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Monday, October 29, 2007

Web 2.0 – A true Internet revolution?

10:54:00 AM Posted by Oscar Berg No comments
Many of the technologies that are related to the concept of Web 2.0 are not new. Wikis and blogs have been around for several years and the same is true for social software. What is new, however, is how they are being used. They are being used in new and innovative ways and - more importantly - they have been accepted and embraced by the masses. In a sens, the Internet revolution that so many talked about in the dotcom years has become reality. Web 2.0 could not happen until a critical mass of users showed enough willingness, trust and openness to participate in the further development of the Internet and the web. The web has become a public square where people can meet. Businesses might see it primarily as a place to make transactions and earn profits, while many people instead see it as a meeting place that they can use as a means for self-fulfillment.

Interestingly, the primary business model on the web is based on selling advertising space which is primarily used for marketing consumer products. This is the paradox of Web 2.0. Even if people are really starting to change how they use the Internet and the web, no one should be surprised if Google and Facebook will suddenly stop showing outstanding growth and profit numbers when the business cycle reaches the next recession. When people don’t feel confident enough about the future to buy a new flatscreen TV och refridgerator, it will eventually hurt Google and Facebook badly. Hence, a true Internet revolution will in my eyes only only come when the primary products that we consume (accounting for the biggest part of our consumtion) are intangible digital content and experiences. Then the Internet can become the engine that drives the global economy, just as the industry once became more important than the agriculture for the national economies.

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