Do too many people who build websites focus too much on building social networks, mashups, and other web 2.0 features to the detriment of their profitability?
It's really hard to disagree with this paragraph from the article:
Before throwing spending money at "2.0" features, make sure that you have all the "1.0" requirements working to perfection. Of the 149,784,002 sites on the Web, maybe a handful can make this claim. Most sites don't even use the customers' terminology in headlines and page titles — if you want one quick action item to improve site profitability through better SEO ranking, more clickthroughs, and better understanding of your services, rewriting the first two words of your microcontent will beat any technology any day.
But, there are sites that do the baseline minimum for SEO in page titles, in headlines, and provide a good user experience, and yet don't do much to make their sites engaging, and interactive.
A good rebuttal here:
Jakob Nielsen on Everyone's Favorite Buzzword: "Web 2.0"
What's sad about many of today's websites is not the abstract "things" they don't do well (nor whether these mysteries are primary or secondary); rather, that they simply haven't taken the time to understand our [the audience's] needs and plan the experience in advance to ensure those needs are met. Instead, they've been retrofitting Marketing 1.0 into a new medium, just as they have done with every medium that came before it.
So, I have some questions:
1. What are the handful of websites that Dr. Nielsen might think are doing all of the web 1.0 things right?
2. What Web 2.0 features are ones that "either hurt users or simply don't matter to users' core needs" that sites add anyway.
3. Are the four trends that Dr. Nielsen points out as defining ones for Web 2.0 really what defines it? Thos would be:
- "Rich" Internet Applications (RIA),
- Community features, social networks, and user-generated content
- Mashups (using other sites' services as a development platform)
- Advertising as the main or only business model
5. Are most business tasks too boring to support community features, or in other words, is there a way to make most business task interesting enough so that a community will get involved?
6. Are mashups just too confusing when they involve more than one brand?
7. Does advertising only work on web sites when it involves search (like Google) and classified ads (such as eBay and real estate listings), and possibly video?
Thought that this quote from Dr. Nielsen's article was funny, but I'm not sure that I agree completely about how he characterizes Facebook:
Like Iron Chef, Facebook has much drama that makes for good press coverage, but most of its features are worthless for a B2B site that, say, is trying to sell forklift trucks to 50-year-old warehouse managers. Instead of adding Facebook-like features that let users "bite" other users and turn them into zombies, the B2B site would get more sales by offering clear prices, good product photos, detailed specs, convincing whitepapers, an easily navigable information architecture, and an email newsletter.
What do you think? Is Web 2.0 bad for the bottom line?