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Web 2.0, You're Already There

Whether You Like It Or Not

What is Web 2.0? It's not software or a new web browser. Rather it's an idea that the web used to be (what's now called Web 1.0) marketers communicating to consumers. They simply read and responded to what was being put out there by marketers. Web 2.0 though is more interactive where these consumers become more like participants adding reviews about products, blogging, tweeting and so forth about you and your business.

Web 2.0 is "We own the Internet. Play by our rules, or suffer the consequences".

Web 1.0 was for consumers and Web 2.0 is for participants...those who create and add to information, not just read what others say.

So how do you get on the Web 2.0. Well, you're already on it whether you're harnessing it's power or not. People are most likely already blogging about you for example. So how do you harness it's power?

Blogs, micro-blogs, wiki's, message boards, question and answer pages, ratings and review pages, social media such as facebook and myspace...the list goes on and on. It's actually a very large subject and one worthy of a book, in fact about 300 volumes of a book. So where should you start? What are the basics?

1.    Start a blog.
The name blog comes from weblog, its proper name and is kind of like an online diary. It allows you to discuss your industry and its trends and practises as well as announce new products and can be used in a similar way to a press release. However it needs to be written in a much more personal way.

To start one, visit blogger.com or wordpress.org and follow the instructions there. Then visit pingomatic.com and use its service to ‘ping' your blog...in other words let blogging search engines know you're posted another blog. This helps in attracting subscribers to your blog.

2.    Start on YouTube.
Many people search YouTube in the same way that people use Google and Yahoo! for information about a subject. So go to youtube.com, sign up and start making videos for people to find. These videos should be as informational as possible and not just an advertisement. Always put a link to your website in the description and offer as much valuable information as you can in the video.

3.    Start on social media.
Create a Facebook and/or a MySpace account. Fill it with as much information and value for your clients as possible and invite them to view these pages from your website, from your door list, ask customers for their email addresses and invite them through that...as long as it's permission based, just get as many subscribers as possible.

As mentioned, there is a lot to Web 2.0. It's a conversation that you're not really in control of, but now by creating these, at least you're a part of it and helping it move in the direction you want it to. You'll generally do a lot better the more open, honest and communicative you are with people on the web. Web 2.0 gives you a great chance to do this.

But most important is not what technology you use, but your attitude in using it and why you're using it. Are you using it to genuinely discuss or add to a topic? Or are you just doing it to sell stuff? It's important to be honest and open to get in line with how things are now being communicated on the Internet.

More Stories By Peter Crean

I am a 33 year old Internet marketing professional with a specialty in assisting small businesses. I have over 10 years experience in Internet marketing and have worked in offline advertising and marketing as a writer and later an account manager working on some of the largest companies in the world.

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