
  27. 27. “our site gets a million hits a day!”
  28. 28. • A single page view can generate 50 hits • What if the path to the good stuff takes you through 5 pages? • An elegant site might get fewer hits than your poorly designed one. • What about all the searchbots, spambots and email harvesters?
  29. 29. • What do you need to measure? • How do you measure it?
  30. 30. Meaningful interactions
  31. 31. • An event signup: No. of people registered • A forum : Contributions favourited by users • A blog : Inbound links, comments, Technorati rank
  32. 32. Possibility #3: Measure success in a meaningful way
  33. 33. • Use a good analytics package • Discover who actually visits your site and why • Evolve to take advantage of this
  34. 34. Peril #4: Live by the crowd, die by the crowd
  35. 35. The web gives the illusion of anonymity. Anonymity breeds contempt
  36. 36. The users are revolting!
  37. 37. • Teenagers change online identities with regularly • People will say what they think, and you won’t necessarily like it • Some people want to talk about selling Viagra
  38. 38. Possibility #4: Groups can be self policing
  39. 39. • Set solid, but not anti-social, levels of etiquette • Reward good behavior • Be careful of unintended consequences of filtering
  40. 40. Akismet is your friend, akismet.com
  41. 41. Peril #5: Not Working with the Web
  42. 42. Make it easy to link and contribute
  43. 43. (re)use existing technologies
  44. 44. Be agile and iteratively improve.
  45. 45. Possibility #5: With good people building things is easy
  46. 46. Employ web professionals (not your IT support guy, a windows programmer, some guy with Frontpage)
  47. 47. Sometimes you can get professionals by proxy
  48. 48. Example: A Quick Mashup
  49. 49. Question: What might be a good tool for linking a library to teenagers?
  50. 50. • People have interests. They blog about them. They categorise those posts. • People want information about their interests. Libraries can provide this. • Provide a tool to recommend books based on blog tags.
  51. 51. Techie Stuff • Apache - PHP - Simplepie RSS – Amazon web services • Pull data from recent blog posts, send to amazon as a search
  52. 52. • Could be done with any system that provides simple hooks for open data. • Time to implement: 1 evening
  53. 53. http://www.eclecticdreams.com/books/
  54. 54. Does it avoid our perils? 1. Task not technology driven 2. Can be easily promoted elsewhere 3. Can track success via book sales 4. Is ideal discussion material 5. Built with existing systems
  55. 55. Summary • Remember it’s about people • Look beyond your own site • Measure meaningful outcomes • Cultivate community • Work with the web
  56. 56. Or... • Engage with people • Provide a valuable service • Cultivate community Sound familiar?

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