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Web 2.0 is a Result of Social Interaction not Technology or Marketing


Posted by on October 17, 2008

To be fair the idea for this post actually came from someone who commented on my blog (or whose comment I saw on someone else’s blog).  I tried to find the comment but couldn’t.

Think about this for a moment, Web 2.0 evolved not because of technology or marketing, web 2.0 evolved from a desire to connect and interact with people online, to connect with others and to build relationships.  Web 2.0 was no created to become rich, to spam users, or to sell advertising, these are all by-products.  Why is this important?  Because a lot of folks are forgetting this and are instead focusing on the monetary value and not on the relationships value.  We’re getting greedy.

Is it possible to make money through social media?  Yes

Should you get involved in social media if you want to connect and build relationships with people? Yes

Is it possible to market a product or service through social media? Yes

If I told you that you would never make a penny with social media (directly) would you still get involved?  To me the answer is simple, yes!  I never created a blog, a twitter account, etc. to strike it rich.  I created accounts and joined all of these platforms to connect with and meet other people.  The fact that I was able to distribute content and market myself was a by-product from building relationships.  As a result of my blog and online presence I have been presented with unique career opportunities, business partnerships, new friends, and have learned a great deal.  But again, this was all a by-product.  I started this blog because I had something to say and as it turns out thousands of you wanted to listen, thank you!

I think this is a core principle we need to remind ourselves of because it will give us perspective and direction in social media.  You can hear how companies out there desperately want to make money with social media (the same goes for eager new entrepreneurs and startups).  I knot it’s hard but look at making money as a secondary goal and look at your connections and online presence as your primary goal.  Heck, Facebook is still searching for their primary revenue model but the site was started to connect with college students.

Remember

People, connections, relationships, online presence FIRST

Monetization SECOND

thanks for reading

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  • http://www.marketingtechblog.com Douglas Karr

    I would respectfully disagree. Technology has always been utilized to bridge a gap. At issue with Web 1.0 was the lack of social interaction. Technology enabled this interaction. Social interaction before Web 2.0 was nearly impossible, cumbersome, and did not scale. If a company has 5 people with 200 clients, there was no way of effectively building a relationship with those 200. It did not exist. Web 2.0 has provided a means for us to introduce effective interaction into companies who did not have it before.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      hi douglas you are correct that web 2.0 has provided a means for us to introduce effective interaction into companies who did not have it before, but even if the technology existed years ago, it would not have been used for social interaction had it not been demanded. web 2.0 came about because people wanted to share and interact with each other, technology provided the means to do so, not the other way around.

      we now have the technology but if people didn't care about interacting with each other then web 2.0 would be meaningless. facebook was created so that college students could interact, wordpress was created so the users can share thoughts and ideas with each other, twitter was created to tell people what you're up to. all of these companies were started to solve a problem of interaction. technology is simply the tool to do so on the back end, the purpose of these companies is not technology it's trying to figure out how to interact and provide value to the users.

      thanks for the comment and for reading

      • http://www.marketingtechblog.com Douglas Karr

        Sounds like the chicken or the egg, Jacob. I'll stand by firm on technology coming first. Plenty of other technology was invented at the same time that did not pan out. Facebook and WordPress are both evolutions – they evolved into their present condition only after folks saw the potential.

        The reason I'm being belligerent on this is that the medium is still imperfect and continues to evolve. If we knew what we needed, it would have been developed already. Instead we have a mish mash of technologies, all of them introducing 'something' unique that people like.

        We know people wish to communicate, that's been evident for hundreds of years. Every day, though, there are new technologies introduced that we don't know how we'll use.

        As an example, no one would have guessed that Twitter would have evolved to such a social tool – the creators are more surprised than anyone!

        • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

          it is a big of the chicken and egg problem. Facebook and wordpress both evolved but why were they created? same for twitter, yes the creators are surprise by the its success, but again, why was twitter created? all of these companies seek to improve social interaction and they do so with technology.

          there are a lot of technologies out there but the social media companies exist to use the technologies to build relationships .

          thanks again for the comment :)

  • http://www.seoaly.com SEOAly

    You have echoed the sentiment of a post I wrote some time ago on my blog (http://www.seoaly.com/web-20-in-the-real-world/). I agree with you. Web 2.0 isn't just about the technologies that allow us to have such interaction with one another, but the way in which we use the technology to build relationships online with people we would never have the opportunity to meet otherwise.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      hey aly, thanks for sharing your link. definitely sounds we are in agreement here. it's interesting to me that a lot of folks focus on the technology and marketing aspect, but that is not why users began using social media platforms. people joined up to connect, to share, and to learn. sure the technologies are important and they make everything happen, BUT that is not why users are in the game.

      thanks again for commenting and reading aly, always good to hear from you :)

      • http://www.seoaly.com SEOAly

        You're welcome, Jacob! Blogs and the resulting comments from readers are a part of the evolution of Web 2.0, too. :)

        I think we “techo-geeks” approach the idea of Web 2.0 from a more “technical” perspective, so we tend to forget that the very nature of Social Media is to bring together individuals from all walks of life around the world with the ultimate goal of interaction in mind. It's not just about “getting information” or “buying/selling products” anymore.

        Its definitely important to remember that it's not just we that have a greater understanding of the evolution of the technology that are using it, but people from all professions and backgrounds these days. Good stuff. Keep up the good work! :)

        • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

          thanks aly, of course i will certainly keep the content flowing, and a new blog design is coming as wel :)

  • http://www.thelovablerogue.co.uk The Lovable Rogue

    Douglas,
    I would suggest that Web 1.0 didn't originally have an issue. At the time, a static one way conversation with the customer was sufficient to convey one's point. The majority of people were perfectly happy to use the internet as a means of learning more about the organisation and leaving it at that. It was the social revolution, which I suggest represents Web 2.0 more accurately, that really drove technology companies to bridge the technological gap. Had there not been a demand for a two way conversation with the organisation, then it is unlikely that the Web 2.0 tools would have emerged.

    I think this argument is essentially a what came first scenario. In my opinion though, it was consumers demanding greater involvement with the companies which affect our everyday lives that led to the demand for an 'electronic voice'. I would be happy to discuss your thoughts on this.

    An enjoyable article, Jacob.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      thanks for the response, you make some great points there. im glad you enjoyed the article, hope to hear more from you.

      thanks for reading and commenting

      • http://www.seoaly.com SEOAly

        Looking forward to seeing the new blog design! :)

        • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

          me too!

  • http://chuckwestbrook.com Chuck Westbrook

    Many of us need to hit the reset button on our online presence and social networking. I've found starting a new blog with the sole goal of connecting with interesting people to be very refreshing, and as you point out, that's what started this whole thing anyway.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      hi chuck, “refreshing” is a great word to describe it and I agree with you. sometimes it's good to take a step back and we all should, that's what motivated this post.

      however, we do have interesting discussions.

      thanks for reading and commenting chuck

  • http://www.ariwriter.com Ari Herzog

    Scanning the above comments, everyone is right and everyone is wrong. A primary reason why I say this is because when you “version the web,” in Jamie Scheu's words, you confuse the issue because nobody can agree what different web iterations mean.

    The “concept” of a Web 2.0 existed for me in the before the web was born, when online news was found in Usenet newsgroups. Everyone contributed news to thousands of groups, and the groups could be mined for content to respond at whim. Is this any different than finding news today? Not at all. It's merely a different iteration today.

    Stop defining things. Stop saying the social web is the result of this or that; just accept it for what it is and work with it.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      hi ari,

      i think it's very important for everyone to give their own definition to things, that's what makes them valuable. in regards to asking what the social web is a result of, well that can be a type of philosophical question that we can ponder, but i don't think we should just accept anything we are presented with. it's important for us to play and tinker with things, we have to analyze and understand, at least for ourselves. i think just accepting things is actually a bit dangerous.

      the issue here is why social media evolved and came to be what it is. if i asked you how the romans and greeks built cities of marble, wouldn't you want to know how? it's not always the answer that's important but the discussion that comes out of it.

      sure myself or dougals may both be right or wrong, but look at the conversation we are able to have,

      thanks for commenting and reading ari, always good to hear from you

  • http://www.seoaly.com Alysson

    Looking forward to seeing the new blog design! :)

  • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

    me too!