It’s been said before, but having chatted with some of my readers, and having been unable to quickly find a previous online example, I though it’s worth restating: There’s nothing new in Web 2.0.
And by that, I mean there’s nothing new about the facilities Web 2.0 offers. And now for some examples:
Tagging: Every time you’ve labeled anything in your life, you’ve tagged it. Putting your bills in a folder, putting a sticker on your homemade chutney, or creating a mixtape of songs. If only we’d called it labeling, rather than tagging, I’d have saved myself a few hours of explaining. And a Folksonomy is just what happens when information is structured by people labeling it.
Social networking: Every time you’ve been introduced to someone via a friend, or found yourself chatting to someone you’ve stood next to at a concert, or at the football, you’ve networked socially. Facebook and Myspace are the internet equivalents of your local pub, or the reading group at the local library.
Blogging: Diaries. Fanzines. The family newsletter tucked inside Christmas cards. Newspaper columns.
Crowdsourcing: Happened hundreds of years ago. Sticking up a ‘Wanted’ poster and offering a bounty was crowdsourcing people to catch a criminal.
Social news aggregators (e.g. Digg): Just recording online the same opinions you’d get chatting around the office coffee machine/smoking area.
Word of Mouth, Buzz, Social Media Marketing: When your pipe sprung a leak last night, and you came into work and asked your friend if they knew a good plumber – that’s Word of Mouth. Buzz is just getting lots of people talking and recommending. And social media marketing is just using the new online gathering places.
I did lie earlier.
There is one new thing about all Web 2.0 technology which radically changes everything we know. It’s made it so much easier to do all these things, that the amount of people involved, and the effects, have been amplified 100s, 1000s or even millions of times. It’s always happened. But now it’s happening on a global scale, and in a way that can change the fortunes of businesses.