There is a great buzz going round at the moment and talk on whether we are within another dot com bubble. There are reports of vast sums of money being spent on small start ups and a new refreshed interest in online web sites and Internet sites in general. But, is it the same as before ? will it burst ? are the web2.0 apps making the bubble ?
To be honest, things have changed, times have moved on and the Internet is really part of our lives that most people would struggle without. I personally don’t think you can call it a new bubble, I’m fairly sure it’s here to stay and I don’t think it’s the apps that make it, more like the people using the sites and wanting more from them. In my view this is web2.0, the complete social aspect.
So what makes a web2.0 site ?
Again there is a lot of talk around semantic markup, reduced use of tables, whitespace, AJAX, specific use of font and graphics etc Surely what really makes an application the so called web2.0 type application is anything that provides the old school stickiness factor, anything that draws the user back.
Just looking round at some of the sites that are reportedly web2.0 it clearly highlights the fact that web2.0 is about 2 things; Collaboration and Social networking [Should it really be webSC (social collaboration). Some of the biggest sites and exchange of the largest sums of money come from sites offering you the ability to maintain some aspect of your life online or allowing to to interact with other users via some form of social community. It’s all about empowering the users and making them part of the site and not forgetting offering something that they really want. In reality the web2.0 talk is just an extension of the original bulletin boards, AJAX’s is also nothing new but something that’s relighted the interested with online developers.
So all in all web2.0 should provide an online extenstion to your life, online booking keeping like Freshbooks or storing your favourites online like Digg or even storage and emails like Gmail. But fundamentally to truly make something web2.0 your site must build a community which grows organically and allow users to interact, offering shared areas, tagging systems, wikis, blogs, message systems and anything that allows the users to come back time and time again.
Stickability and bringing your users back and keeping them online is key and that is the true potential of the so called new ‘bubble’ !