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Monthly Archives: November 2008

O’Reilly’s “What Is Web 2.0 – Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software” was very clarifying for me. Although I have gained a much greater understanding of the term through our various readings throughout the semester, this paper really solidified things for me. I think it is very clearly written and especially appreciate his willingness to not only say what is Web 2.0 but also what is not.

He is absolutely correct in his discussion about companies and organizations throwing around the term “Web 2.0” in their attempts to appear cutting edge or ahead of the curve. When you aren’t a tech person the ambiguity can be intimidating.

I thought the meme map was very interesting to see and I liked the “Web 2.0 is an attitude, not a technology” bubble the most. For me, that was where the biggest disconnect has been in the past. I kept searching for answers about a particular technology or application in my quest to understand “Web 2.0.” However, after reading all of this material from the subject matter experts, I have come to the conclusion that Web 2.0 is mainly “two way” (or more!), interactive, open sharing and discussion online. The results of all of this communication and interaction are the Flickrs (, BitTorrents (, and Wikipedias ( of the world.

One of the other big takeaways I had from this article is that “data is the Intel Inside of these applications, a sole source component in systems whose software infrastructure is largely open source or otherwise commodified.” In considering the future of the internet, I have been wondering in what ways the companies of the future are going to make money. In our previous readings it has been obvious that things are changing rapidly and that advertising (such as Google Adsense or Adwords) will be a significant part of the revenue picture for years to come. However, I wondered how these companies are going to stay afloat if they are so busy sharing information such as intellectual property.

Chris Anderson’s “The Long Tail” offers significant insight into the profit centers of the future. Meanwhile, O’Reilly’s talk of the importance of data ownership helped me understand another new revenue stream opportunity. He does mention that “we expect to see battles between data suppliers and application vendors in the next few years, as both realize just how important certain classes of data will become as building blocks for Web 2.0 applications.” I wonder if this will simply play out as market competitiveness or if it will stifle the progress of the Web 2.0 and open source movements.

There was one thing within the article that I questioned however. O’Reilly states “you can almost make the case that if a site or product relies on advertising to get the word out, it isn’t Web 2.0.” I guess it is important to note that the author does say “almost.” However, I just don’t see why it would have to be an all or nothing situation. Can’t you have a Web 2.0 strategy and a traditional advertising or marketing strategy that combine to make one integrated plan? If your entire target audience isn’t online than a solely Web 2.0 strategy doesn’t seem to make sense. So, I searched around a little bit to find successful examples of an integrated strategy.  I found this blog post to be interesting. Jeremiah sites a number of “advanced brand” examples that utilize a social media strategy in addition to their traditional strategies.

This semester in my Intro to the Digital Age graduate school class, I have chosen nonprofit blogging as my major paper topic. As you will notice from my earlier posts, my primary area of interest is nonprofit communication.

I am curious how nonprofit organizations are using blogging technology to advance their missions, particularly as it relates to their marketing efforts.

My hypothesis is that a small minority of nonprofit organizations are using blogs as an effective tool to expand their brands. Additionally, I believe there are many lessons to be learned from the organizations who have harnessed the power of effective blogging.

You are probably wondering why I am telling you all of this. Well, I don’t think any research or paper about social media would be complete without using the different mediums available to try to gain additional insights. Therefore, any and all feedback, ideas, or opinions you have on this topic are welcome. Specifically, if you would like to respond to any of the following questions I would greatly appreciate it.

1. Do you know of any examples of nonprofit organizations that are using blogs as an effective tool to expand their brand?

2. What do you think makes a blog effective? (links to other blogs, consistent posting, etc.)

3. Have you experienced any benefits (or consequences) as a result of blogging?

4. Do you have any favorite sites or sources on blogging best practices?

Thanks for your help!