Web 2.0 Technology gives social networking a whole new meaning

Filed Under (Web 2.0) by Fawad on 25-08-2009

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Web 2.0 can be visualized as a set of principles and practices that tie together a veritable solar system of sites that demonstrate some or all of those principles, at a varying distance from that core (O’Reilly, 2005). It can be defined as a set of economic, social, and technology trends that collectively form the basis for the next generation of the Internet—a more mature, distinctive medium characterized by user participation, openness, and network effects(O’ Reilly Radar, n.d.). Common web 2.0 technologies include RSS, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, Video, Social Bookmarks, Screencasts, Slidecasts, Synchronous Communications etc .The popularity of Web 2.0 technology can be gauged through the number of visitors to sites like Facebook and MySpace.

Executives in McKinsey’s second Annual(June 2008) survey on the topic of Web 2.0 technologies were asked which of web 2.0 tools they would be using for their businesses and what was their satisfaction level with these tools. The results showed an increasing trend in investment in web 2.0 technologies and integration of these at a wider level. After a period of trial, companies came to a decisive opinion about the benefits of web 2.0 technologies; 21% of the respondents were satisfied with Web 2.0 tools, while 22% expressed clear dissatisfaction and some of the disappointed companies stopped using certain technologies completely. Blogs, RSS, wikis, and podcasts have become more popular. The survey showed that companies used these technologies more for internal than external purposes.

For internal purposes companies have been using these technologies for internal recruiting, developing products or services, enhancing company culture, managing knowledge, training etc. When interfacing with customers they use it to increase customer participation in product development, improvement of customer service, acquisition of new customers in existing markets. For interfacing with suppliers it is used for tapping network of experts, gaining supplier participation, lowering of purchasing costs etc. (McKinsey, 2008)

According to a news paper article published in The Birmingham post (2008) banks were encouraged to embrace web 2.0 technologies to really move forward. According to Mr.Davend Lavenda, vice-president of marketing and product strategy at Worklight, banks had a lot of pressure to come up with new business models that would meet the current customer needs; In this regard web 2.0 tools like personalized homepages, social networks, RSS, would give financial services firms a competitive advantage.

A report published by “Celent” concluded that although online banking is providing a diverse array of services but their appearance is very outdated for the current web 2.0 driven environment.

Health communication can also be revolutionized by web 2.0 technology; Health educators can interact with the people easily, leading to messages and ideas that are more refined and relevant to the end users. Groups can be set up on various sites like facebook and myspace, users can then congregate on these groups to discuss ideas, raise funds etc. Groups on these sites are arranged category wise, so it can be easier for health educators to reach people who were inaccessible before. Podcasts are being used by the American Public Health Association to give information on pandemic flu preparedness; similarly others can join in to spread awareness about other health issues.

Teachers in schools are also being urged to adopt this technology, but a survey revealed that they were split about the benefits of using these tools. Paul Kelley, Monkseaton High School headteacher described web as a great resource. He felt that” Web 2.0 has a part to play in making a contribution to education and we need to keep up with new developments.”

University’s Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, Gary Brown feels that it’s the era of web 2.0 and higher education needs to enter it. He feels it’s time to move to the next generation of online learning in a Web 2.0 or Learning 2.0 world

Reference List
Hanson,C. et al(2008).Integrating Web 2.0 in Health Education Preparation and Practice. American Journal of Health Educaton, 39 .Retrieved August 23, 2009 from http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5028594903

Mckinsey&Company. (2008). Building the Web 2.0 Enterprise: McKinsey Global Survey Results. Retrieved August 23, 2009 from http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Business_Technology/BT_Strategy/Building_the_Web_20_Enterprise_McKinsey_Global_Survey_2174

Musser,J. &O’Reilly,T. (n.d.). Web 2.0 Principles and Best Practices. Retrieved August 23, 2009 from http://oreilly.com/catalog/web2report/chapter/web20_report_excerpt.pdf

O’Reilly,T. (n.d.). What Is Web 2.0.Retrieved August 23, 2009 from http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html

Teachers Told to Keep Up to Speed with Internet.(2008,September 4).The Journal (Newcastle, England) , Retrieved August 23, 2009 from Questia, 23 Aug. 2009 <http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5028926105>.

Web 2.0 Is the Way Forward for Online Banking; E-BUSINESS. (2008, August 5). The Birmingham Post (England), p. 20. Retrieved August 23, 2009 from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5028381520

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