Technology Networking & Internet

The Web 2.0 Business Model

Are you from the US? Did you vote in the last election? Were you either appalled or enraptured by the numbers that CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC all published about the voter turn-out? The answer to that question will tip your hand as to your political affiliation, and we will spare you the trouble of responding to that directly. Whether you voted for the President, for his opponent, or wrote in Mickey Mouse on election day, you have to concede that, by and large, the revolutionary electoral tactics used by Obama's campaign staff gave them an edge over the competition.

The Web 2.0 world is defined as much by mouse clicks and keyboard strokes as shaking hands and kissing babies, and the Democrats knew that. Don't be fooled by the populist rhetoric either: all of politics is business. This last election cycle was won by and large by a massive surge of marketing in the social networking sites most often visited by educated, young voters. Guess what? Your business- who targets that age group- should quickly learn how to use those sites to attract that demographic.

The world of communication has been revolutionized in the last decade. Backlinking has become a marker of popularity, and popularity, as always, is a marker of a business' success. In order to keep pace with the short attention spans that have been fostered by that revolution, your business would do well to have accounts on all of the most popular ones. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Squidoo...these sites have both social and commercial appeal, and many have direct links to product and business review sites, all of which can, if leveraged properly, greatly increase the amount of free targeted traffic to your website or foot traffic into your store. It's simply a matter of making sure that the people who you want to buy your products have access to information about you.

Every major election cycle carries with it a sense of a generational shift. The first in my memory were the '92 elections in the States and the ousting of John Major in the UK in '97. The most recent- and possibly the most telling in the way business will move forward in the near future- was this one, during which an old Senator and a young senator faced off for a demographic of people who were at once great consumers and, at least until the clever usage of Web 2.0 technology and strategy, shoddy voters. As a business with a viable product, you have to be able to get information to these people. Social networking sites- where they're already frequent visitors- will prove to be a key to your success with these future clients.

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