Web 2.0 – Your new best friend

The Cluetrain Manifesto lays out many interesting theses on the power of people in a networked market and the need for business to have conversations with that market. On a similar note, Web 2.0 displays the trends and potential impacts of user-created content. Each piece shares a common theme. If a business, whether it be a bar or a newspaper, wants to thrive, then it must facilitate conversations with its public. The public is both willing and able to be involved. People often develop an affinity for a brand and become unofficial ambassadors and salesman purely out of interest. I can’t even begin to count the number of times of promoted Guayaki Yerba Mate. Word of mouth has always been a great advertising tool. Now, web 2.0 technologies allow word of mouth to achieve a new level. Consumers are networked through an intricate web and have the ability to create and share ideas and content literally at the push of a button.
This new ability can be a godsend or a death sentence for businesses. Guayaki demonstrates wisdom acquired from both readings. The Manifesto complains that corporations sound “hollow, flat, literally inhuman”. Guayaki does a great job of putting a face to the company by creating a unique personality. The Company has values, opinions, ideas…etc. And of course it has its own Facebook, MySpace and YouTube pages. This creates a community in which consumers interact with the company on a more equal level. They can post a video response on the group’s site.
In terms of journalism, Grist exemplifies ways to include web 2.0 technologies into a news site. Readers can follow online through Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube. Users are encouraged to form a community network through forums and photo-sharing. The site displays the most commented/viewed/e-mailed stories. Community members are telling each what is important and what isn’t. For a site like Grist to flourish is must not only facilitate a conversation within the community but also listen to what the community is saying.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by ryanboulanger on April 6, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Good analysis of these articles. Grist seems like a great example of how news is being proliferated through the “networked markets” mentioned in the Cluetrain Manifesto but how does it compare to the investigative capacity of newspapers?

    Also, as an author of content how do you feel about others contributing to your work? When news is more interactive it can allow others to change the direction of your story.

    Reply

  2. Posted by sew28 on April 6, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    I think a huge reason business are successful today is because they’re doing exactly what you stated — listening to what the community is saying. In various sites found on the internet, there is always a commenting section where people can rate or state their opinion about something. They even have specially designed sites like Yelp.com where people are encouraged to leave their review on a restaurant or service center. We’re definitely in a new age where audience participation is mandatory which is something that was not popular a few years ago.

    Reply

  3. Posted by tlfuller on April 8, 2009 at 9:48 am

    I agree very good analysis on an article I originally hadn’t thought much of. As a content author, are you concerned with the integrity and ethical standard normally associated with print to decrease as more online news content merges online?

    Reply

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