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Appropriate Web 2.0 Platforms
After reading our article entitled, "What is Web 2.0," you already know what you need to make your website up-to-date and visitor sticky. Now you've got to figure out what to put all that stuff ‘on.' Here, we introduce a few options and explain why they're not only popular, but appropriate as well.
The blog is undoubtedly the most popular Web 2.0 platform to date probably due to the fact that the way it functions exemplifies the very definition of Web 2.0. Here, we're talking about rapid information sharing. And it works by displaying the very last bit of information as the first thing visitors see, satisfying those who must be ‘in the know' right then and there. It shoves yesterday's news in the past where it belongs so visitors concentrate on the present and contemplate the future. And it gives everyone who encounters its data the opportunity to add their contributions almost instantaneously.
Some of the most popular blog platforms exist at blogger.com, wordpress.com, and livejournal.com. You may want to try them all to see which one gives you the best opportunity to interact with your customers. Wordpress admittedly gives you more opportunity to incorporate Web 2.0 tools, but Blogger is the easiest to learn. A lot of people start with something as simple as blogger, and then move up to wordpress after gaining some experience with the blogging function.
The wiki automates the process of incorporating user contributed material. Unlike with the blog, in which user comments append to the end of an article or web post, the wiki lets users literally edit and change existing articles and posts as if they were the original authors. You can experience this type of interactivity at the Wikipedia website, where all encyclopedic entries may be freely edited by anyone with an account.
RSS or Really Simple Syndication is unique in that it lets visitors see information the way they want to see it. It completely removes the user interface and concentrates on content only. With appropriate software (called a reader or aggregator), visitors can pull information into an interface that they prefer. In use, this software detects new content and delivers it in a format pre-determined by the user.
One of the key advantages of providing RSS content is that it can be accessed almost anywhere: from desktop software programs, web browsers, email clients, and even cell phones!
Social networking combines the rapid information sharing characteristic of blogging with RSS type information delivery. The major difference with this platform is that all information is user contributed. No single blogger or webmaster ‘owns' a particular channel – especially since users freely distribute whatever they see to others. Whether that information is text or video, it spreads like wildfire and that's why so many companies have jumped onto the social networking bandwagon. In a matter of seconds, a simple product recommendation could infiltrate the internet and attract hundreds of thousands of sales.
Right now, Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace are the most heavily used social networking tools, though LinkedIn and Digg follow close behind.
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