Dr James B Byrd
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    Fundamentals Of Web 2.0 Marketing

    If Web 1.0 was all about chatrooms, tacky banner exchanges and cute emoticons, Web 2.0 is all about social networking, interactivity and user-generated content. So which sites are the icons of Web 2.0? Well, social networking websites (FaceBook, MySpace, Bebo, etc.), social bookmarking sites (Digg, Del.icio.us, etc.) and, of course, the grand daddy of user-provided information, Wikipedia, are a few examples of the new icons of the Web 2.0 universe.

    Internet marketers look upon any Web 2.0 site as a source of solid traffic. They open up their own pages on Web 2.0 sites and interact with the members, whip up frenzy and drive people to their own websites. The result is terrific: more traffic, more backlinks, and more word-of-mouth publicity - and this one comes for free - ahh, what more can an Internet marketer want?

    But hang on a minute! Is this as easy as it seems?

    Well, in actuality, the answer is a resounding NO! Web 2.0 marketing requires time, effort and commitment that previous web tactics barely touched. There has to be a lot of time for learning, implementing and tweaking what will hopefully turn into a successful campaign.

    1. Your website must look chic, sport quality content that is informative as well as entertaining, and the copy must be written by an expert.

    2. People like to hang around social networking websites just to kill time, so that must be a part of your traffic funneling system. Know that they are simply there to hang out and not buy. If you want to try and divert them to your website, it has to be really pulling piece of advertising copy, something entertaining like videos, games, audio, commentary and the like. It must hook the reader and entice them to read more. If you come at them with a sales pitch, it will immediately turn them off and you will wind up without sales.

    3. Approach your Web 2.0 marketing campaign like your life depends on it. If you give it a half-hearted effort, put out boring, non-informative content and then sit back and wit to see what happens. Trust me, nothing will happen. Further, you will lose credibility because bad press spreads faster than viruses on the Net.

    4. Web 2.0 websites are designed for you to interact with people. It is not there for you to sell. You must be expert, able to answer questions and put up posts that both entertain and inform. You are building rapport, not making sales. Any other thought will stop you dead in the water.

    5. You cannot expect Web 2.0 marketing to draw traffic to your website the way PPC advertisements or SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics do. You have to be ready for less.

    6. You don't want to start Web 2.0 marketing when your site is just starting or if the site is mediocre and sales are just average. Web 2.0 marketing techniques are good for established, working sites. Marketing this way needs to happen when you have a decent amount of content to offer arriving visitors.

    These cover just a few of the basics of Web 2.0 marketing. Where ever you start with marketing in this new virtual world, will be a learning curve and stepping stone to more success. The sooner you start, the quicker you'll have results. Good luck in your pursuits.

    Marketing on the internet is not as difficult as you may think. Find legitimate ways to make money online, or how to increase website traffic at http://www.nitromarketing.com/blog

    - Kale McClelland


    Web 2.0: So, What The Heck Is Web 2.0, Anyway?

    At the O'Reilly Media Conference back in 2004 the Web 2.0 rumble began. For years later, it is going full swing, confusing the masses and being flung around with little to no understanding about what it actually stands for. Often used to describe social bookmarking sites, blogs and interactive forums, this explanation only covers half of the truth. Like the World Wide Web when it first appeared, Web 2.0 is like an amorphous entity that is ever changing.

    In essence, Web 2.0 is the use of the web as a 2-way communication tool, a way for the readers or consumers of a site to contribute to the site. The best example I've seen is the comparison of Britannica Online and Wikipedia. Britannica is a static resource, viewed as both comprehensive and authoritative because it is written by authorities and is unchangeable. Wikipedia, on the other hand, is the opposite of static. It must be manually stopped to prevent changes, and not only is it user-generated, it is also user-changed. One would anticipate this makes Wikipedia a lesser reference source.

    In truth, however, Wikipedia is a better reference source than Britannica - not because the articles are more accurate, but rather because they direct the reader toward a variety of other resources, representing a multitude of viewpoints and not just the one of the single initial author. This is immensely powerful.

    Web 2.0 is an evolution of that idea, the concept of harnessing the knowledge of users globally to create comprehensive, ever changing repositories that would beyond the capabilities of a single author. The building of this wealth of knowledge takes the form of a virtual conversation which Google utilizes to target advertising that is relevant to the topic on the page. The older DoubleClick system would simply display ads without considering the content on the page.

    But how can these concepts help you, the online marketing professional?

    Primarily by showing you that you must change the way you think about the Internet. No longer is it a place where you can trap an audience on a website and proselytize to them. Instead, the new way to capture and retain a potential customer is by engaging them with your content, your tools, and your media. Allow customers to have a voice on your site, and you begin to create community.

    This can be as simple as implementing a blog with comments that you the writer reply to, or as complex as creating your own new application - interactive games, uploadable media, public customer tips. Don't make the mistake of looking at this as user-generated content; instead, create compelling content that your users want to add to. Ideally, you want the Mona Lisa on your site - with watercolors and markers available so your customers can make their own doodles to finish it out.

    If your small business doesn't possess the resources to create this level of complexity, there are other options. Join an existing community in your niche and lend your expertise to the group. Add a compelling signature to your profile that will be posted on every comment and bit of advice you give. Then participate - answer questions, give tips and advice but don't advertise. If people like you, respect you and you add genuine value to the conversation, they will naturally find their way to your website. Web 2.0 has created a give and take on the Internet which has forever changed what is expected for business success. It is new, different and most of all, a lot of fun.

    Learn tips for marketing an online business, or how to start a home based internet business. Visit the website marketing tips blog at http://www.nitromarketing.com/blog

    - Kale McClelland