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Web 2.0 - the new market opportunity

Web 2.0 - the second generation of web-based services and communities that emphasise online collaboration, networking and user-created content - is growing at a phenomenal rate. A recent study by Booz Allen Hamilton, the global strategy and IT consulting firm, shows just how prevalent this interactive consumer behaviour has become and, at the same time, puts to rest any notion that 'average people' don't read blogs or use wikis.

Flying in the face of the seemingly challenged corporate world who continue NOT to embrace the new order of Web 2.0, the study found that 50 per cent of all internet users frequenting social media sites, and more than half of the visitors to MySpace, the notoriously youth-oriented social networking site, are actually 25 or older.

The one thing that should be capturing the imagination of the corporate managers is the widescale use of blogs, wikis, podcasts and other online pit stops for consumers to share their opinions about products, services, and the behaviour of companies. What this means for business is not always clear, but most senior executives have a sense that the organisations must respond to this shift in power.

The BAH study, like many others, point to three fundamental shifts as a consequence of this new technological power play: firstly, Web 2.0 means that organisations are no longer in sole control of their message; secondly, that Web 2.0 is fragmenting their marketing channels; and thirdly, that Web 2.0 offers the consumer a real channel to voice their opinion.

But this isn't all about threats. There's a flip slide for those corporates that have the imagination and the business agility to respond. Web 2.0 also offers companies limitless opportunities for direct engagement with their customers. Fragmentation has its upside - offering access to clearly defined demographic groups. And access to these channels comes at a fraction of the cost of more traditional media channels. Web 2.0 also allows organisations to respond directly to any criticism. Rather than ignoring criticism, or even fearing it, organisations should seize the initiative and use Web 2.0 to respond in the most direct way.

Ian Jones,
NCC Head of Content and Publishing and Content

(ITadviser, Issue 55, Autumn 2008)

Everything's GONE GREEN . . . or more realistically it needs to - 22 Sep 2008

Ian Jones finds that delegates at NCC's Annual Conference believe the adoption of new green technologies remains overwhelmingly driven by the bottom line.There appears to be broad scientific consensus that we need to reduce carbon emissions by as much as 80 per cent by the middle of this century if ... read more..

Storage is dead: Long live storage - 22 Sep 2008

The concept of backing up information over the internet is growing in popularity. Guy Bunker provides you with some key questions to ask prospective service providers before you head off into the clouds.In an age where we have more information than we can cope with and where data is growing ... read more..

2FA (two-factor authentication) - Protecting the future - 22 Sep 2008

Michael Robertson explains the role of two-factor authentication (2FA) solutions in controlling access to web applications and providing additional protection for user identities.The internet plays a significant role in the efficient operations of both public and private sector organisations. This medium offers a fast and effective way to communicate with ... read more..

Ensuring effective database protection - 22 Sep 2008

George Fyffe looks at the necessity for collaboration between security and database personnel and provides 10 tips for achieving database security success.The enterprise database is a business-critical application for virtually all organisations. Database applications from Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft, IBM, MySQL, and others increasingly house information that is necessary for business ... read more..

Server virtualisation - how could it possibly go wrong? - 22 Sep 2008

David Rose considers the myths and reality of implementing server virtualisation within your organisation.In 2006 industry analysts predicted 'OS virtualisation would become mainstream by 2010' and recently this year continued to set expectations with a forecast that 'over 50 per cent of physical servers will be virtualised in 2011'. The ... read more..

Top 10 security mistakes made by SMEs - 22 Sep 2008

David Vella points out some of the most common security-related mistakes made by hard-pressed IT administrators in small to medium businesses.Whenever a security breach occurs or something goes wrong on the network, it is always the end-users' fault - employees who, despite receiving lengthy lectures, dozens of e-mails and verbal ... read more..

Securing Web 2.0 for business - 19 Sep 2008

Web 2.0 technologies are being increasingly used by businesses to interact with customers, but what security challenges do they pose? Yuval Tarsi investigates.The popularity of Web 2.0 services such as personalised homepages and social networks is increasing rapidly, and is having a significant impact on how we do business. Publically ... read more..

How Web 2.0 has changed the face of education - 19 Sep 2008

A campaign called Next Generation Learning was launched this year by Becta to promote the effective use of technology in schools, colleges and other learning environments. Tony Richardson explains how Web 2.0 has the potential to revolutionise technology in learning.Young people are reported to spend almost as much time online ... read more..

Exploiting mobile Web 2.0 - 19 Sep 2008

Ian Chard considers the opportunities provided by Mobile Web 2.0 applications and the hurdles that need to be overcome in order to ensure their successful deployment.IntroductionThe mercurial rise of social networking sites and user-generated content has rekindled users' interest in accessing web-based services on the move. That the mobile phone ... read more..

Achieving effective Enterprise 2.0 - 08 Sep 2008

Martin White looks at the benefits and challenges of Enterprise 2.0 adoption and suggests some critical success factors for the effective application of these technologies.IntroductionThere is a lot of interest at the present time in the role that Enterprise 2.0 web applications can play in enhancing business performance. A recent ... read more..

The digital cocktail party - 08 Sep 2008

Andrea Simmons reviews the influence that social networking technologies are having on privacy management. Faceparty Myspace Facebook Bebo Second LifeThey all seem to have been in the news continually over the past few months, for one reason or another, most recently as a result of concerns over privacy, but that's ... read more..

CRM through social networking - 08 Sep 2008

Guy Westlake explains how social networking technologies can help to build customer loyalty and enrich the customer's online experience.Social networking is evolving fast. Not too long ago, recreational community sites like Facebook, Bebo and MySpace were seen as the preserve of a small user group comprised mainly of school and ... read more..

ITIL v3 . . . a year on - 08 Sep 2008

In May 2007 ITIL V3 was launched, so how has the industry accepted it and what are the fundamental differences between V3 and V2? Megan Pendlebury gives her views.V2 took a very process driven view and led to people working within their own silo rather than seeing the entire picture ... read more..

Web 2.0 or Hype 2.0? - 08 Sep 2008

Gary Cornell remains unconvinced about the real value that Web 2.0 technologies are delivering in terms of addressing user problems. Plus a change... You know, sometimes the French get it right. A little over two years ago I wrote a column here called 'Web 2.0 or Hype 2.0'. In it ... read more..

Searching for gold with open alchemy - 08 Sep 2008

David Rajan and Tim Jones provide an overview of Open Alchemy, an experimental approach to developing ideas for cross-sector innovation, and outline some of the key findings of this project.Open innovation in contextOpen innovation has become more than a fashionable trend used by early adopters such as Proctor and Gamble ... read more..

Innovation in action - 08 Sep 2008

The innovative use of technology can enable businesses to provide new and more responsive services to their customers, or put in place flexible infrastructures that allow staff to respond quickly to new market opportunities. In this special ITadviser feature, we look at three organisations and their innovative use of Google ... read more..

Under lock and keyboard - 08 Sep 2008

John Harrison explains why the adoption of best practice in secure software development is vital to both users and developers of software systems.Every couple of years, Bill Gates would send a memo to all Microsoft staff talking about the company's highest priority. In 2000 he kicked off the company's .Net ... read more..

Risk management in hard times - 08 Sep 2008

How should you seek to manage risk and business continuity in an economic downturn? Is there more of an imperative and, if so, why, since it is normally seen as a cost-only exercise? Alan Calder explains.'When the economic tide goes out, you see who's been swimming without any clothes on.' ... read more..

Winning in a recession - 08 Sep 2008

Jane Gunn advises on how mediation and conflict management can help to cut the cost of disputes in the current economic crisis.Imagine two companies with a 10 year business relationship enter into a time-sensitive contract for delivery of a new IT system worth 20 million. Suppose, however, that due to ... read more..

Web 2.0 - the new market opportunity . . . - 05 Sep 2008

Web 2.0 - the second generation of web-based services and communities that emphasise online collaboration, networking and user-created content - is growing at a phenomenal rate. A recent study by Booz Allen Hamilton, the global strategy and IT consulting firm, shows just how prevalent this interactive consumer behaviour has become ... read more..

INDUSTRY NEWS: Autumn 2008 - 05 Sep 2008

Last surviving relative of a Nigerian king?A McAfee experiment has revealed that spammers are as active as ever, and are becoming increasingly inventive in a bid to part us from our money. 50 people from around the world (five of which were from the UK) were asked to surf the ... read more..

Successful service innovation - 05 Sep 2008

With services now accounting for 75 per cent of the economy by gross value added, it is time to put service innovation firmly at the front of business thinking. So, here are our top ten tips for service innovators. If you want to design services that will delight, then you ... read more..

The challenge of supporting customers - 05 Sep 2008

Abigail Sharan explains how Microsoft has placed increasing emphasis on building and nurturing lasting relationships with customers, with online tools and online help playing a critical role in this strategy.At Microsoft, we see a future full of potential. Our success is based firmly on innovation and ensuring that our products ... read more..



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